How We Hear And Produce Sound

 The mouth in a singing position or yelling
The mouth in a singing position or yelling | Source

How Sound Is Produced

A simple description of sound : Sound is a feeling or sensation that we hear. According to www.yale.ed:

Sound waves are formed when a vibrating object causes the surrounding medium to vibrate. A medium is a material (solid, liquid or gas) which a wave travels through. As sound waves move through a medium the particles vibrate forwards and backwards. A sound's volume, how loud or soft it is, depends on the sound wave. The more energy put into making a sound or a sound wave, the louder the volume will be. The father a sound wave travels, the more it spreads, this makes it more difficult for us to hear a sound. So the nearer you are to a sound the louder it sounds to us. A sound wave enters the ear and is changed into nerve signals, which are interpreted by the brain.

Sounds are a powerful energy which belong strictly to the sound source. Sound is a vibration or series of vibrations set into motion by an object. To help you understand how that works, let's examine how a singer produces sound.

A singer prepares to sing by first inhaling the right amount of air depending on the length of the phrase (more air for a longer one, less for a shorter phrase.) Upon inhalation, the air strikes the vocal bands (the object) and sets them into motion (vibrations) which then produce sound. This is the same process for speaking.

When we shout or speak louder, more air is needed. If we fail to take in enough air when we shout or increase the volume, we end up with a sore throat or laryngitis. This is a common flaw of many singers. They want to sing louder (project), or higher, and they try to do so without taking in more air. They end up with a dry throat, hoarseness, and at times even develop vocal nodules.

Soundwaves
Soundwaves | Source

The Sounds of Life

Sound is a part of our everyday lives yet we rarely if ever stop to think about why and how we sound the way we do.

We hear a babys' cry, children laughing, the sound of a piano. We hear someone praying or the sound of a fire engine on it's way to save a life. An endless array of sound is going on all the time, with every heart beat and each breath we take.

We almost become immune to the sounds of a humming car engine, the running of a refrigerator, the chopping of a salad, and the constant swallow of our own saliva. Footsteps go unheard and the sounds of chewing something tasty takes a background to the delicious taste itself.

We produce sound by speaking, singing, yelling, screaming, crying, laughing, moaning and whispering. And we become so busy and pre-occupied we rarely hear these sounds. I wonder if we realize how grateful we should be for being able to make a sound in the first place. When I thank my Maker for my blessings am I guilty of forgetting to include how grateful I am to be able to to speak, sing and hear?

Fascinating Facts About Sound

  • Sound travels at 330 meters per second or 740 miles per hour
  • Sound waves are longitudinal waves with two parts: compression and rarefaction. Compression is the part of the sound waves where the molecules of air are pushed (compressed) together. Rarefaction is the part of the waves where the molecules are far away from each other. Sound waves are a sequence of compressions and rarefaction.
  • The highest key on a piano vibrates 4,000 times per second.
  • When someone sings with a greater amplitude compared to a smaller amplitude, they are singing louder compared to singing quieter. Amplitude is the size of the vibration in a sound wave that affects how loud we sing. Larger vibrations make a louder sound.
  • If you hear thunder 20 seconds after you see a flash of lightning, then the lightning occurred 4 miles away.
  • The speed of sound is around 767 miles per hour (1,230 kilometres per hour).
  • Fast vibrations make a high sound, and slow vibrations make a low sound.
  • Whales in the ocean "sing" to each other. The sound of their song can travel a distance of 800km.


Quieting the mind...
Quieting the mind... | Source
The hands are placed over the breath-in and breath-out area.
The hands are placed over the breath-in and breath-out area. | Source

Quiet The Mind With Deep Breathing


Sounds impact us in many different ways. Screaming, grating, and machine-like noises interrupt a serene and peaceful feeling. Discordant sounds have even been known to cause illness. At the same time, sound can have a healing effect on us. A soft lullaby will quiet a crying baby.

The sound of "aaah" during morning meditation, helps to calm the inner dialogue going on in our mind. This dialogue goes on and on. We try to find sleep at night, but our minds just won't shut off. When we accompany the aaah sound with deep breathing, we enter into a state of complete relaxation.

Learning how to breathe by using thediaphragmatic muscle( the diaphragm ) is a must. Otherwise, you are only breathing by using a small part of the lung area. I urge you to take some time and really practice this technique. After all...we are talking about breathing.

sound fairie
sound fairie | Source
 lightning and colors from vibrations
lightning and colors from vibrations | Source

Thoughts Are Increased Vibrations

Every sound is a vibration made of waves oscillating at a particular frequency. During singing, vibrato is produced by the number of oscillations occurring on a sustained tone. If you line up 5 or 6 glasses, filling them to different heights with water, you will have different tones from each glass.

Now the human ear has a frequency of about sixteen thousand vibrations, going up to approximately forty thousand vibrations, per second. Then, as you go higher up the scale at about one thousand million vibrations per second, you discover electricity. I can't begin to wrap my mind around this.

At two hundred million vibrations per second, we find heat. And wait until you hear this. Light and color appear at five hundred billion vibrations per second. Your friendly x ray manifests itself at two trillion vibrations per second.

And what about thoughts? Thoughts and spiritual dimensions are in the realm of increased vibrations beyond anything that is even calculable.

Vibrational frequencies are clearly the very nature of our material universe. Fascinating!

Source

Summary

Important points to remember:

  • Sound is going on all the time.
  • Sound is a vibration or series of vibrations.
  • Sounds impact us in a variety of ways.
  • Learn how to quiet the mind with deep (diaphragmatic) breathing.
  • Every sound is a vibration made of waves oscillating at a particular frequency.
  • Thoughts and spiritual dimension are in the realm of increased vibrations beyond anything that is even calculable.
  • Vibrational frequencies are clearly the very nature of our material universe.

Thank you for your thoughts and comments and for being here.

References/Resources

http://www.prisci.gold.ac.uk/hearingwhispers/facts.htm

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound

http://yale.edu.com

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Comments 60 comments

Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

I never knew about the millions of oscillations that produced heat/light - wow that is so amazing. I am always amazed at how God created the human voice - everyone has a unique voice, and isn't just so cool how God made each person special? And one person can do so many things with their voice, it is just so fascinating. I always wonder what heaven sounds like. =)


Ana Gajic 5 years ago

I liked this hub very much:) It is very interesting, well-explained and extremely well written:) Voted up!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

An absolutely marvellous and challenging hub encompassing the very leading edge of physics and quantum mechanics as they apply to vibration and oscillation, etc.

This may all be tied to the oscillation of the elektron and other particles; it's way above my head...Great stuff! Bob


krancenblum 5 years ago

I try and teach people to breath with diaphram everyday as a massage therapist and it also aids in our bodys healing process. Thanks for such a beautiful text.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

I know some choir members who could benefit from this alot. Thank you.


timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

You're quite right Audrey, most of us don't pay enough attention to the sounds around us.

The human voice is an amazing instrument. While the speaking voice can be anything from very soothing to extremely grating, the singing voice is something special as well.

I suspect most people have very shallow breathing, due to stress. It's very difficult to maintain the diaphragmatic breathing consistently.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

So very very interesting Audrey.

It is so lucky that we are never too old to learn because I have learnt so much in my time here on HubPages.

Thank you for this lesson again, I really do enjoy anythingto do with music/singing and this one was indeeda treat.

Take care and have a great day.

Eiddwen.


tamron profile image

tamron 5 years ago

I didn't know that about sound! Very Interesting! Vote Up and Stumble!


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Sound is the prime source for most people to express emotion and is also a prime source that people use to interpret another persons on many levels.;)

Great dissertation vocalcoach!;)


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Your Hubs are always so informative and yet entertaining. Sound is so important to me in so many ways. Excess makes me nervous and almost gives me an anxiety attack. I can actually feel the waves of anger or hatred touch me. Also I can feel love and peace soothe me. Now I understand why. Thank you for that.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Entertaining and thorough examination of the God-given miracle of sound. Thank you, Audrey.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

Great hub to relax us, thank you. up/awesome


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Thank you for sharing the info about sound. Frankly, I was much more intrigued by the tail end of the article, where you told us of the millions, billions and trillions of vibrations to cause X-rays, heat and light...and the unmeasurable vibrations thoughts cause. That last part has got me jazzed to look into it further.

Thanks!


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Your hub contains some interesting ideas and useful information, Audrey! Thank you for sharing this enjoyable article.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

diogenes - Oh, thank you so very much for your uplifting comments. If not for the fact that I am a serious and technical vocal coach, I doubt that I would have studied how sound is produced. I have such a curious mind, forever asking why? :) Thanks for your visit.

vocalcoach~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

drbj - Many thanks, my blessed friend. Enjoy your weekend...heck - enjoy your life!!!

vocalcoach~


Susieq42 5 years ago

Voted up and interesting, Vocalcoach. Great hub and very informational.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hyphenbird - Yes, sounds have an enormous influence over our moods and feelings. In fact, I am going in to the recording studio after the first of the year to record my first CD for piano and it is soft piano stylings for balancing the mind, body and spirit ( or something like that.) :) When it comes out, I will send you one. Thanks

vocalcoach~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Charlotte - Great comments which I enjoyed so much. Especially, the uniqueness of each voice. I like that. And I love "what will heaven sound like." Someday we will know, and I suspect you and I will be great friends.

Hugs

vocalcoach~


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A fascimating hub. Very informative and I see your other hubs which I must go and read now.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

This hub about sounds is so informative and interesting! Imagine all those vibrations around us; thoughts, light, sound and so on. It is really beautiful to think about when you present it like that! Thanks for an interesting read, Vocal,

Tina


JT Walters profile image

JT Walters 5 years ago from Florida

Hi vocalcoach,

This is a really interesting article and the pictures are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

JT


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Awesome stuff..... I love your vibes vocal coach!


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

So refreshing to understand a rather complicated process that has been explained so well Audrey, fantastic job! I love your section about breathing, I learned the correct technique and implemented into my life but must constantly remind myself when stressed. Great hub, voted up, useful and awesome.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Chatkath - Your feedback on my hub is important to me, as I want to find just the right balance between theory and inspiration. Some say it can't be done...I think it can. Your comments have certainly proved that the manner in which theory is presented can and does make a difference.

You have given yourself extra years on this beautiful planet, by learning how to breathe properly and implementing it into your life. Wonderful! And, as you know, breathing from the diaphragmatic area truly helps to relieve stress. I believe that why I handle stress so well - as a vocal and breathing coach, I'm always breathing properly and ridding my body of carbon monoxcide as pure oxygen replaces toxins we breath in all day long.

Thank you dear Kathy...I appreciate you and your fantastic hubs very much.

vocalcoach~


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

ha ha ha!! oh no please dont unleash!! see i have commented!! what an intresting hub and a great topic!! will be back to read more of your hubs!! thanks

carrie


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

thoughtforce - Thankyour for your comments, which add so much to my hub. Sound is such an amazing thing, as are vibrations. Even a rock contains vibrations and energy! Glad you found this interesting and informative. Thank you.

vocalcoach~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

JTWalters - Thanks for your nice comments and glad you approved of the pictures. Have a great day!

vocalcoach~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Alicia - Thank you for reading and leaving your comments.

Learning to "deep breathe" is a free gift we can give ourselves. Well worth the time and practice it takes. Have a pleasant day!

vocalcoach~


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

carrie - You are a delight...and now you are safe because you commented. :):) How nice to see you here. I will pay you a visit - right now!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Hi Vocalcoach, the one sound I need EAR Plugs for is the night time sounds...I am such a light sleeper and I need to sleep with the Windows opened. Having said that, I found this Hub on "Sounds and how we produce them" to be a Wonderful and such an informative Read. You are such a Great Educator my Friend...And another Vote UP for you.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

b.Malin - Hello, my friend. I wish I could sleep with the windows open as it is a healthy thing to do. I am happy to hear that you found my hub to be informative. It was fun to do. And I sure appreciate your vote UP. Hugs to you.

vocalcoach~


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Thank you for this well-written hub on one of the senses we often take for granted. I ignore car engines, yet when I listen to a symphony, singing, or a pianist and I hear an off or sour note, it screeches to me like a crow with its claws on a blackboard while it doesn't seem to bother others.

I know some people who can work and function well amidst significant chaotic noise – an ability I lack.

I think we are also conditioned to receive and process sounds in certain ways that vary depending on the individual.

This is a fascinating and well-thought out dissertation. Thank you!


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 5 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

You don't need spooky dog to make me send my comment. With hub like yours, everyone would like to comment. hahaha. You are really vocalcoach. I was a singer when I was in high school,but unfortunately I didn't have a vocalcoach, and my vocal has been worst since my age gets old. pity! Thank you my coach!


nenytridiana profile image

nenytridiana 5 years ago from Probolinggo - Jawa Timur - Indonesia

You don't need spooky dog to make me send my comment. With hub like yours, everyone would like to comment. hahaha. You are really vocalcoach. I was a singer when I was in high school,but unfortunately I didn't have a vocalcoach, and my vocal has been worst since my age gets old. pity! Thank you my coach!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....hello my dear dear friend - I was most thrilled to hear from you just now and it really made my day. In fact I just sent a nice lady over here the other day by the name of Mary - and as I often send so many others your way too - as you always inspire me with your sincere and heartfelt writing style so I must post this beautiful hub subject to my Facebook page with a direct link back here and send you hugs, warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 2:45pm

...and yes what would we do without 'sound' in our lives;

what would I do without 'my Audrey' ......


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

I really love this lesson. The miracle of sound come up from the the mouth. Thank you very much for writing and share with us. Well done and vote up!

Prasetio


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Good morning, my friend, prasetio! How is the fantastic teacher today? I have a strong feeling, your school children just love you - and you are their favorite teacher.

I always feel happy when I see you on one of my hubs. You have a sincere and loving heart for everyone. That is why you are a favorite star here in our hubpage family. Much love to you, my friend. Happy days!


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Wow! This was well illustrated and useful. The pictures, excellent!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

ubanichijioke - It is a joy to see you here, my new friend. And I am finding your hubs so interesting and valuable. Thank you for taking time to comment. It means so much to me.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Epigramman - I always find new energy within, when I read your very welcomed comments. And thank you for sending Mary as she mentioned your name. Also, I appreciate all you send my way and for publishing my hubs on facebook too.

You are such a dear. I love reading all your comments...not just to my hubs but to other hubbers as well. You give such inspiring and endearing motivation to our hubfamily. Take good care and here is a nice warm hug!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Genna - You have added some excellent comments. I hope everyone reads them. I, like you, cannot function at all with noise going on. At times I think my poor ears are more sensitive than most. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

nenytridiana- What a sweet person you are. I am very happy to have you here, visiting my hub and bringing such wonderful comments. And my spooky dog welcomes you and promises not to bite!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Thank you Suzie. So nice to read your comments. Take care.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Rosemary - Thank you for visiting here and for checking out my other hubs as well. Appreciate it so much!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Paradise7 - I found the same section of this article to be my favorite part as I was writing it. The power and force behind vibrations is quite astonishing. Thanks so much for your visit and comments.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Writer20 - I appreciate your visit and kind comments. Thanks so much!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Thank you mentalacer. Your comments are better than my hub!!!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Tamron - Learning about sound is an amazing eye opener. I enjoyed writing about it. Thanks for your visit.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Eiddwen - Hello my friend. I, like you, enjoy learning new things each day. The more I learn, the less I know. :)

We are fortunate to have so many scholars here on hubpages. Your wonderful hubs always give me so much. Thank you.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

timorous - Great comments, my friend. As for diaphragmatic breathing, with daily practice and concentration, "natures way" of breathing can be mastered. The benefits make practicing well worth it.

Thank you!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Hello Dave - You are so right about choir members benefitting from learning about sound. After-all, that is what a choir is all about. :) Thanks so much Dave.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Ana - Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I do appreciate your taking the time to read, vote and leave your comments. Blessings to you Ana.

vocalcoach~


seedplanter 5 years ago

I always enjoy articles that teach us about the intricate details of how we're put together. It's no wonder the Psalmist talks about how "fearfully and wonderfully" we are created. You obviously have a great passion for teaching, and I'm happy to have been on the receiving end of it today. Thanks so much! Beautiful hub. :)


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Oh, thank you seedplanter! Love your kind comments. And welcome to Hubpages. Yes, I love teaching, still...after 45 years. How wonderful that you picked up on the passion that I feel for teaching. I'm eager to read your hubs. Thank you for the follow.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Excellent hub. Thank you. l wish l could hear you sing, especially if l had written the lyrics.

Take care and thanks again.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Dearest Dim - You write the lyrics, and I will record them. It would be my pleasure. Thanks so much!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Niel - Thank you very much and I'm thrilled that you like my vibes! Take care.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

I am playing the piano and I love reading articles regarding the natural interpretation of sound.. thanks for sharing, voted up!


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

Very interesting!

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