Sound: Physics and Perception

Visual Arts R6020
Monday 1-3:30pm, Room 320H Prentis Hall
Fall 2015
Professor: Douglas Repetto [douglas at music columbia edu]
TA: Frank Spigner [fas2145 at]

Sound: Physics and Perception

Notes from class: September 14th, 2015

  • Pauline Oliveros: Sonic Meditation XXIII -- Pure Noise

    Sing the purest tone possible, that is, with the fewest partials, in a comfortable register.
    Gradually change the quality of this tone to include more and more partials until it approaches
    or becomes a noise band. Continue as long as possible, going from pure tone to noise band with
    each breath.

    Variation: Reverse the above process.

  • The word "sound."

  • Sound as a phenomenon (broad to narrow)
    • change
    • change over time
    • 1 dimensional change over time
    • 1 dimensional difference over time
    • not monotonic
    • motion
    • things changing position
    • things changing position non-monotonically
    • change that propagates through a medium or mediums
    • a signal, rather than a material
    • a signal received at a distance/action at a distance
    • pressure
    • non monotonic change in pressure in a medium
    • change in pressure received at a distance
    • vibration
    • vibration received at a distance
    • can non-living things "perceive" sound?
    • change in pressure perceived by a creature
    • no ears yet!
    • change in pressure received by an eardrum or other "hearing organ"
    • a physiological signal
    • a psychological signal