“I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.” -Leonard Bernstein, American Composer & Conductor
We’re with Leonard, and we were curious, just how is it that we are able to hear music? Here’s the process:
- The shape of your outer ear helps capture and direct sound.
- Sound travels on through your ear canal and continues to your eardrum. The eardrum begins vibrating. Fun Fact- The eardrum moves less than a billionth of an inch in response.
- The vibrations move little, delicate bones in your ear called ossicles. The ossicles aid in guiding vibrations (sound waves) to your inner ear.
- Sound waves enter the cochlea. The cochlea is a small tube in the inner ear that is occupied with liquid.
- The liquid reaches tiny cells covered in hairs and the hairs begin to move, reacting to the sound waves. (Your ability to hear depends on these tiny hairs. Losing these hairs means hearing loss.)
- The motion triggers chemicals that are sent to the brain as nerve impulses. The brain recognizes these nerve signals as sound. Fun fact- you are constantly hearing sounds, even while you are asleep. Your brain just knows to tune out the noises.
Fun facts about sound and hearing:
- The leading cause of hearing loss is exposure to extremely loud sounds (85 decibels or higher).
- Your hearing can be damaged permanently even after a single exposure to a tremendously loud noise.
- Sitting near loudspeakers at concerts (which can reach about 120 decibels) can harm your hearing in just 7.5 minutes!
- If your ears detect a sound beyond the frequency level in which you can hear, it will register as a ringing or buzzing in your ears.
- The human ear can hear frequencies in the range of 20 Hertz (Hz) to 20,000Hz.
- The unit used to measure volume — the decibel — was named after Alexander Graham Bell, the creator of the telephone.
- We need sound levels to be nearly 10 decibels higher than background noise in order to properly hear them.
- Sound travels approximately 760 mph. Light travels around 186,000 mph.
- We hear music better on our left side. Rendering a study by the Universities of California and Arizona published in Science Magazine, our right ear responds more to speech from birth, while the left side is more receptive to incessant tones and musical sounds.
The ears are amazing! Just be sure that you are taking care of them by protecting them. Our suggestion is to be sure that the entertainment you hire understands sound quality, the acoustics of a room, and the ability to keep noise at the proper level. At A Ran Music Service, we are musicians and sound technicians as well as DJs, so sound quality is of the utmost importance to us. No other company can beat our sound quality, guaranteed. When you want to hear the music with the best clarity and at the right volume, choose A Ran Music Service.