How Music Works
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Sound and Music

Sound and Music

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(1.5)  Frequency and Pitch

Frequency and pitch describe the same thing, but from different viewpoints.  While frequency measures the cycle rate of the physical waveform, pitch is how high or low it sounds when you hear it.

This is directly related to frequency: the higher the frequency of a waveform, the higher the pitch of the sound you hear.  

Think of the sound of a car or motorcycle engine accelerating.  As the engines turns faster (at a higher frequency) the engine makes a higher-pitched sound.

Human ears can only hear sounds within a certain range of frequencies.  As people grow older, their hearing range reduces.  A young person can usually hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

Click on the button below to hear a continuous pitch sweep from the lowest to the highest audible frequencies.

At the lower end of this range are low-pitched sounds like the booming of thunder before a storm.  At the upper end of this range are high-pitched sounds like the piercing whine of a mosquito.

Between these is the whole spectrum of sound and music!

 

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