TIP: you will need to use both a set of stereo headphones and the speakers on your multimedia computer to properly hear these effects. Make sure the volume isn't too loud!
Your Pinna and Ear Canal
Take a moment and follow the path of the ridges of one of your ears with your finger. What do you think all of those curves designed to do?
As the sound plays:
Some sounds are so loud that you can actually feel them. Thunder, fireworks, rock music are strong enough that you can sense them through your skin. Since all sounds are vibrations they cause the objects they strike to vibrate.
Usually sound vibrations are heard not felt. Your eardrum is a thin flexible tissue that vibrates when sound strikes it. Can you imagine what it would feel like to be an eardrum? How fast or slow would you vibrate? How loud or how soft would you need to vibrate to create a sound?
What is the difference between the headphones and the speakers? Which one sounds louder? Write your answers down in your journal.
Hands-On! Activity – Make Your Own Eardrum
[ Note: Be sure to save your eardrum for the middle ear activity! ]
What's the Point?
The Auditory Pathway
Your outer ear is designed to focus sound into the ear canal and send it to the eardrum. When sound energy strikes the eardrum, it in turn creates a faithful replica of the sound. The process changes sound energy from air waves into mechanical energy. This is the main purpose of your outer ear.
Just for Fun
Think of some of the different people and animal ears that exist. For example, Mr. Spock from the TV show Star Trek, or Dumbo the elephant, etc.
Design a new outer ear (pinna) on a sheet of paper. Cut it out and fit it over your own ear. How does it change the way you hear?
"I have a reasonable good ear in music:
– William Shakespeare
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