What is Noise?

Sound is the result of vibrations. Vibration is simply the moving back and forth of some object. But in order for these vibration to be heard, they must take place in some medium, something to carry the sound from its source to the hearer. That medium may be air, a liquid, or a solid.

When the vibrations is very regular, when the sounding body sends out waves at absolutely regular intervals, the result is a musical sound. If the vibrations is not regular, the effect on your ears is not all pleasing. The resulting sound is "noise".

The three differences between one sound and another are loudness, pitch, and tonal quality. Loudness of a sound depends  partly on the distance from the object to the ear and partly on the amplitude of vibration of the sound-making object. Amplitude means the distance the vibrating body moves in its to-and-fro motion. The greater this movement is, the louder the sound will be.

The highness or lowness of a sound is called its "pitch". Pitch depends on the speed of vibrations of the sounding object. The greater the number of vibrations that reach the ear every second, the higher will be the pitch. Even when two sounds may be of a musical sound may be of the same pitch and loudness, they can sound different.

The quality of a musical sound depends upon the number and strength of the "overtones" present on the sound. If a violin string is made to vibrate in one long vibration throughout is entire length, it gives the lowest tone that it can make. This note is called "the fundamental". If the string vibrates in more than one part, higher pitched notes are heard .

They blend with the fundamental to create the particular "violin" quality. These higher notes are the overtones. They create the tonal quality of a sound.

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