Fundamentals of Sound with Applications to Speech and Hearing / Edition 1

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Fundamentals of Sound with Applications to Speech and Hearing presents a clear and precise treatment of the physics of sound while using a level of math suitable for readers in the speech, language, hearing, and health sciences. This book provides the reader with an understanding of the science of sound. Simple mathematics, graphics, and qualitative descriptions are demonstrated to explain wave concepts, spectrograms, intensity and decibels. Concepts are applied to the physics of speech and hearing.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Geralyn M. Schulz, PhD, CCC-SLP(George Washington University)
Description: This book is designed to be an introduction to the physics of sound. As such, it provides basic knowledge of waves by providing the reader with ample information from mathematics to the dynamic nature of sound as waves in an associated Web site.
Purpose: The authors' stated purpose is provide undergraduate speech and hearing students and those from other disciplines a general understanding of the physics of sound. This is an area that is crucial for any student in speech and hearing science and the authors have met this goal without apology with the rigor necessary to accomplish this goal.
Audience: The target audience is any undergraduate student who has an interest in the basic physics of sound with special emphasis for those undergraduate students in speech and hearing science. Three of the authors are from physics departments and one is from the communication disorders department so they are well versed in the topic and can meet the stated need for the target audience.
Features: The book in large measure is devoted to grounding the student in the basic understanding of the physics of waves. This is accomplished by many illustrations but perhaps the biggest contribution to helping the student understand the concepts is the Web site that is provided as a companion. It illustrates the dynamic nature of waves in ways that a book by itself cannot. In addition, the book provides a variety of formative assessments: chapter quizzes, Web-based tests that give feedback geared to the answer the student provides. This is a welcome addition to other content in this area.
Assessment: This book represents a wonderful first introduction to the basics of sound and presents concepts upon which other books on this topic can then build.

5 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205370870
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/13/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Each chapter concludes with “Exercises.”

1. Introduction to Waves.

Types of Waves.

Wave Shapes.

Propagation Velocity and Medium Velocity.

Sinusoidal Waves: More Terminology.

Oscillating Things and Sinusoidal Waves.

Application of the Concept of Waves to Sound.

Relationship Among v, f and <0108.

Wave Velocity and Properties of the Medium.

Elastic Properties of Air.

Reflection and Transmission of Waves.

Interference and Superposition.

2. Standing Waves in Ropes and Strings.

Formation of Standing Waves.

Boundary Conditions.

Normal Modes for a String Tied at Both Ends.

Normal Modes for String Tied at One End and Free at the Other.

Normal Modes for a String Loose at Both Ends.

3. Standing Waves in Air Columns.

Longitudinal Displacement Waves.

Normal Modes for an Air Column Closed at Both Ends.

Normal Modes for an Air Column Open at Both Ends.

Normal Modes for an Air Column with One End Open and One End Closed.

4. Resonance.

5. Wavefronts.


Wavefronts and Space Interference.

Diffraction of Waves.

6. Complex Waves.

Phase of a Wave.

Complex Wave Forms.

Complex Traveling Waves.

Complex Standing Waves.


Sound Quality.

Non-Repetitive Sounds.

7. Wave Analysis.

Frequency Spectrum.

Fourier Analysis.

Behavior of the String with Time.

Rules for Repeat Frequencies of Complex Waves.


Fourier Analysis of Traveling Waves.


8. Speech Production.

Vocal Organs.

Vocal Fold Vibration.

Acoustic Properties of the Vocal Tract.

Sound Spectrographs.

9. Acoustics of Different Speech Sounds.



Glide and Liquid Consonants.

Nasal Consonants.

Fricative Consonants.

Stop Consonants.


10. Work and Energy.

Work and Energy.

Work-Energy Theorem.

Wave Energy.

Relation of Wave Energy to Wave Amplitude.

Units of Energy.

Relation of Energy to Power.

Relation of Power to Intensity.

Audible Levels of Intensity.

Scientific Notation (Powers of Ten).

Expressing Arbitrary Numbers in Scientific Notation.

Addition and Subtraction of Arbitrary Numbers in Scientific Notation.

Multiplication and Division of Arbitrary Numbers in Scientific Notation.

11. Perception of Sound Intensity.

The Bel Scale for Sound Intensities.

The Decibel Scale for Sound Intensities.

Fractional Powers of Ten.


Logs of Products and Quotients.

Logs of Numbers Between 0 and 1, and Greater than 10.

Logs and Negative Numbers.

Some Examples Involving Decibels.

Intensity Level vs. Loudness Level.

Negative Decibel Values.

The Addition of Intensity and Loudness.

12. The Ear and the Hearing Mechanism.

The Outer Ear.

The Middle Ear.

The Inner Ear.

The Process of Hearing.

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