Seven things you didn’t know about sound

We all, in some form or another, deal with noise pollution every day. And we’ve become quite good at suppressing noise in our day to day lives. But many modern sounds are seriously damaging our health.

Here are seven things you didn’t know about sound and health.

You’re a chord

Although somewhat metaphorical – the rhythms within a human being can be considered a chord. Matter is a vibrating energy, which means that we are actually a collection of vibrations.

We have listening positions

These listening positions help us become more effective in communication. Women, for example, adopt ‘an expansive listening position’, meaning that they tend to be more relaxed, and enjoy the direction of conversation. Men on the other hand, use a reductive position; often listening out for something specific.

There are other positions. Therapists adopt active listening in their practice.

Sound can heal

Sound has a number of health benefits. Music therapy for example is an established form of treatment for things like dementia and autism. There are other forms of treatment, like sound therapy, which uses the tones in sound to improve health.


This is a state where the things you see, and the things you hear are completely unrelated. And it might be bad for you. Think about it on a social level. On a bus for example, you’re surrounded by conversation, but none of that conversation is within anyone else on the bus. It’s singular and inhibits social interaction to a certain extent. And that can’t be a good thing.

The Big Bang made no noise

It is thought that everything in the universe expanded uniformly, meaning that nothing came into contact with anything else. So if there’s no contact, there’s no sound, right?

The name was coined in the 50s, not because of noise, but because the man who coined it thought the theory ridiculous.

Fight noise with noise

Noise cancellation dates back to 1933 where physicist Paul Lueg had the idea of silencing sound waves by creating waves of the opposite orientation. This idea is now used in noise cancelling headphones.

We’re getting louder

One study suggests that the volume of animated conversation between Americans increased by 10 dB during the 90s.

So there you go! Seven things that you probably didn’t know about sound.

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