Glossary of Terms
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Acoustics – The science of sound, its production, transmission, and perception.
Sound – The sensation experienced through the sense of hearing; the stimulation of auditory nerves in the ear by vibrations in the air.
Noise – Sound which is discordant or unpleasant to our ears; disorganized sound.
Music – Expressive combinations of sounds; patterned or organized sound.
Vibration – A regular motion.
Frequency – The rate of repetition of a vibration. If a wave of vibration travels so that one complete wave passes a given point every second, the frequency is one cycle per second (one hertz, or Hz).
Sound wave – A pressure area produced by a vibration, it travels through a medium and causes a reaction in the ear and brain (auditory pathway) which we interpret as sound.
Wavelength – The distance between the similar peaks of adjacent soundwaves. Related to pitch; higher pitches have shorter wavelengths, lower pitches have longer wavelengths.
Pitch – The highness or lowness of a sound.
Amplitude – The amount of energy in a sound wave, which determines the amount of pressure it produces on the ear. (Loudness; volume.)
Timbre – A property of sound, independent of pitch or amplitude, that distinguishes one voice or instrument from another; tonal quality or "color."
Tone – The pitch or frequency of a sound.
Resonance – The amplification of a sound by waves of identical frequency from another sound source resulting in sound with a richer, louder tone.
Rhythm – The organization of durations in time; measures and beats.
Decibel – A unit used to measure the amplitude (loudness) of sound.
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