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Name: Chris
Status: educator
Grade: 4-5
Location: MI
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2011-2012

Do high pitched sounds travel farther than low pitched sounds?

Sorry Chris, it is the other way around.

If you are near lightening you hear a crack or bang which is a high frequency sound. But far away from the lightening you hear thunder as a low pitch, rolling, boom. The high frequency sound from the crack you hear close up does not made it very far from the lightening (which is the cause of the noise).

Hope this helps. R. W. "Mr. A." Avakian

Quite the opposite. Low pitched sounds attenuate more slowly with distance. Fog-horns are an evolutionary example of the point. Of course, they are meant to operate in elevated humidity, which adds another loss factor. I will try to tell you more later. On the other hand, it is quite possible for high-pitched sounds to be _more_noticeable_ to a given being in a given noise background.

Jim Swenson


Low pitched sounds travel farther than low pitched sounds.

For example you are stopped, sitting at a traffic light and the car behind you has these deep low toned rhythms that just shake your car. You can hear (and feel) the low tones but you entirely miss the high tones which carries voice and other higher pitched musical components.

Elephants also communicate long distances by sound tones that are below the frequency level of human hearing.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart

Although is flies in the face of what you might expect, low frequency sounds travel further than high frequencies. Here is a test. Listen carefully to an approaching marching band. The first sound you hear is the bass drum and the tubas. The whole picture is more complicated in its details, but the basses win out.

Vince Calder

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