A Life Spent Wondering
The Science of the Neighbor's Music

The Science of the Neighbor's Music

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Have you had to deal with someone playing loud music? In college this is a popular occurrence, and it's always at the most inconvenient times. Something interesting about this music you may notice is what you hear from your room. Even though a person above you could be blasting tunes, you can hear are the deep sounds, but not the high sounds. What could be causing this?

Music notes travel in sound waves, which in most songs will have a broad range of low frequencies and high frequencies. As these sound waves spread out around the room, they encounter walls; this is where the filtering begins. High frequency waves (such as those produced by a guitar) get absorbed by the walls more than low-frequency waves do.

The higher pitches can only blame themselves for this phenomena because their high frequencies cause the air and walls to vibrate more as they move through space. This in turn makes the waves use up their energy much faster than the low-frequency waves. The result? Only the low sounds reach your room and enter your ears, providing you with not only the inability to fall asleep, but only half of a song to enjoy.

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