Sound Facts

I've been reading this book called "In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise" by George Prochnik. It's packed with information about how sound's purposes have changed throughout the centuries and such. It's pretty fascinating, actually.

I thought I'd give you a little sample of some of the many things I've learned so far.

- "Noise" originates from the word "nausea", probably from the "seasickness" feeling that one gets when overwhelmed with and disoriented by clamor. (pg. 88)

- We are biologically programmed to associate danger with a lower, rougher sounds. Coincidentally, when people smile, the shape of their mouths changes in such a way that naturally makes their voices a bit higher. Therefore, both the look of the smile and the sound of the smiling person's voice can help you feel at ease. (pg. 74)

- Typically, male species of animals call out to their females in as low of a tone as they can, in order to prove their masculinity. However, certain types of frogs in urban areas have had to change their calls to be much higher just so the female frogs can hear them over the sounds of traffic! (pg. 73)

Like I said, there is a ton of information in this book, so I can only give so much here. But if you've ever wondered about meditation, noise-cancelling devices, why people love listening to loud music, how to achieve perfect silence, or any number of other things, I'd recommend checking this book out!

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