So many movies and videos feature a blind person as the leading role of the drama. You may have watched ‘Don’t Breathe’ Hollywood movie which has an Ex-army blind veteran as the protagonist of the movie. In the movie, he manages to catch and kill some thieves who broke into his house for the huge amount of money he received as compensation for his daughter’s death in an accident. When the hero of the movie couldn’t even see –
- How could he catch the thieves?
- What thieves could do to escape from the house?
The protagonist was able to catch and kill thieves just by hearing and sensing their steps, objects falling around them and even heavy breathing sound could help him to locate and kill them. Thieves should not make any sound while moving, breathing and must be careful about surroundings which may help them to escape without getting caught as there will be no sound to sense and locate them. For the animals too, sound serves as a warning and prepares them for defence and attacks.
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What is Sound?
Sound is the term to describe what is heard when sound waves pass through a medium to the ear. A sound wave is a disturbance (Vibration) which travels through some medium may be solid, gas or liquid. The sound occurs due to the vibration and when these vibrations pass on from their origin and they vibrate air molecules near them and when these vibrating air molecules dash our eardrum, we hear the sound.
Try this – Place your hand over your throat. Now talk to your friend. You should feel a vibration. This is your vocal cords moving very rapidly back and forth. Sound is like this vibration when it moves through objects.
The sound’s intensity increases as the vibration increases and decreases with low vibration. The hearing capability also varies from animals to animals. The loudest sound heard till now is of a volcano eruption in 1883, it was so loud that it ruptured eardrums of people 40 miles away, travelled around the world four times, and was heard clearly 3,000 miles away. Think, for a moment, just how crazy is the power of sound or its waves.
- Why dogs don’t enjoy crackers cracking like humans?
- Why does a creaking sound irritate us?
Dogs can hear more sensitive sounds than humans so when we burn crackers dogs hear it more loudly due to their sensitive hearing ear mechanism. A creaking sound is irritating to humans because of its loudness. Living beings on earth have many hearing capabilities like the hearing of a fox; it is so good that it can hear a mouse squeaking 100 meters (330 feet) away. It can even catch the sound of a mouse scratching underground!
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Types of sound
Imagine you are walking beside a road towards your school –
- What do you do if a lorry driver keeps on blowing the horn?
- Is it a Pleasant or Unpleasant sound?
If the lorry driver keeps on blowing horn we will try to close our ears or get irritated because the horn produces loud sound it means more vibrations and bigger sound waves and it is unpleasant to hear due to its irregular or nil arrangement of sound. As we know now, we don’t like a loud sound as it’s unpleasant and not well arranged. Then –
- What is a pleasant sound?
- Can we arrange sound waves to get a pleasant sound?
The pleasant sound is produced when the vibrations and sound waves are produced and arranged meaningfully to get a soothing sound.
- Do you get irritated if a child laughs?
- Does playing your favourite song make you angry?
No, because the child laughs in low sounds, we like his voice pitches while laughing and our favourite song is favourite because the sound arrangement in the song pleased you already. So we can say that there are two types of sound – Pleasant and Unpleasant.
- Do you want to know how vibrations can produce sound? Try ‘Sound – Vibrations’ (Grade 8) DIY STEM learning fun kit.
Making of your favourite songs
We can create a pleasant sound by a meaningful arrangement of sounds. Pleasant sound can also be music or birds chirping and sound of a flowing river etc. We love music because it pleases us quickly.
- Do you know how we create music?
- Do you know how we arrange sounds with the help of hands and air we breathe?
Music is a pleasing or meaningful arrangement of sounds. We arrange sounds using two types of instruments –
Percussion Instruments – The instruments which create sound by striking or scrapping by different beaters, rattles, and hands or maybe striking instruments each other are called Percussion Instruments. These make the sound their membrane vibrates.
- How will you make sound using a table instrument?
Non-percussion Instruments – The instruments which create sound by vibrating its air column when we blow air are called Non-percussion instruments.
- Will you hear any soothing when you tap a flute?
Do you know we can break sound too!! You all may have heard or seen a whip which is used for punishing animals as well as humans in past times.
- How do you think cracking a whip can create that big amount of sound?
The loud noise you create by cracking a whip occurs because the tip is moving so fast it breaks the speed of sound! So breaking sound is possible and breaking sound makes a sound!
- Do you want to explore how frequency and amplitude of sound waves decide loudness of the sound? Try ‘Sound – Frequencies and Amplitude’ (Grade 9) DIY STEM playing learning kit.
Knowledge of sound is important for living beings because the sound is the basic thing we use to exchange our ideas through talking, which means arranging sounds to utter certain sound signs or symbols to convey or share information. Sound helps us to soothe our souls in the form of music and a good knowledge of sound can help us to tune sounds to create amazing music.
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