Hertz, Hearing, Frequency and Pitch

Our human mechanisms for hearing, are, like our tools for seeing, very subjective. It is easy to imagine that everyone sees like we do, hears like we do. At the very least, hearing AND seeing change over time, they are also extremely sensitive and easily damaged which leads to changes in the way we perceive stimuli. In addition, the things that we see or hear do not represent the full range of phenomena that are present in the wavelengths associated with light or sound. Here’s an example of the frequency range of humans, elephants, dogs, etc. Note the narrow range of the spectrum that we inhabit as humans. The Orange Bar. Here is a chart that shows where some sounds lie in a spectrum of Frequencies: And as a reminder, here is the human ear. All of this frequency processing happen deep inside, in the Cochlea. “Your cochlea is a spiral-shaped structure, like a snail’s shell, that’s filled with fluid and lined with tiny hairs known as cilia. The most sensitive cilia are the ones closest to the outside: only a tiny vibration is needed to set them in motion. These are also the most easily destroyed. So when you do things to damage your hearing like go to rock concerts without earplugs, listen to your headphones or stereos too loudly, fire a gun without protective gear, or have your “friend” scream in your ear, these sensitive cilia get destroyed.”

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