Why is Sound Important?

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Sound is all around us, all the time. Sometimes we ignore it, sometimes we cherish it.
But WHY is sound so important? Woof On The Wall are all about sound, so we thought we’d outline our top 5 reasons why sound is interesting but also vital for our survival!

For many animals including us, sound is a main form of communication. We have developed languages, dialects, expressive tones and other ways to distinguish each other apart. It’s these small details in our evolution that have allowed us to work together to accomplish greater things. Without sound we wouldn’t hear and therefore wouldn’t speak.

Of course animals can’t speak (human talk), but they can still communicate just as effectively. By grunting, crying, screeching etc they can communicate across vast distances, conveying important messages that may be critical to their wellbeing and survival.

There is a wealth of knowledge, noting that for thousands of years music has been used to heal, entertain and convey messages. Historically music was used to tell stories, intimidate enemy armies or entertain the masses at public events. Music relies solely on sound – no sound, no music. *gasps in awe*

Music relies on frequency and pitch, helping us pick apart instruments in an orchestra. Each instrument has individual characteristics, defining the class (brass, string, percussion etc) and the specifics of that instrument (a cello from a violin).

Localisation is our ability to use sound to find the depth of distant objects. We use this skill all the time. Our two ears are finely tuned to pick up on where a sound is coming from. Just close your eyes and listen to what you can hear around you. Instinctively you can localise a sound source to a particular location – now that’s pretty impressive.

We also use sound for finding the distance of objects a long way away by using SONAR. A sonic pulse is emitted and by analysing the time is takes to return to us, gives us an accurate reading of distance. Bats and dolphins do this too, but on a far greater scale called Echolocation.

This may seem a little strange, but sonication is used to disrupt cell walls of bacteria, eventually killing them. But research has shown that sonication can also be used in cultivating tissue cultures to enhance the growth of cells. This is something that is still new to science, but more research could show this use of sound would be beneficial to tackling illness and helping in surgery.

Soundwaves are what carry sound from the source to our ears. Every soundwave has a unique pattern and that’s why (to us) sound is so special and important. When you say “I love you” to someone, that is 100% unique – there and then in that time/place and can never be recreated again.

I love the sound of thunders

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