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Sound: A Very Short Introduction

Popular Science
  • Covers the entire field of sound including key historical breakthroughs in understanding sound and its contemporary uses
  • Considers the basic behaviour of sound waves, and shows how they are exploited in musical instruments
  • Discusses noise reduction and hearing protection

Series: Very Short Introduction Series (VSI) Volume: 451

By: Mike Goldsmith(Author)

140 pages, 23 b/w illustrations, 4 tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Dec 2015 | #222993 | ISBN-13: 9780198708445
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £7.99 $10/€9 approx

About this book

Sound is integral to how we experience the world, in the form of noise as well as music. But what is sound? What is the physical basis of pitch and harmony? And how are sound waves exploited in musical instruments?

In this Very Short Introduction Mike Goldsmith looks at the science of sound and explores sound in different contexts, covering the audible and inaudible, sound underground and underwater, accoustic and electric, and hearing in humans and animals. He also considers the problem of sound out of place – noise and its reduction.


1: Past sounds
2: The nature of sound
3: Sounds in harmony
4: Hearing sound
5: Electronic sound
6: Ultrasound and infrasound
7: Sound underwater and underground
8: Sound out of place

Further reading

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Mike Goldsmith is a freelance acoustician and science writer and the former Head of Acoustics at the National Physical Laboratory. He has worked in the field of acoustics for over 25 years and has written almost 40 papers, articles and reports about many aspects of sound, including speech, sound quality and the history of acoustics. His previous publications include Discord: The Story of Noise (OUP, 2012) as well as over forty children's science books.

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