The Role of Sound in Immersive Environments

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The Nature of Sound

The nature of sound is dynamic given human ear’s ability to detect a considerable range of variations. Indeed, the sensory organ is bound to process sound differently depending on its sources. Tian, Mi, and Sandler (12) attribute such differences to changes in a set of the typical characteristics of sound that include harmony, melody, and tempo among others.

Harmony, Melody, and Tempo

Harmony refers to the effect that arises when two or more notes play concurrently. Melody describes tune resulting from the serial production of notes. On the other hand, tempo refers to the speed of sound regarding beats per second. These variations are inevitable particularly in the context of an immersive environment with multiple sources of noise. The different sounds outside best illustrate the concepts of harmony, melody, and tempo.

Children's Song and Marching Band

Children’s on the playground across the street are singing Mary Had a Little Lamb. The verse-chorus structure of the children’s song creates the melody that defines most songs of that category. The enthusiastic and loud kindergarten children sing in a high-pitched tone characteristic of their developing vocal chords. However, their out-of-sync diction creates irregular intervals in the melody of the repetitive song. A marching band is also approaching from a distance along the sidewalks of the busy road. Although the band plays a variety of instruments, the drum is the most audible. The drummer pummels the device with regular frequency at first. As it moves closer to the school, she noticeably begins striking the drum faster perhaps to create a sense of tension.

Musical Competition of Motor Vehicles

On the adjacent street, motor vehicles are seemingly engaged in a musical competition. The revving engines of trucks, SUVs, saloon cars and motorcycles make different sounds. The engines of the more massive vehicles roar in a baritone. The smaller vehicles produce bass whereas the motorcycle engines create a definitive tenor. Together, the sounds complement each other to form the harmonic hum of the stalled cars in the traffic snarl-up.

Works Cited

Tian, Mi, and Mark B. Sandler. "Towards structural music segmentation across genres: Features, structural hypotheses, and annotation principles." ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology (TIST) 8.2 (2017): 23.

October 05, 2023


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