Showing posts from January, 2016

Sounds good - part 2

If you haven't yet, read Part 1 first, an introduction to what sound is.

I left off last time with a description of sound as changes in pressure, and notes as waves within these. On natural progression from this is: given the samples of a sound, how can you tell what notes are playing?

As I'm doing psychology, I'll take a small diversion here to rephrase that to: how does your ear do it? That is, given vibrations from your ear drum, how does your brain tell what notes are playing?
Before answering that, first it's good to know about resonance frequency - as you can see from this video, items that make noises when hit tend to have a resonant frequency, that is, the rate at which they vibrate in a cycle. Similar to pushing someone on a swing, if you push an object at this frequency, it will strengthen the resonance.

So how is this useful in regards to ears? The leading theory is that there's a section of your ear with lots of tiny hairs along a tube. Based on the…