Noise And Music

Noise And Music

Before delving deep into noise and music, it’s important to know something about the ways through which sound works. Sound waves are basically a form of vibration that travels through mediums such as air and water. These are a direct result of particles coming together and spreading apart.

Sound waves are similar to that of a wave in water. This means sound waves have frequency, amplitude, wavelength, direction and speed. Sound waves can be reflected, refracted and attenuated as they pass through a medium.

Comparing sound waves to that of light

Sound and light are both waves. Light exhibits a few wave-like properties similar to that of sound. But there’s a subtle difference on the basis of wavelength. An example can clear this thing up.

You will notice that you can to hear people conversing from around a corner even if you can’t see those people involved in it. How does it happen?

This happens because sound has a greater wavelength than that of light, allowing it to get easily diffracted around openings and corners. Therefore, you are able to hear the sound even if you can’t locate the source of it from around a corner.

The difference between noise and music

  • Music has a pleasing effect on mind and ears. Noise, on the other hand appears to be pretty irritating and is basically a nuisance.
  • Music usually has a high frequency. It also exhibits a recognizable pattern of changes in amplitude as well as wavelength. Noise, on the other hand exhibits lower frequency, irregular wavelengths and also produces sudden changes in wavelength and amplitudes.
  • Music is actually a combination of harmonics and frequencies. Noise on the other hand, has no such properties.
  • Noise is considered “chaos” and music is harmony.
  • Music is very soothing to listen to while noise is wild as well as untamed.
  • Music can be considered to be some form of organized noise, a special category of noise. On the other hand, it can be said that noise is basically nothing but sounds in random having no order or rhythm.

Is all music pleasant?

The answer can be given purely on the basis of perspective. Just because music’s ordered, it doesn’t mean that it has to be pleasant. You might find something pleasant to your ears, while at the same time another person can find it pretty noisy to his/her liking. There are also two more factors that are known as:

  • Consonance,
  • Dissonance.

If you want to know the theories of consonance and dissonance in detail, you can refer to this article.

Music having more consonances in it is considered to be more pleasant because it is stable with a consistent tone.

Dissonance is basically a form of disruption of rhythms. Thus, it naturally causes a sensation of unpleasantness. A simple example can be the sound of sirens.

Physicists are always attracted to music. Some of them even took it further. For example:

  • Albert Einstein loved to play the violin.
  • Brian Cox used to play keyboards. He was previously even a member of the rock band Dare.
  • Werner Heisenberg used to play the piano.

There are several other examples. Physicists find a natural affinity to music because most of them find it difficult to express their love of work to the general public. Music helps them to connect with the masses. It might sound a little far-fetched but it’s true nonetheless.

We’ll sign off for now. Hope you had a good read.

Sudipto Das

Sudipto writes technical and educational content periodically for wizert.com and backs it up with extensive research and relevant examples. He's an avid reader and a tech enthusiast at the same time with a little bit of “Arsenal Football Club” thrown in as well. He's got a B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation.
Follow him on twitter @SudiptoDas1993

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