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Difference between Sound, Noise & Music

What is Sound?

In this article, let us know what is sound. Is the sound what we hear? Do all the sounds we hear are 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? Perhaps, no, they are very much different from each other. Then how is the sound classified? Let us learn what is sound and various types of sound.
Sound is defined as a vibration that propagates the mechanical wave of pressure and displacement, through a medium that can be any matter. Sound just got complicated!

Sound is the form of energy that is produced when things vibrate. It propagates as an acoustic wave through solid, liquid and gaseous states. An ideal audible sound ranges from 20 Hz and 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. In other words, the sound is the thin line between Noise and Music.

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. Depending on whether we like it or not, the sound is broadly classified into noise and music. Music is what pleases our sense of hearing. It depends on numerous factors and varies from person to person. On the other hand, the definition of noise is hazy, it’s not clear. 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. Due to this, the definition of Noise is confined as many versions of sound which is unwanted, mainly because it cannot be heard clearly due to the mixing of sounds or due to the loud and jarring nature of the sound. One cannot try to increase or decrease noise. It just enters the system as you make sounds. noise is everywhere, even when we are talking to each other in a room. In your classroom, if you talk while your teacher is teaching, you’re creating noise in the system.


In a nutshell, we can say that there is no such line that separates noise from music; the distinguishing line is highly subjective.

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

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

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1 Comment

  1. Pradnya Tulshidas Salvi

    It’s very helpful

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