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Siemens Stiftung

The Ear, Hearing and Hearing Impairment; Teaching unit: From the drum to the eardrum: Resonance body piano

Photo:
Grand piano and piano are good examples of the great significance of resonance bodies with regard to volume and sound.

The frame and the air in the piano vibrate in resonance with the string that has just been struck. Whereas the more modern grand piano "fills" whole concert halls, its historical predecessor, the spinet, is just loud enough for the living-room. Apart from the volume the tone colour of the spinet is also much thinner. This comparison makes the importance of the resonance body very clear - both generally in the production of sound and specifically in music.

Information and ideas:
A practical example from the field of music shows how important the subjects of Physics and Acoustics are for the world of art and communication.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves

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Siemens Stiftung

Frequency differentiation in the uncurled cochlea

Labeled graphic:
High-pitched tones are heard in the front part of the cochlea, low tones are heard in the back part.

As the sense of hearing is able to differentiate locations of the nerves, it is able to recognize the frequencies.

Information and ideas:
This graphic is good for creating a link between the topics of "Sound? and "Hearing?.
Further information regarding this graphic is available as information sheet on the media portal of the Siemens Stiftung.

Relevant for teaching:
Perception of sound
Human hearing ability
Communication and understanding
The human body
Structure and functions of a sensory organ

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Siemens Stiftung

The Ear, Hearing and Hearing Impairment: Speech as highly complex sound signal

Graphic:
Oscillographic curve of the spoken sentence "It's raining cats and dogs".

Speech sounds are fluctuating sound signals where the composition of frequencies changes all the time.
Aperiodical overlap periodical parts. Unlike noises, some of which have similar frequency curves, sound in speech is always the carrier of meaning or of messages sent out by the speaker. Other noises like smacking of lips, hissing, rhythms, basic pitch are typical of the individual (acoustic fingerprint) but not essential for the speech content!

Information and ideas:
Supplementary to worksheets and transparencies.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves
Communication and understanding

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Siemens Stiftung

Tuning fork as "simple" sound

Graphic:
Oscilloscope graph of a tuning fork tone as example of a simple tone with visible upper harmonics in the starting phase of oscillation.

Tuning forks as well produce simple periodic tones but, strictly speaking, they are not really pure as there are several upper harmonics already overlapped.

Information and ideas:
Possible cross reference: Examination of aperiodic speech signals with the help of spectral analysis.
Further information on this graphic is available as information sheet on the media portal of the Siemens Stiftung.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves

Medientypen

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Lernalter

11-18

Schlüsselwörter

Sound Wave (physics)

Sprachen

Englisch

Dieses Material ist Teil einer Sammlung

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Siemens Stiftung

Auditory path - brain parts hearing

Labeled graphic:
"Auditory pathway? describes route taken by auditory nerve impulses in and through the brain. But the hearing process is not over yet.

The auditory pathway is the nerve tract for the sensation of hearing.
People used to think that the senses were more localised. Now we know that apart from the auditory pathway, lots of other parts of the brain are involved, too - parts that are also used by the other senses. It is this that makes it possible for human intelligence to understand abstract concepts beyond the mere recognition of patterns. To be able to understand the complex facts of a complex sentence does, after all, involves more than recognizing the words together.

Information and ideas:
Further information regarding this graphic is available as information sheet on the media portal of the Siemens Stiftung.

Relevant for teaching:
Reception and processing of information
Perception, recognition, action

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Siemens Stiftung

Microphone - transparent

Graphic:
With a moving coil microphone (dynamic microphone), the coil moves in "time" with the sound and produces a tone-frequency current.

In a microphone the mechanical energy of the sound waves is transduced into electric energy. From the mechanical vibrations the microphone produces an electric signal of the same frequency and amplitude.

Information and ideas:
Explanation of the process of sound transduction as it occurs in the inner ear of a human being using a technical device familiar to the students.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Communication and understanding
Vibrations and waves

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Siemens Stiftung

Speech signal - individual word

Chart:
Screenshot of the oscillographic curve of the spoken word "dogs".

Speech sounds are fluctuating sound signals where the composition of frequencies changes all the time.
Aperiodical overlap periodical parts. Unlike noises, some of which have similar frequency curves, sound in speech is always the carrier of meaning or of messages sent out by the speaker. Other noises like smacking of lips, hissing, rhythms, basic pitch are typical of the individual (acoustic fingerprint) but not essential for the speech content!

Information and ideas:
Supplementary to worksheets and transparencies.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves
Communication and understanding

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Siemens Stiftung

The Ear, Hearing and Hearing Impairment: Sound absorption

Graphic:
If sound waves strike an obstacle with a corresponding material structure, they are absorbed, i.e. the entire mechanical energy of the sound is converted into thermal energy.

This effect is enhanced by sound barrier walls made of porous materials. By means of multireflection and dispersion, the passage of sound in such materials is extended considerably. The sound peters out.

Information and ideas:
Reference to students' everyday world: silence after snowfall.
Can be checked with the students in an experiment.

Relevant for teaching:
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves

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Siemens Stiftung

The Ear, Hearing and Hearing Impairment: Differentiated frequency ranges in the cochlea

Labeled graphic:
Position of the receptors for tones of varying frequencies in the spiral canal of the human cochlea.

Frequencies between 16 hertz (hertz = vibrations per second, abbr.: Hz) and 20,000 Hz can be heard by the human ear.
To differentiate these frequencies, the receptors for high tones are at the beginning of the canal, those for the low tones at the apex of the cochlea.

Information and ideas:
The illustration is suitable for explaining or revising fundamentals of Physics like sound, frequency and vibrations.
Usable in a worksheet, for work together on the digital projector, or as an overhead transparency.

Further information regarding this graphic is available on the media portal of the Siemens Stiftung.

Relevant for teaching:
The human body
Structure and function of a sense organ
Perception of sound
Human hearing ability
Communication and understanding

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Siemens Stiftung

Guitar, a classical string instrument

Photo:
Sound is produced by plucking strings and their vibrations are reflected by the resonance of the guitar body.

The vibration of the strings is transmitted to the body (soundboard) of the guitar which in turn vibrates and stimulates the air in the hollow body to vibrate itself. Finally a much bigger volume of air is now vibrating, the sound of the strings is much more clearly audible.

Information and ideas:
Guitar, violin and piano are good examples to illustrate the production of sound through vibrating objects on the one hand and, on the other hand, to show the importance and function of resonance bodies.

Relevant for teaching:
Acoustic phenomena
Sound/acoustics: parameters
Vibrations and waves