Define Musical Sound and its Characteristics - QS Study
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We hear different kind of sounds every day. We hear the sound of vehicles, the sound of market, the sound of rainfall, the sound of musical instruments etc every day. Some of these sounds are sweet and some are harsh. If we judge by our sensation the sweet sounds are musical sounds.

 

The characteristics of musical sound:

The three characteristics of musical sounds are-

1) Loudness or Intensity 2) Pitch and 3) Quality or Timbre.

 

Loudness or Intensity: Loudness or intensity means how loud the sound is. Intensity is the amount of sound energy flowing per second per unit area perpendicular to the direction of propagation of sound. In SI system of unit the unit of intensity of sound is Wm-2.

Pitch: The characteristic of musical sound by which we can differentiate between a shrill sound and a dull sound of same intensity is called pitch. Pitch depends on the frequency of the source. With the increase of frequency the pitch becomes higher making the note more and more shrill.

Quality or Timbre: The characteristic of musical sound by which we can differentiate between two sounds of same intensity and pitch is called quality or timbre.

Why the voice of men is deep and the voice of women and children is sharp?

There are two membranes in our vocal which are known as vocal chords. The sound is produced due to the vibration of vocal chords and so people can speak.

The vocal chords of adult men become thick as they age but the vocal chords of children and women are not thick. For this, the frequency of voice of the adult men is less and the frequency of voice of women and children are more. So the voice of men is deep but the voice of children and women is sharp.