What is sound? Just like light, sound is a type of energy. You can hear sound and sometimes you can even feel it. All sounds, from dogs barking to children laughing, are made when matter vibrates, or moves quickly back and forth.
Sound Waves Sound travels in invisible waves. Unlike light waves, sound waves must travel through matter.
Sound can travel through air, water, or solid materials.
Sound Waves Sound waves, such as those made by beating a drum, vibrate the air around them. Then those vibrations move through the air until they reach your ear.
Volume Volume describes how loud or soft a sound is. Examples of loud sounds include a lion’s roar or a jet landing. Examples of low-volume sounds include a bird chirping or a breeze blowing through the trees.
Pitch Pitch describes how low or high a sound is. When matter vibrates quickly, it produces a high sound. When matter vibrates slowly, it produces a low sound. Would you expect the flute to play a sound with a low pitch or a high pitch?
How do you hear sound? The sound waves hit the eardrum and cause it to vibrate. The eardrum causes three tiny bones to vibrate. When the tiny bones vibrate, they cause a liquid inside the ear to vibrate. The liquid carries the sound waves to a nerve that carries a message to the brain. Then you hear the sound.