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1 What is Sound
Sound is the vibration of matter, as perceived by the sense of hearing.
Physically, sound is vibrational mechanical energy that propagates through
matter as a wave.

Perception of sound
For humans, hearing is limited to frequencies between about 20 Hz and 20000 Hz,
with the upper limit generally decreasing with age. Other species have a different
range of hearing. For example, dogs can perceive vibrations higher than 20 kHz.
As a signal perceived by one of the major senses, sound is used by many species
for detecting danger, navigation, predation, and communication. In Earth's
M atmosphere, water, and soil virtually any physical phenomenon, such as fire, rain,
Y wind, surf, or earthquake, produces (and is characterized by) its unique sounds.
Many species, such as frogs, birds, marine and terrestrial mammals, have also
developed special organs to produce sound. In some species these became
highly evolved to produce song and (in humans) speech. Furthermore, humans
have developed culture and technology (such as music, telephony and radio)

that allows them to generate, record, transmit, and broadcast sounds.

Physics of sound
The mechanical vibrations that can be interpreted as sound can travel through all
forms of matter: gases, liquids, solids, and plasmas. However, sound cannot
propagate through vacuum. The matter that supports the sound is called the

Now Watch Podcast #1: Perception of sound

Now Read Chapter 1 (p13-45) of Sound Engineer
Handbook by Perman, D 2009. 5