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Soundless Music? 377

Posted by michael
from the imitating-paul-simon dept.
Julez writes "Hi, Found this on icLiverpool's site, thought you might find this interesting.... A bizarre experiment in soundless music has revealed how people's emotions are affected by noises they cannot hear..."
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Soundless Music?

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  • hand? (Score:4, Funny)

    by D4Vr4nt (615027) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:38AM (#5332487) Homepage
    ..Like the sound of one hand clapping?
    • Re:hand? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I know I cry out in agony every time a tree falls in the woods, and I'm not there.

      It's sympathetic pains of the dog in me feeling for the bark that is torn away.

      That's got to be it.

    • The koan is also phrased as "You can make the sound of two hands clapping. Now what is the sound of one hand?"
      Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769)

      One can imagine that the "sound of one hand" question is answerable, while the "sound of one hand" query is nonsense. If one can be enlightened by pondering nonsense, so be it.
      • Re:hand? (Score:3, Insightful)

        Imagine the following:

        A: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
        B: Thinks about two hands clapping
        B: Thinks about one hand ...
        B: Tries to answer the question by thinking about it as he usually does
        B: ...recognizes, how his thoughts speed along fixed rails like a train
        B: is suddenly able to leave the rails and becomes enlightened.
    • Anyone else think we'll see stores seriously investing in bose speakers now? (to play these sounds that manipulate how you feel.) Customers will just think they /really/ like that store!
  • by thoolie (442789) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:40AM (#5332497) Homepage
    >>emotions are affected by noises they cannot hear

    I can say that i really understand this one. When my fionce' is REALLY, REALLY pissed, and i KNOW she should be saying something, but instead is just looking at me like i killed Jesus.....

    That noise, the one that she is making in her head, the one i can't hear (and god, thank you), really affects my emotions.....not to mention my near term sex life! ;-)
  • by andyring (100627) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:41AM (#5332503) Homepage
    Well, if our emotions are affected by what we cannot hear, maybe it's a blessing in disguise that my new car stereo got ripped off on Sunday (from the church parking lot during service, nonetheless, bastards.....)
  • by Henry V .009 (518000) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:41AM (#5332505) Journal
    The effects of powerful but inaudible vibrations on the human body and nervous system...

    Hell, I bet you could even make their ears bleed if you juice it up enough.
    • I agree, the concept of inaudible is important here because while individuals may not be able to ackowldge hearing certain souds, that does not mean that it does not have an effect.

      I can not see if ultraviolet, but it has an effect on my body.
  • .. sounds we block out ourselves?

    It would go a long way to explaining why talking to my mother still pains me, even after I drone her out..
  • by citking (551907) <jay@@@citking...net> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:42AM (#5332513) Homepage
    Those feeling uncomfortable when the concert began, found their mood turning to anger.

    Some physical affects were also experienced, including tingling in the back of the neck and a strange feeling in the stomach.

    Is it just me, or do you get the feeling that the pre-concert banquet might've been contaminated with something?

  • I nominate them for an ig-nobel prize [improb.com]
    • You sound rather dismissive. Why would this be fundamentally different than the effects of ultrasound? That can be used to achieve diagnostic imaging and therapeutic effects on soft tissues.

      Why would other physical effects for infrasound be so unbelievable/preposterous/trivial?

      Considering their mention of a possible rational cause for "haunted" emotional states, I'd say that they're working from a good perspective; and the potential could be very lucrative, scientifically speaking, but potentially nasty, commercially--imagine a little joy-inducing infrasonic emitter either in honeymoon suites at a major hotel chain ("Oh, BABY!!! Best sex EVER!!!"), or on shopping carts, set to go off when a customer pauses in a given aisle in the supermarket, "driving up sales" (indeed!). You might just go cuckoo for Cocao Puffs

      G.

      Playing Dungeons and Dragons games on the computer sort of compounds the dorkiness, compressing it, and shaping it into a monument that gets beaten up at lunch. --Tycho, www.penny-arcade.com
  • by Sagarian (519668) <smillerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:42AM (#5332517)
    The Sound of Silence, indeed.
  • Standing waves.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jasno (124830) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:43AM (#5332521) Journal
    I wonder if the individual experiences were determined by the location in which the listener sat. It would seem that standing waves could form, with some people getting blasted, while others feel nothing.

    Not a very technical article, but interesting nonetheless.

    Practice makes rejects
    • Parallel walls? (Score:2, Informative)

      by pompomtom (90200)
      Standing waves are created by parallel reflecting surfaces.

      Gakk... site is now /.ed, and I didn't note the site of the experiment, but I can't imagine you'd test this in a place likely to be effected by standing waves.
      • Re:Parallel walls? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Forgotten (225254) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:18AM (#5332932)
        True, but there's still always an interaction between the sound source and the environment. That applies both to the infrasound and the piano piece. The sound bounces around off walls and furniture and people, interferes with itself, beats, gets absorbed, gets concentrated, gets funky...the point being that even in a standard recital, no two people are exposed to the same aural experience because they're necessarily sitting in different places. It starts to get a bit Heisenbergian the more you think about it. And it's even more mixed-up with multiple sound sources.

        This is why a live concert will always have value, no matter the fidelity of recording and reproduction. Even if you really could reproduce the sound at a location (which you can't), it'd just be the sweet spot chosen by the sound engineer.

        No substitute for being there.
    • Re:Standing waves.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by racermd (314140) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:37AM (#5332786)
      As the other reply mentions, you'll need parallel walls for standing waves to form. In addition, the wavelength is sufficiently large enough that everyone would have *some* experience.

      As a practical experiment, you can try to get the same results by using a fairly large, consumer-available subwoofer in a small room. Mute any "main" speakers and play some sine-wave sweeps. No matter where you go in the room, you'll be able to hear the sound. However, due to the parallel walls, you're going to experience some standing waves in the room. This is most observable when you place the subwoofer near one corner of the room and you stand in the opposite corner.

      It's interesting to note that when you place a loudspeaker closer to walls the low-frequency response seems to be more pronounced at the expense of spatial diffusion or "openness" in the higher frequencies (the sound seems to come from a point on the speaker rather than being more diffused around the speaker). That's why you should experiment with the placement of your own speakers so that you get the right sound from your system.

      And isn't the military using something similar to this to achieve similar results? IIRC, the US military is experimenting with ultrasonic waves to induce pain and nausia for the purposes of non-lethal immobilization of an opponent. Maybe it was some radio frequencies. I don't exactly remember, and it's way too past my bedtime to go looking. Pretty cool all the way around, though.
      • Re:Better yet (Score:3, Insightful)

        by symbolic (11752)

        Go into another room. You'd be amazed at the effect that a little bit of stray bass can have on someone. For people that live in close quarters (condos, townhomes, and apartments), this effect is all too common - neighbors might think they're being very kind by keeping the volume low (which they are), but they don't realize that lower frequencies travel further, and are not absorbed by surrounding surfaces at the same rate as higher frequencies. Because of this, even bass at seemingly low levels can be heard clearly enough by people in close proximity to affect concentration, sleep, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:46AM (#5332539)
    Yeah - this probably explains why my girlfriend's mood changes the same way whether I fart silently or not...
  • Sixth Column (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kafir (215091) <qaffir@hotmail.com> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:46AM (#5332542)
    In Robert Heinlein's Sixth Column the good guys (defending America against Pan-Asian invaders) use "subsonics" to make people uneasy. That's what this study says "infrasound" (same thing, different name) would do: make people who were already nervous more nervous, without their knowing why.
    I assumed this was already well known science; the other possibility is that Heinlein was uncannily prescient (even for him.)
    Anyone have more background on this?
    • Re:Sixth Column (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DAQ42 (210845) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:03AM (#5332876)
      Actually, there is a note called the "brown" note. It's a tone that causes humans to lose bowel control (I don't know if this has already been mentioned, I read comments at a level 3 or above rating. Yeah, I'm lazy, fuck you trolls *thwack*). There are also tones that induce vomiting, nasal bleeds, and lung failure, heart failure, and epiliptic seizures in non-eplilectis subjects. It has to do with the tonal resonance on the cells and other such meat space stuff. There are a lot of things that cause sympathetic vibrations in matter. Most people are not aware of this, but if you live in a large city, the feeling you get when you are out away from civilization (like I mean, out there, away from power lines a must), is the lack of the low tonal B vibration caused by the 60 (or 50, or 47, or 78, depending on your country of origin) in the air. Electricity flowing through power lines in power grids causes a tonal vibration that can actually be measured by human senses. You can actually feel the difference.
      As an anecdotal reference, I was travelling cross counrty (USA), and was out in the desert (no power lines within several score miles). It was peaceful. It was quiet. My senses felt jazzed and alive, mainly because they weren't constantly being bombarded by that 60 cycle hum of electrics around me.
      Anyway.
      So natch.
      • Re:Sixth Column (Score:3, Informative)

        by Walt Dismal (534799)
        I can confirm this. There was some infamous demo at a conference where someone showed that the resonant frequency of the average anal sphincter muscle was around 37 Hertz. At a high enough acoustic output level, you could cause involuntary resonance of that muscle. So, when I worked for Leslie Speakers in the late 60's, we had a lab room with excellent bass speakers that could put out serious acoustic energy in the 20 to 50 Hertz range. I set up an HP audio oscillator driving something like a 250 watt RMS power amp driving a massive bass speaker in an enclosure, then parked my butt in front of the speaker and with the amp turned up, swept through frequencies. I could feel various internal organs, though very acoustically damped by their internal surroundings, kind of resonantly responding in certain ranges. My guts felt really strange at some frequencies and I could feel unpleasant sensations in my kidneys, and definitely the small intestine. But getting to the point, I found you can get the sphincter to resonate as claimed. I did not carry things too far, as I was afraid of damaging myself internally. By the way, you will NOT get this kind of acoustic wattage out of a home stereo and home speakers. Oh, and you'll never see McGuyver doing this..
  • No Control Group? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fly (18255) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:48AM (#5332549) Homepage
    It would be an interesting experiment if they had a control group. The end of the story mentions some things they want to try, but if there was any type of control group, I didn't see it mentioned in the story.
    • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:26AM (#5332738)
      This is not news and its bad science. Its been VERY well documented for over 1000 years that infrasound stirs emotions. Cathedrals have long had infrasonic and ultrasonic pipes in the organs. Nazi's used to play infrasonics at rallys to insight violent emotions.

      dont beleive me? just do a google search for "cathedral infrasonic organ". Or check out this [borderlands.com] page which mentions the use by nazi's

      the fact that the articel mentions none of this prior work sugests this is crap science.

      • by jesser (77961) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:16AM (#5332925) Homepage Journal
        Or check out this [borderlands.com] page which mentions the use by nazi's

        That sounds scary, but do you know why infrasound weapons haven't been used in actual battle?

        Infrasound weapons seem like they'd be good terrorist weapons, because you can't tell whether you've been attacked by one or not. Once the media started reporting that terrorists are using infrasound weapons, any momentary nausea could cause people to get scared and possibly more nauseous.
      • by Kaz Riprock (590115) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @07:27AM (#5333766)
        the fact that the articel mentions none of this prior work sugests this is crap science.

        No, the fact that a highly summarized article on a news website doesn't mention prior work suggests it's crap reporting. If you read any scientific papers from these researchers and there's no prior recognition or control groups mentioned...THEN it's crap science. What you've done is like reading the Science News article on the human genome mapping project and crying foul.

        (and they did mention prior work in church organs anyways, as I quote:

        Infrasound has been used by organists in churches and cathedrals for at least 250 years to create grand, high-octane music.

        Some scientists also claim it is the cause of the uneasy feelings and changes of emotion experienced in places believed to be haunted.
        )

  • Hmmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by meme_police (645420)
    ...when I feel the walls shake to the beat of some faraway b-boy with boom boom speakers filling up the back seat of their lame import I feel nothing but anger.
  • by FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:49AM (#5332557)
    Some scientists also claim it is the cause of the uneasy feelings and changes of emotion experienced in places believed to be haunted.

    Mr O'Keefe added: "When places affect people physically and they aren't able to explain it, they often attribute their feelings to being near a ghost."

    And I would've gotten away with it, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!

  • Sound (Score:2, Funny)

    by jmulvey (233344)
    "They showed the audience's emotions intensified as the inaudible sound vibrations, too low for the human ear to perceive, were blasted out during a 50-minute piano recital... Some physical affects were also experienced, including tingling in the back of the neck and a strange feeling in the stomach."

    Inanimate objects were also strangely affected by jumping off countertops, showing their incredible, pitiful anguish for the music's deep feelings. Buildings showed their emotion by creating cracks in their foundations, no doubt in sympathy for the bifircated feelings expressed in song.

  • An arbitrary experiment in contentless websites has revealed how people's emotions are unaffected by websites they cannot see...

    Wait for it.... ah... slashdotted.
    • slashdotted, 56k modem, what's the differece? takes about the same time to load.

      Yeah. There's absolutely NOTHING available. Not even 1-way cable. Anybody got an (affordale) apartment for rent?
  • John Cage (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FosterSJC (466265) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:50AM (#5332568)
    This is reminiscent of some of John Cage's avante-garde work. Here is the AMG write-up [allmusic.com].
    While his creations did not use inaudible sound explicitly, he is famous for his 4'33", a piece of this length completely silent. I have a friend who saw it "performed" live, and he was apparently quite moved. The pianist sits down at the piano, lifts the key-gaurd, and prepares to play. The performer remains attentive at the keys for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, then finishes and closes the key-guard.
    My friend said he was struck by how open he became to the sounds around him, to the concertgoers. These were things he'd never heard before. And there was an order to it, that was somehow created from all of the audience members intensely focused on eachother.
    • Cage's estate actually won a lawsuit [about.com] over the copyright on this work. Apparently, the estate now has a legal precedent on owning all musical works composed entirely of rests.


      Sonny Bono is the personification of counter-productive copyright law.
      • by kfg (145172)
        They did not win a lawsuit. The parties reached agreement without litigation, both sides, in fact ( as is often the case in such matters), claiming victory.

        If Mr. Bat had not explicitly given partial author's credit to Mr. Cage on the album the whole thing would likely never have come up in the first place.

        What seems to have ticked off Cage's heirs is the implication that Mr. Bat and Mr. Cage had collaborated on the piece and was thus trading on his reputation without authority.

        *Not* that he had simply recorded a silent piece.

        KFG
    • by cornjchob (514035) <thisiswherejunkgoes@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:14AM (#5332690)
      Well, my favorite work of Johnny Cage was the uppercut when you were on the bridge as a finishing move--bam! A punch to the crotch, and you were lying on your back in 3 foot tall spikes. Now that's a sound you hear over and over.
  • Scientists have begun analysing the responses of 250 people who took part in the study into the effects of infrasound, carried out at Liverpool's Metropolitan Cathedral last September. They showed the audience's emotions intensified as the inaudible sound vibrations, too low for the human ear to perceive, were blasted out during a 50-minute piano recital.


    This sounds an awful lot like depression, the intensified emotions that is. I know this is a little early to tell, but could these experiments help us understand depression a bit more?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:51AM (#5332574)
    And right in the middle of a Clarinet solo.... "Ppbpbpbppbpbt! ppt. pbbbpbt!" Piles and piles.... Everywhere....
  • by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:51AM (#5332575)
    changes your mood poll.

    1) The Silent Fart
    2) The Wife/Girlfirend
    3) That sound you *know* Uncle Sam makes as he dips into your pocket
    4) The sound of your carrer flushing down the bowl post bubble.
    5) The sound of my Karma flushing down the bowl after this post.
    6)Cowbow Neal's Silent Farts
  • by po_boy (69692) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:53AM (#5332583) Homepage
    I wonder if they had to pay royalties to those who have copyrighted silence [slashdot.org].
    • No, because the two works share absolutely no similarity. In the case of the John Cage piece the pianist makes *no* noise for four minutes and thirtythree seconds, focusing the attention of the audience on the noises they themselves are making. ( And as an aside the piece isn't properly performed unless the pianist enters the hall, sits, opens the keyboard, THEN remains silent, and finishes the piece by closing the keyboard and taking a bow. That is how it is explicitly written)

      In *this* case a piano is playing with a really low bass note underneath. Even deleting the piano a note is still being played, whether you can hear it or not.

      KFG
  • Ack! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:53AM (#5332585)
    Those are the same responses one would expect with any audience coming to attend an experimental performance. Some would slowly get angry as they began to feel that their time had been wasted. Some would feel amused at watching the rest of the audience. Some would feel conspiritorial as they thought they realized the intent of what was happening - most Music 101 courses have a lecture mentioning experiments where a minute of silence is considered a work of art, where the "music" is the audiences reaction itself.

    Don't expect any radical advancements into generalized knowledge about human emotional reaction based on this evidence.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by MoThugz (560556) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:54AM (#5332586) Homepage
    quite some time now. How many times have you actually read an OS-specific article and feel a strong urge to either back up comments promoting the stability or other "good" criteria of your OS of choice or lambast arguments mentioned by supporters of other OSs?

    Almost every time? Heh, poor mortals... I bet you never view the source for the particular article now, didn't you? How else can you miss the <EMBED FILE="/sounds/brainwash/BSD_is_dead.wav" TYPE="sound/propaganda-OS_activism">.

    Don't bother checking the pages now... I'm sure the Slashdot gods have now detected my blasphemous post and deleted such references accordingly.
  • Those feeling uncomfortable when the concert began, found their mood turning to anger.
    [...]
    During the concert, guests were asked to fill in questionnaires

    I know I tend to get a lil' angry when I'm asked to fill in questionnaires while I'm trying to enjoy a concert...
    ;- )
  • by zazas_mmmm (585262) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:54AM (#5332594)
    This is nothing new to listeners of avante garde noise rock.

    John Zorn experimented with high pitched frequencies outside of listeners' auditory range on Krystallnacht [amazon.com]. Track 2 has high pitched frequencies that coexist with the sound of breaking glass that cause feelings of anger, pain and nausea. The liner notes discourage repeated listening (I kid you not).

    The Flaming Lips Did this on Zaireeka [amazon.com], their 4-CD (played simultaneously) experiment--wherein they used frequencies lower than the normal auditory range to create feelings of disorientation (funny since the Flaming Lips most pop-oriented songs can do this too).

    I'm sure more examples can be found within the annals of experimental noise rock.
    • by wass (72082) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:34AM (#5332984)
      The Beatles did this too at the very end of the Sgt. Pepper's album. The second-to-last thing you hear (or don't hear) is a very high audio frequency, lasting a few seconds, which probably most audio equipment of the time couldn't reproduce well, but John Lennon said it was put there just to annoy your dog.

      Even cooler is the last about 4 seconds of the album, which is an endless loop (when played on vinyl), where the needle stays in the same circular track ad infinitum. On CD, they play the loop a few times before ending the track.

      While on the subject of cool vinyl tricks, supposedly (I haven't seen it), Monty Python had a comedy record with two intertwined spiral tracks. So when you played the same side, sometimes you'd get one track, and sometimes the other. Must have totally tripped out some folks.

    • I have MP3s of these, and haven't noticed a thing. ;-)
  • by kfg (145172) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:55AM (#5332597)
    How people are effected by the sound of tectonic plates moving, or how people are effected by the sound made by giant crickets from Mars ( which might well be good to know come the invasion)

    Are you ready to Ruuuuuuuuummmmmmmble?

    It's certainly no secret that people are effected by really, really low bass notes. As the article itself notes church organs have been using this trick to spice up the "Glory Hallelujahs" for centuries.

    The part that's interesting is that seems to be a mood *enhancer*, rather producing any specific effect, so if the power of the Lord is already moving you that organ is going to move you more.

    Let's hear it for the Church and gut level empiricism.

    Don't install one of these "sub-sub-woofers" if you have pissy neighbors though. It reminds of the Bill Cosby joke about cocaine:

    "It enhances my personality"

    "Yeah, but what if you're an asshole?"

    KFG
  • by akiy (56302)
    John Cage had this already in his piece 4'33"...
  • by scubacuda (411898) <scubacuda@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:01AM (#5332623)
    this will probably get trolled down...

    But oddly, this (for whatever friggin' reason) reminded me of a deaf couple I once saw fighting. The guy got really angry and closed his eyes. The lady was SO FURIOUS that he wasn't "listening" to her that she tried to PRY the other guy's eyes open with her fingers! What I wouldn't have given to know what they were talking about!

    (Am I a bastard for laughing HARDER b/c I knew that they couldn't hear me?)

    • You are a bastard, naturally, but I still appreciate the anecdote. Deaf culture is pretty interesting. Hearing folk might do the same thing if one partner put their hands over their ears and went "nyah nyah nyah not listening". ;)

      Lately I've been watching Sue Thomas, F.B. Eye. That's gotta be the only thing that could have ever got me to watch PAX TV...but it totally kicks ass, taking me off guard with some new understated observation on Deaf life every week. The people in the article need to do some experiments looking at the effects of infrasound on deaf people's emotional state now.
  • Darwinian? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jun270 (622494)
    Perhaps this response is similar to the primitive "fight or flight" response. Natural sources of these "infrasounds" include "earthquakes, severe weather, volcanic activity, geomagnetic activity, ocean waves, avalanches, turbulence aloft, and meteors and by some man-made sources such as aircraft and explosions" according to this site: http://www.etl.noaa.gov/et1/infrasound/
  • by cosyne (324176) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:05AM (#5332641) Homepage
    "True story: 7 Hz is the resonant frequency of a chicken's skull cavity. This was determined empirically in Australia, where a new factory generating 7-Hz tones was located too close to a chicken ranch: When the factory started up, all the chickens died.

    From Borland's Turbo C Reference Guide..."

    The internet says it's true, and that's good enough for me.
    • It's not just for chickens any more - 7 Hz has been urban legendised in a lot of different forms [7hz.org]. 7 is a number that gets a lot of that, of course. It would be an interesting coincidence if the same resonance were lethal to both chickens and studio musicians.

      TAFKAC has it as false [tafkac.org], but without a full explanation. Not that it really needs one.

      But hey, don't take my word for it - you can pretty easily create a 7 Hz pattern just by tapping your finger on something thumpy. If this is your last post, we'll know it really is dangerous to people. If instead you post from KFC, well, good for you. Personally I'm vegetarian so I'll hold back on risking any poultricide...just in case.

  • This just proves my belief that whenever you think
    you need to be within certain limits, you need to
    design about an order of magnitude beyond them.
    So is there some music recording equipment that
    goes from tens of millihertz to a megahertz?
    How difficult would it be to make one?
  • by w3svc_animal (629519) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:08AM (#5332660)
    .
  • old idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    by glsunder (241984)
    A decade ago, when I was into speaker design as a hobbiest, I remember reading about subsonic sounds having an effect on people in an audio book or journal. IIRC, they talked about at least one experiment. Basically, it found that people felt uneasy when exposed to low frequency sound and suggested that some old drafty castle halls and rooms that had a reputation for being haunted could designs that caused inaudible low frequency standing waves. My memory's a bit hazy (hey, it's been 10 years), but I'm pretty sure that some researches found a couple of places where that was the case.

  • Anyone remember that urban legend about chickens heads exploding because of a near by factory that generated an inaudible 7khz tone which resonated perfectly on a chicken's skull?

    Wonder if that's what these scientists originally set out to debunk :)
  • by IanBevan (213109)

    emotions are affected by noises they cannot hear...

    My emotions are affected by cars and beowolf clusters I cannot own.
  • by Goldenhawk (242867) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:17AM (#5332705) Homepage
    Think of all those high-church folks who maintain that "rock is a tool of the devil."

    Okay, hang in there, and don't mod me down YET...

    My father for years has preferred a high-church style worship service, where the newer, "pop" elements such as drums and bass guitar are shunned. He has maintained that certain types of music themselves are capable of creating a purely emotional response, independent of the actual spiritual qualities of the music. For this reason, he feels it's dangerous to emphasize rock-style worship services, because there might be confusion or conflict between the emotional push of the music and the individual's ability to freely approach his God on his own terms, without someone else kicking at his subconcious.

    The spiritual aspects of this aside, I believe this article lends some credence to that viewpoint.

    (I rather LIKE the bass and drums, and I personally feel that I often NEED a kick in the rear, so to speak, to get me paying attention to the spiritual. So it's okay with me to use infrasound to get my attention...)
  • I strongly suspect that those stupid Windows startup jingles have an infrasound component. Drives me NUTS every time I hear it...
    That would also explain why they were so expensive.
  • Binaural beats? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by majestynine (605494) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:23AM (#5332726)
    Binaural beats (stfw for loads of info [google.com]) work by causing the brain to 'hear' the resulting frequency which would normally be outside of the human range of hearing (ie 4hz).

    This is done by playing two different frequencies into the different ears (ie 300 hz into one ear, 304 into the other: your brain then entrains to a 4hz frequency)

    Does anyone have any idea if this device could remove the need for the two frequencies by simply generating the Such things would be useful for brain washing, because if a speaker can put his audience into an alpha state (2/3hz), then they are more susceptible to impressions (thats why many religions use repeditive beating drums in their rituals etc)

  • by Stinson (564450) <cancerouspete@co x . n et> on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:24AM (#5332734) Homepage Journal
    I found the project group's website at spacedog.biz, the webpage being specfically http://www.spacedog.biz/infrasonic.htm [spacedog.biz]
  • The government has been using this for years in their orbital mind control lasers.

    fnord
  • More than 30 years ago, I read a kids' mystery book centered on The Three Investigators (roughly equivalent to Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys but a bit smarter) where infrasound was used in a supposedly haunted house.

  • I'm surprised no one has brought this up yet.

    Macross was heavily into the theory of people being controlled by music.

    It wasn't too hard to figure what they did in that show, actually was possible; now, we can pretty much prove it.
  • and forget about anger, Creed would almost be worth listening to. Imagine music (or should that be "music") that can simultaneously angry and content.
  • "During the concert, guests were asked to fill in questionnaires composed by psychologists about how they feel at different moments."

    They were trying to enjoy a concert, and people kept pestering them to fill out surveys!
  • how to build? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by redfood (471234)
    Anyone have instructions on how to build an ultrasound generator? (Besides making a huge pipe organ.)

  • I have that damn Britney Spears song running through my head again. I wonder how that hap...

    oh.

  • ...like the smell of a barking spider.

    "Out of the cave, right now, you filthy mouth breathing neolithic bastard!"
  • by djupedal (584558) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @02:49AM (#5333041)
    We used to have a borrowed sine wave generator to play with when we were kids. It initially seemed to be doing something, but as we couldn't hear anything, we decided to find out if it was actually working. We brought in the normally lazy cat, and cranked up the generator...the cat exited at high speed. I'm sure there were emotions related to that experiment, but beyond our reaction of laughter, the cat was not in any mood to provide details.
  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @03:25AM (#5333159) Homepage
    Back in the 1980s, the Center for Computer Music and Acoustics at Stanford was playing around with infrasonics. I had a horse at a barn about a quarter mile away, and the horses got very upset when CCRMA pumped low frequency audio into the ground. Horses get some contact audio via their legs, and can sense footsteps. To them, this sounded like some big creature they couldn't see. I complained to the head of CCRMA, and they stopped doing outdoor tests.
  • Ben Hur (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmichaelg (148257) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @10:07AM (#5334343) Journal
    My father was a teenager in Los Angeles during the 20's. Years ago, he told me that the director of Ben Hur (I think the 1925 version) wanted a scene of a crowd stampeding. Since the crowd was comprised of extras who didn't have a lot of acting experience, the director induced panic by playing a note on a 20 foot long organ pipe. The note was infrasonic and generated a level of unease that the extras couldn't identify but when instructed to run, they willing complied.
  • Earthquake? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stavr0 (35032) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @12:29PM (#5335469) Homepage Journal
    This feeling of unease might just be the result of evolution and conditioning, where subsonics emitted from the ground are a prelude to earthquakes.

    Subsonic == Earthquake
    Earthquake == Bad
    therefore
    Subsonic == Bad

  • No Surprise (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Microsift (223381) on Wednesday February 19, 2003 @01:09PM (#5335830)
    Dogs' hearing extends to much higher frequencies than humans. Dogs cannot hear low frequency sounds that humans can hear. This is why thunderstorms freak out dogs, they can't hear the thunder, but they can feel it.

    Responding to another thread, yes, organs and synthesizers do create sound that is outside the range of human hearing, but it's not done as part of some mind-control experiment, it affects the quality of the sound that you can hear(somehting to do with harmonics). Anyway that's what I recall from Music Theory...

You are in the hall of the mountain king.

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