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water; but that flatness of sound is joined with a harshness of sound; which no doubt is caused by the inequality of the sound which cometh from the part of the saucer under the water, and from the part above. But when the saucer is wholly under the water, the sound becometh more clear, but far more low, and as if the sound came from afar off.
158. A soft body dampeth the sound much more than a hard; as if a bell hath cloth or silk wrapped about it, it deadeth the sound more than if it were wood. And therefore in clericals the keys are lined: and in colleges they used to line the tablemen.
159. Trial was made in a recorder after these several manners. The bottom of it was set against the palm of the hand; stopped with wax round about; set against a damask cushion; thrust into sand; into ashes; into water, half an inch under the water; close to the bottom of a silver bason; | and still the tone remained: but the bottom of it was set against a woollen carpet; a lining of plush; a lock of wool, though loosely put in; against snow; and the sound of it was quite deaded, and but breath.
160. Iron hot produceth not so full a sound as when it is cold; for while it is hot, it appeareth to be more soft and less resounding. So likewise warm water, when it falleth, make not so full a sound as cold; and I conceive it is softer, and nearer the nature of oil; for it is more slippery, as may be perceived in that it scoureth better.
161. Let there be a recorder made with two fipples, at each end one; the trunk of it of the length of two recorders, and the holes answerable towards each end'; and let two play the same lesson upon it at an unison; and let it be noted whether the sound be confounded, or amplified, or dulled. So likewise let a cross be made of two trunks, throughout, hollow; and let two speak, or sing, the one long-ways, the other traverse: and let two hear at the opposite ends; and note whether the sound be confounded, amplified, or dulled. Which two instances will also give light to the mixture of sounds, whereof we shall speak hereafter.
162. A bellows blown in at the hole of a drum, and the drum then strucken, maketh the sound a little flatter, but no other apparent alteration. The cause is manifest; partly for that it hindereth the issue of the sound; and partly for that it maketh the air, being blown together, less movable.
hand-bell harder or softer, &c.
And the strength of
this percussion consisteth as much or more in the hardness of the body percussed, as in the force of the body percussing for if you strike against a cloth, it will give a less sound; if against wood, a greater; if against metal, yet a greater; and in metals, if you strike against gold, which is the more pliant, it giveth the flatter sound; if against silver or brass, the more ringing sound. As for air, where it is strongly pent, it matcheth a hard body. And therefore we see in discharging of a piece, what a great noise it maketh. We see also, that the charge with bullet, or with paper wet and hard stopped, or with powder alone rammed in hard, maketh no great difference in the loudness of the report.
165. The sharpness or quickness of the percussion, is a great cause of the loudness, as well as the strength; as in a whip or wand, if you strike the air with it; the sharper and quicker you strike it, the louder sound it giveth. And in playing upon the lute or virginals, the quick stroke or touch is a great life to the sound. The cause is, for that the quick striking cutteth the air speedily; whereas the soft striking doth rather beat than cut. Experiments in consort touching the communication of sounds.
The communication of sounds, as in bellies of lutes, empty vessels, &c. hath been touched obiter in the majoration of sounds; but it is fit also to make a title of it apart.
166. The experiment for greatest demonstration of communication of sounds, is the chiming of bells; where if you strike with a hammer upon the upper part, and then upon the midst, and then upon the lower, you shall find the sound to be more treble and more base, according unto the concave on the inside, though the percussion be only on the outside.
167. When the sound is created between the blast of the mouth and the air of the pipe, it hath nevertheless some communication with the matter of the sides of the pipe, and the spirits in them contained; for in a pipe, or trumpet, of wood, and brass, the sound will be diverse; so if the pipe be covered with cloth or silk, it will give a diverse sound from that it would do of itself; so if the pipe be a little wet on the inside, it will make a differing sound from the same pipe dry.
168. That sound made within water doth communicate better with a hard body through water, Experiments in consort touching the loudness or soft-than made in air it doth with air, vide Experimenness of sounds, and their carriage at longer or shorter distance.
163. The loudness and softness of sounds is a thing distinct from the magnitude and exility of sounds; for a base string, though softly strucken, giveth the greater sound; but a treble string, if hard strucken, will be heard much farther off. And the cause is, for that the base string striketh more air, and the treble less air, but with a sharper percussion. 164. It is therefore the strength of the percussion, that is a principal cause of the loudness or softness of sounds; as in knocking harder or softer; winding of a horn stronger or weaker; ringing of a
Experiments in consort touching equality and inequality of sounds.
We have spoken before, in the inquisition touching music, of musical sounds, whereunto there may be a concord or discord in two parts; which sounds we call tones: and likewise of immusical sounds; and have given the cause, that the tone proceedeth of equality, and the other of inequality. have also expressed there, what are the equal bodies that give tones, and what are the unequal that give none. But now we shall speak of such inequality
of sounds, as proceedeth not from the nature of the bodies themselves, but is accidental; either from the roughness or obliquity of the passage, or from the doubling of the percutient, or from the trepidation of the motion.
169. A bell, if it have a rift in it, whereby the sound hath not a clear passage, giveth a hoarse and jarring sound; so the voice of man, when by cold taken the weasand groweth rugged, and, as we call it, furred, becometh hoarse. And in these two instances the sounds are ingrate, because they are merely unequal: but if they be unequal in equality, then the sound is grateful, but purling.
170. All instruments that have either returns, as trumpets; or flexions, as cornets; or are drawn up, and put from, as sackbuts; have a purling sound: but the recorder, or flute, that have none of these inequalities, give a clear sound. Nevertheless, the recorder itself, or pipe, moistened a little in the inside, soundeth more solemnly, and with a little purling or hissing. Again, a wreathed string, such as are in the base strings of bandoras, giveth also a purling sound.
171. But a lute-string, if it be merely unequal in its parts, giveth a harsh and untunable sound; which strings we call false, being bigger in one place than in other; and therefore wire strings are never false. We see also that when we try a false lute-string, we use to extend it hard between the fingers, and to fillip it; and if it giveth a double species, it is true; but if it giveth a treble, or more, it is false.
172. Waters, in the noise they make as they run, represent to the ear a trembling noise; and in regals, where they have a pipe they call the nightingale pipe, which containeth water, the sound hath a continual trembling and children have also little things they call cocks, which have water in them; and when they blow or whistle in them, they yield a trembling noise: which trembling of water hath an affinity with the letter L. All which inequalities of trepidation are rather pleasant than otherwise.
173. All base notes, or very treble notes, give an asper sound; for that the base striketh more air, than it can well strike equally: and the treble cutteth the air so sharp, as it returneth too swift to make the sound equal: and therefore a mean or tenor is the sweetest part.
174. We know nothing that can at pleasure make a musical or immusical sound by voluntary motion, but the voice of man and birds. The cause is, no doubt, in the weasand or wind-pipe, which we call aspera arteria, which being well extended, gathereth equality; as a bladder that is wrinkled, if it be extended, becometh smooth. The extension is always more in tones than in speech therefore the inward voice or whisper can never give a tone. And in singing, there is, manifestly, a greater working and labour of the throat, than in speaking; as appeareth in the thrusting out or drawing in of the chin, when we sing.
175. The humming of bees is an unequal buzzing, and is conceived by some of the ancients not
to come forth at their mouth, but to be an inward sound; but it may be, it is neither; but from the motion of their wings: for it is not heard but when they stir.
176. All metals quenched in water give a sibilation or hissing sound, which hath an affinity with the letter Z, notwithstanding the sound be created between the water or vapour, and the air. Seething also, if there be but small store of water in a vessel, giveth a hissing sound; but boiling in a full vessel giveth a bubbling sound, drawing somewhat near to the cocks used by children.
177. Trial would be made, whether the inequality or interchange of the medium will not produce an inequality of sound; as if three bells were made one within another, and air betwixt each; and then the outermost bell were chimed with a hammer, how the sound would differ from a simple bell. So likewise take a plate of brass, and a plank of wood, and join them close together, and knock upon one of them, and see if they do not give an unequal sound. So make two or three partitions of wood in a hogshead, with holes or knots in them; and mark the difference of their sound from the sound of a hogshead without such partitions.
Experiments in consort touching the more treble, and the more base tones, or musical sounds. 178. It is evident, that the percussion of the greater quantity of air causeth the baser sound; and the less quantity the more treble sound. The percussion of the greater quantity of air is produced by the greatness of the body percussing; by the latitude of the concave by which the sound passeth; and by the longitude of the same concave. fore we see that a base string is greater than a treble; a base pipe hath a greater bore than a treble; and in pipes, and the like, the lower the noteholes be, and the farther off from the mouth of the pipe, the more base sound they yield; and the nearer the mouth, the more treble. Nay more, if you strike an entire body, as an andiron of brass, at the top, it maketh a more treble sound; and at the bottom a baser.
179. It is also evident, that the sharper or quicker percussion of air causeth the more treble sound; and the slower or heavier, the more base sound. So we see in strings; the more they are wound up and strained, and thereby give a more quick start-back, the more treble is the sound; and the slacker they are, or less wound up, the baser is the sound. And therefore a bigger string more strained, and a lesser string less strained, may fall into the same tone.
180. Children, women, eunuchs, have more small and shrill voices than men. The reason is, not for that men have greater heat, which may make the voice stronger, for the strength of a voice or sound doth make a difference in the loudness or softness, but not in the tone, but, from the dilatation of the organ; which, it is true, is likewise caused by heat. But the cause of changing the voice at the years of puberty, is more obscure. It seemeth to be, for that when much of the moisture of the body, which
did before irrigate the parts, is drawn down to the spermatical vessels, it leaveth the body more hot than it was; whence cometh the dilatation of the pipes for we see plainly all effects of heat do then come on; as pilosity, more roughness of the skin, hardness of the flesh, &c.
181. The industry of the musician hath produced two other means of straining or intension of strings, besides their winding up. The one is the stopping of the string with the finger; as in the necks of lutes, viols, &c. The other is the shortness of the string, as in harps, virginals, &c. Both these have one and the same reason; for they cause the string to give a quicker start.
182. In the straining of a string, the farther it is strained, the less superstraining goeth to a note; for it requireth good winding of a string before it will make any note at all; and in the stops of lutes, &c. the higher they go, the less distance is between the frets.
183. If you fill a drinking glass with water, especially one sharp below, and wide above, and fillip upon the brim or outside; and after empty part of the water, and so more and more, and still try the tone by filliping; you shall find the tone fall and be more base, as the glass is more empty. Experiments in consort touching the proportion of treble and base tones.
The just and measured proportion of the air per
cussed, towards the baseness or trebleness of tones, is one of the greatest secrets in the contemplation of sounds. For it discovereth the true coincidence of tones into diapasons; which is the return of the same sound. And so of the concords and discords between the unison and the diapason, which we have touched before in the experiments of music; but think fit to resume it here as a principal part of our inquiry touching the nature of sounds.
be found out in the proportion of the winding of strings; in the proportion of the distance of frets; and in proportion of the concave of pipes, &c. but most commodiously in the last of these.
184. Try therefore the winding of a string once about, as soon as it is brought to that extension as will give a tone; and then of twice about, and thrice about, &c. and mark the scale or difference of the rise of the tone: whereby you shall discover, in one, two effects: both the proportion of the sound towards the dimension of the winding; and the proportion likewise of the sound towards the string, as it is more or less strained. But note that to measure this, the way will be, to take the length in a right line of the string, upon any winding about of
185. As for the stops, you are to take the number of frets; and principally the length of the line, from the first stop of the string, unto such a stop as shall produce a diapason to the former stop upon the same string.
186. But it will best, as it is said, appear in the bores of wind-instruments: and therefore cause some half dozen pipes to be made, in length and all things else alike, with a single, double, and so on
to a sextuple bore; and so mark what fall of tone every one giveth. But still in these three last instances, you must diligently observe, what length of string, or distance of stop, or concave of air, maketh what rise of sound. As in the last of these, which, as we said, is that which giveth the aptest demonstration, you must set down what increase of concave goeth to the making of a note higher; and what of two notes; and what of three notes; and so up to the diapason for then the great secret of numbers and proportions will appear. It is not unlike that those that make recorders, &c. know this already for that they make them in sets; and likewise bell-founders, in fitting the tune of their bells. So that inquiry may save trial. Surely it hath been observed by one of the ancients, that an empty barrel knocked upon with the finger, giveth a diapason to the sound of the like barrel full; but how that should be I do not well understand; for that the knocking of a barrel full or empty, doth scarce give any tone.
There is another difference of sounds, which we will call exterior and interior. It is not soft nor
loud: nor it is not base nor treble: nor it is not musical nor immusical: though it be true, that there can be no tone in an interior sound; but on the other side, in an exterior sound there may be both musical and immusical. We shall therefore enumerate them, rather than precisely distinguish them; though, to make some adumbration of that we mean, the interior is rather an impulsion or contusion of the air, than an elision or section of the same: so as the percussion of the one towards the other differeth as a blow differeth from a cut.
188. In speech of man, the whispering, which they call susurrus in Latin, whether it be louder or softer, is an interior sound; but the speaking out is an exterior sound; and therefore you can never make a tone, nor sing in whispering; but in speech you may: so breathing, or blowing by the mouth, bellows, or wind, though loud, is an interior sound; but the blowing through a pipe or concave, though soft, is an exterior. So likewise the greatest winds, if they have no coarctation, or blow not hollow, give an interior sound; the whistling or hollow wind yieldeth a singing, or exterior sound; the former being pent by some other body; the latter being pent in by its own density: and therefore we see, that when the wind bloweth hollow, it is a sign of rain. The flame, as it moveth within itself or is blown by a bellows, giveth a murmur or interior sound.
189. There is no hard body, but struck against
another hard body will yield an exterior sound greater or lesser: insomuch as if the percussion be over-soft, it may induce a nullity of sound; but never an interior sound; as when one treadeth so softly that he is not heard.
190. Where the air is the percutient, pent or not pent, against a hard body, it never giveth an exterior sound; as if you blow strongly with a bellows against a wall.
191. Sounds, both exterior and interior, may be made as well by suction as by emission of the breath as in whistling or breathing.
Experiments in consort, touching articulation of
192. It is evident, and it is one of the strangest secrets in sounds, that the whole sound is not in the whole air only; but the whole sound is also in every small part of the air. So that all the curious diversity of articulate sounds, of the voice of man or birds, will enter at a small cranny inconfused.
193. The unequal agitation of the winds and the like, though they be material to the carriage of the sounds farther or less way; yet they do not confound the articulation of them at all, within that distance that they can be heard; though, it may be, they make them to be heard less way than in a still; as hath been partly touched.
194. Over-great distance confoundeth the articulation of sounds; as we see, that you may hear the sound of a preacher's voice, or the like, when you cannot distinguish what he saith. And one articulate sound will confound another, as when many speak at once.
195. In the experiment of speaking under water, when the voice is reduced to such an extreme exility, yet the articulate sounds, which are the words, are not confounded as hath been said.
are more confused, though the gross of the sound be greater.
198. The motions of the tongue, lips, throat, palate, &c. which go to the making of the several alphabetical letters, are worthy inquiry, and pertinent to the present inquisition of sounds: but because they are subtle, and long to describe, we will refer them over, and place them amongst the experiments of speech. The Hebrews have been diligent in it, and have assigned which letters are labial, which dental, which guttural, &c. As for the Latins and Grecians, they have distinguished between semivowels and mutes; and in mutes between muta tenues, mediæ, and aspiratæ ; not amiss, but yet not diligently enough. For the special strokes and motions that create those sounds, they have little inquired: as, that the letters B, P, F, M, are not expressed, but with the contracting or shutting of the mouth; that the letters N and B, cannot be pronounced but that the letter N will turn into M; as hecatonba will be hecatomba. That M and T cannot be pronounced together, but P will come between; as emtus is pronounced emptus; and a number of the like. So that if you inquire to the full, you will find, that to the making of the whole alphabet there will be fewer simple motions required than there are letters.
199. The lungs are the most spungy part of the body; and therefore ablest to contract and dilate itself: and where it contracteth itself, it expelleth the air; which through the artery, throat, and mouth, maketh the voice: but yet articulation is not made but with the help of the tongue, palate, and the rest of those they call instruments of voice.
200. There is found a similitude between the sound that is made by inanimate bodies, or by animate bodies, that have no voice articulate, and divers letters of articulate voices; and commonly men have given such names to those sounds, as do allude unto the articulate letters; as trembling of water hath resemblance with the letter L; quench
196. I conceive, that an extreme small or an extreme great sound cannot be articulate; but that the articulation requireth a mediocrity of sounding of hot metals with the letter Z; snarling of dogs for that the extreme small sound confoundeth the articulation by contracting; and the great sound by dispersing and although, as was formerly said, a sound articulate, already created, will be contracted into a small cranny; yet the first articulation requireth more dimension.
197. It hath been observed, that in a room, or in a chapel, vaulted below and vaulted likewise in the roof, a preacher cannot be heard so well, as in the like places, not so vaulted. The cause is, for that the subsequent words come on before the precedent words vanish; and therefore the articulate sounds
with the letter R; the noise of screech-owls with the letter Sh; voice of cats with the diphthong Eu; voice of cuckows with the diphthong Ou; sounds of strings with the letter Ng; so that if a man, for curiosity or strangeness' sake, would make a puppet or other dead body to pronounce a word, let him consider, on the one part, the motion of the instruments of voice; and on the other part, the like sounds made in inanimate bodies; and what conformity there is that causeth the similitude of sounds; and by that he may minister light to that effect.
202. Sounds do not require to be conveyed to the sense in a right line, as visibles do, but may be arched; though it be true, they move strongest in a right line; which nevertheless is not caused by the rightness of the line, but by the shortness of the distance; linea recta brevissima. And therefore we see if a wall be between, and you speak on the one side, you hear it on the other; which is not because the sound passeth through the wall, but archeth over the wall.
203. If the sound be stopped and repercussed, it cometh about on the other side in an oblique line. So, if in a coach one side of the boot be down, and the other up, and a beggar beg on the close side; you will think that he were on the open side. So likewise, if a bell or clock be, for example, on the north side of a chamber, and the window of that chamber be upon the south; he that is in the chamber will think the sound came from the south.
204. Sounds, though they spread round, so that there is an orb or spherical area of the sound, yet they move strongest, and go farthest in the fore-lines, from the first local impulsion of the air. And therefore in preaching, you shall hear the preacher's voice better before the pulpit than behind it, or on the sides, though it stand open. So a harquebuss, or ordnance, will be farther heard forwards from the mouth of the piece, than backwards, or on the sides. 205. It may be doubted, that sounds do move better downwards than upwards. Pulpits are placed high above the people. And when the ancient generals spake to their armies, they had ever a mount of turf cast up, whereupon they stood; but this may be imputed to the stops and obstacles which the voice meeteth with, when one speaketh upon the level. But there seemeth to be more in it; for it may be that spiritual species, both of things visible and sounds, do move better downwards than upwards. It is a strange thing, that to men standing below on the ground, those that be on the top of Paul's seem much less than they are, and cannot be known; but to men above, those below seem nothing so much lessened, and may be known: yet it is true, that all things to them above seem also somewhat contracted, and better collected into figure: as knots in gardens show best from an upper window or terras. 206. But to make an exact trial of it, let a man stand in a chamber not much above the ground, and speak out at the window, through a trunk, to one standing on the ground, as softly as he can, the other
laying his ear close to the trunk: then via versa, let the other speak below, keeping the same proportion of softness; and let him in the chamber lay his ear to the trunk: and this may be the aptest means to make a judgment, whether sounds descend or ascend better.
Experiments in consort touching the lasting and perishing of sounds; and touching the time they require to their generation or delation.
207. After that sound is created, which is in a moment, we find it continueth some small time, melting by little and little. In this there is a wonderful error amongst men, who take this to be a continuance of the first sound; whereas, in truth, it is a renovation, and not a continuance; for the body percussed hath, by reason of the percussion, a trepidation wrought in the minute parts, and so reneweth the percussion of the air. This appeareth manifestly, because that the melting sound of a bell, or of a string strucken, which is thought to be a continuance, ceaseth as soon as the bell or string are touched. As in a virginal, as soon as ever the jack falleth, and toucheth the string, the sound ceaseth ; and in a bell, after you have chimed upon it, if you touch the bell, the sound ceaseth. And in this you must distinguish that there are two trepidations: the one manifest and local; as of the bell when it is pensile: the other secret, of the minute parts; such as is described in the ninth instance. But it is true, that the local helpeth the secret greatly. We see likewise that in pipes, and other wind-instruments, the sound lasteth no longer than the breath bloweth. It is true, that in organs there is a confused murmur for a while after you have played; but that is but while the bellows are in falling.
208. It is certain, that in the noise of great ordnance, where many are shot off together, the sound will be carried, at the least, twenty miles upon the land, and much farther upon the water. But then it will come to the ear, not in the instant of the shooting off, but it will come an hour or more later. This must needs be a continuance of the first sound; for there is no trepidation which should renew it. And the touching of the ordnance would not extinguish the sound the sooner: so that in great sounds the continuance is more than momentary.
209. To try exactly the time wherein sound is delated, let a man stand in a steeple, and have with him a taper; and let some vail be put before the taper; and let another man stand in the field a mile off. Then let him in the steeple strike the bell; and in the same instant withdraw the vail; and so let him in the field tell by his pulse what distance of time there is between the light seen, and the sound heard: for it is certain that the delation of light is in instant. This may be tried in far greater distances, allowing greater lights and sounds. 210. It is generally known and observed that