Soundless Music, Ghosts and Shivers.

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by Billy Bee, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Billy Bee

    Billy Bee Guest

    Interesting Article. Curious to hear the RAP opinions on this.

    Soundless Music Shown to Produce Weird Sensations
    Sun Sep 7, 7:09 PM ET

    By Patricia Reaney

    MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird
    sensations and shivers down the spine may not be due to the presence of
    ghosts in haunted houses but to very low frequency sound that is inaudible
    to humans.

    British scientists have shown in a controlled experiment that the extreme
    bass sound known as infrasound produces a range of bizarre effects in people
    including anxiety, extreme sorrow and chills -- supporting popular
    suggestions of a link between infrasound and strange sensations.

    "Normally you can't hear it," Dr Richard Lord, an acoustic scientist at the
    National Physical Laboratory in England who worked on the project, said

    Lord and his colleagues, who produced infrasound with a seven meter (yard)
    pipe and tested its impact on 750 people at a concert, said infrasound is
    also generated by natural phenomena.

    "Some scientists have suggested that this level of sound may be present at
    some allegedly haunted sites and so cause people to have odd sensations that
    they attribute to a ghost -- our findings support these ideas," said
    Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire
    in southern England.

    In the first controlled experiment of infrasound, Lord and Wiseman played
    four contemporary pieces of live music, including some laced with
    infrasound, at a London concert hall and asked the audience to describe
    their reactions to the music.

    The audience did not know which pieces included infrasound but 22 percent
    reported more unusual experiences when it was present in the music.

    Their unusual experiences included feeling uneasy or sorrowful, getting
    chills down the spine or nervous feelings of revulsion or fear.

    "These results suggest that low frequency sound can cause people to have
    unusual experiences even though they cannot consciously detect infrasound,"
    said Wiseman, who presented his findings to the British Association science

    Infrasound is also produced by storms, seasonal winds and weather patterns
    and some types of earthquakes (news - web sites). Animals such as elephants
    also use infrasound to communicate over long distances or as weapons to
    repel foes.

    "So much has been said about infrasound -- it's been associated with just
    about everything from beam weapons to bad driving. It's wonderful to be able
    to examine the evidence," said Sarah Angliss, a composer and engineer who
    worked on the project.
    Billy Bee, Sep 8, 2003
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  2. Billy Bee

    Om_Audio Guest

    Thanks- interesting.
    Om_Audio, Sep 8, 2003
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  3. Billy Bee

    axtogrind Guest


    No kidding, about 30 years ago I read a children's book (one of the Three
    Investigators series) that used this notion to explain a haunting. I've
    slept since then, but if memory serves me, it was an old pipe organ in the
    story that was used to cause visitors to the abandoned house to run,
    screaming, from the property.

    Everything old is new again, or something like that.
    axtogrind, Sep 8, 2003
  4. Billy Bee

    axtogrind Guest

    I believe that this was the book:

    axtogrind, Sep 8, 2003
  5. Billy Bee

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    The Hardy Boys also use this device (I want to say it's in the Sinister
    Signpost but I am not sure). Also, Robert Heinlein uses it in Sixth

    But it's been known since the 17th century. Incidentally if you ever
    have the chance to hear Also Sprach Zarathustra live with a real organ
    that can play the opening without transcribing it up, it is amazing.
    You can kind of hear it, but not really, and you feel really uncomfortable.
    Going to even lower stuff is really very weird-feeling.
    Scott Dorsey, Sep 9, 2003
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