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Question

The ............ of sound is that characteristic which enables us to distinguish one sound from another having the same pitch and loudness.

A
quality (or timber)
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B
velocity
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C
amplitude
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D
wavelength
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Solution

The correct option is A quality (or timber)
The sound waves given off by different vibrating bodies differ in quality, or timbre. A note from a saxophone, for instance, differs from a note of the same pitch and intensity produced by a violin or a xylophone; similarly vibrating reeds, columns of air, and strings all differ. Quality is dependent on the number and relative intensity of overtones produced by the vibrating body, and these in turn depend upon the nature of the vibrating body.
Sounds may be generally characterized by pitch, loudness, and quality. Sound quality or timbre describes those characteristics of sound which allow the ear to distinguish sounds which have the same pitch and loudness. Timbre is a general term for the distinguishable characteristics of a tone.
Hence,
The quality or timbre of sound is that characteristic which enables us to distinguish one sound from another having the same pitch and loudness.

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