Difference between Sound, Noise & Music

What is Sound?

In this article, let us know what is sound. Are all the sounds we hear the same? We close our ears to certain sounds, and we love to hear certain sounds. Why is that so? Does the chirping of the birds sound similar to the sound in a gathering? They are very much different from each other. Then, how are sounds classified? Let us learn what is sound and various types of sound.
Sound is defined as a vibration that propagates as a mechanical wave of pressure and displacement, through a medium that can be any matter.

Sound is the form of energy that is produced when things vibrate. It propagates as an acoustic wave through solid, liquid and gaseous states. The human-audible sound ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The sound that has a frequency above 20kHz is known as ultrasound.
What we hear is the effect produced due to the to-and-fro motion of the particles in any medium. The to-and-fro motion is termed as vibration. Sound moves through a medium by alternately contracting and expanding parts of the medium which it is travelling through. This expansion and compression create a minute pressure difference that we perceive as sound. Hence, it is a mechanical wave of pressure and displacement.

Watch the video and learn more about the characteristics of sound waves

Types of Sound

Sounds are of many types, depending on the pitch, loudness, amplitude, and frequency of the sound wave; but not all of them please our sense of hearing. Both noise and music are forms of sound. Music is what pleases our sense of hearing. It depends on numerous factors and varies from person to person. On the other hand, noise is defined as unwanted disturbing sound that is too loud and disruptive to our sense of hearing. Sometimes, the boundaries that separate musical sound from noise is blurry. What is music to someone, can be noise to somebody else.


How do we create Noise?

Our ideas about objects in the case of both visual and auditory are subjective, as it depends from person to person. A person who listens to bands like Linkin Park or Rage Against the Machine will love the loud music but it is not the same with the one who prefers classical music or soft music. To that person, rock music will feel like noise. In such cases, the definition of Noise is somewhat subjective. Noise is everywhere, even when we are talking to each other in a room. In a classroom, if students talk while the teacher is teaching, they are creating noise. But human voice is not always classified as noise. It is considered noise when it is unwanted or disturbing to those who hear it.


Difference between Sound and Noise




Definition It is defined as the continuous vibrations that travel from one medium to another  It is defined as the unpleasant sound that causes disturbance 
Effects on health  Sound has a positive effect on the health Noise has a negative effect on health like hearing loss, hypertension
Connotation  Sound carries a positive connotation as it is audible, distinctive, relevant and definitive Noise carries a negative connotation as it is irrelevant, incompressible

Watch the video and learn more about the properties of sound

After reading the article, we hope you learnt what sound is and how to classify sound based on the intensity. To know more about sound, its propagation, and its characteristics, download BYJU’S – The Learning App.

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  1. It’s very helpful