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Why You Hear What You Hear: An Experiential Approach to Sound, Music, and Psychoacoustics [Kindle Edition]

Eric J. Heller

Kindle-Preis: EUR 67,86 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

  • Länge: 624 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
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Gebundene Ausgabe EUR 96,94  



"Why You Hear What You Hear ... has much to interest physicists and physics students... This book contains a lot of physical insight, and I think it will be the rare acoustician who does not enjoy reading it. I particularly liked the use of color coding to introduce (with a minimum of math) a graphical algorithm to represent autocorrelation. Also interesting are the author's diversions into history, including a story in which John William Strutt (Lord Rayleigh) and William Henry Bragg seem to have been mistaken about an echo transposed in pitch... Acousticians will enjoy its interesting perspectives, and physicists and engineers outside of acoustics will find it an attractive introduction to some important parts of the discipline."--Joe Wolfe, Physics Today "This book contains a lot of physical insight, and I think it will be the rare acoustician who does not enjoy reading it... Acousticians will enjoy its interesting perspectives, and physicists and engineers outside of acoustics will find it an attractive introduction to some important parts of the discipline."--Joe Wolfe, Acoustics Australia "This book by a distinguished professor of chemistry and physics at Harvard is a joy to read... I highly recommend this as a book to be read, preferably with the book's website on a computer nearby for easy and frequent reference."--Thomas D. Rossing, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America "This book is highly instructive for people with an interest in the wave aspects of sound, for anyone interested in how musical instruments fundamentally work and why they sound how they sound, and for those interested in the human perception of sound. It is richly illustrated in full color, printed on high-quality paper and at an excellent standard of bookmaking. It deserves a clear recommendation for a wide readership."--Manuel Vogel, Contemporary Physics


Why You Hear What You Hear is the first book on the physics of sound for the nonspecialist to empower readers with a hands-on, ears-open approach that includes production, analysis, and perception of sound. The book makes possible a deep intuitive understanding of many aspects of sound, as opposed to the usual approach of mere description. This goal is aided by hundreds of original illustrations and examples, many of which the reader can reproduce and adjust using the same tools used by the author (e.g., very accessible applets for PC and Mac, and interactive web-based examples, simulations, and analysis tools will be found on the book's website: Readers are positioned to build intuition by participating in discovery.

This truly progressive introduction to sound engages and informs amateur and professional musicians, performers, teachers, sound engineers, students of many stripes, and indeed anyone interested in the auditory world. The book does not hesitate to follow entertaining and sometimes controversial side trips into the history and world of acoustics, reinforcing key concepts. You will discover how musical instruments really work, how pitch is perceived, and how sound can be amplified with no external power source.

Sound is key to our lives, and is the most accessible portal to the vibratory universe. This book takes you there.

  • The first book on sound to offer interactive tools, building conceptual understanding via an experiential approach

  • Supplementary website ( will provide Java, MAX, and other free, multiplatform, interactive graphical and sound applets

  • Extensive selection of original exercises available on the web with solutions

  • Nearly 400 full-color illustrations, many of simulations that students can do


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.4 von 5 Sternen  10 Rezensionen
9 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An EXCELLENT Treatise on Music, Instruments and Sound 3. März 2013
Von Ardath A. Hamann - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I have a copy of the book, "Why You Hear What You Hear" and find it to be just wonderful. I have been studying acoustics of music for 35 years both from the point of view of a musician and that of a physicist (I have advanced degrees in both) and this book does a fine job of explaining things in concrete ways that are quite complicated. I have previously used books by John Backus (Acoustical Foundations of Music)and Arthur Benade (Fundamentals of Musical Acoustics) as well as many others and Dr. Heller's book has earned a well deserved place in my bookshelves right next to all of them.

In addition to a very thorough text, he has a fascinating webpage associated with the book with many video clips from around the world from experts on various aspects of the material. This is an excellent contemporary electronic resource as well.

In my humble opinion this is a text on a complex subject that any serious student of musical acoustics owes it to themselves to buy and study and ponder. It is fascinating and fun. The later is not something usually associated with science textbooks, setting this one apart.

In the interest of full disclosure and the Amazon posting rules, I did get a complimentary copy of the book.

Also, our family has our Amazon account in my wife's name. I am Nick Drozdoff and I teach advanced placement calculus based physics by day and I play trumpet professionally by night.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen An Insightful Book 3. Juni 2013
Von A Fan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I have been reading Prof. Heller's book rather steadily since receiving it so promptly via Amazon Prime.

On the plus side: (1) the writing style is informal, non mathematical and informative, (2) there are some interesting explanations of phenomena that are often glossed over by resorting to dry mathematical derivations sans insightful comments in other books, (3) Heller makes extensive use of the autocorrelation as a metric for estimating pitch. Many physics of music and acoustics texts give a one sentence definition of pitch and move on. (4) there are many graphs and pictures to augment the discussion.

On the negative side: (1) Prof. Heller's explanations occasionally become a bit convoluted and his arguments sometimes appear to be circular in that he uses a concept that he is attempting to explain to also support his arguments. (2) many of the graphs use color but are often quite small and the axes are not labeled. (3) Heller occasionally inserts some mathematics into the discussion but in my humble opinion not effectively. His discussion of waves gets descriptively entangled while he could have concisely and clearly presented the material via the wave equation. His discussion of traveling waves on a vibrating string seems lacking. (4) I have applied Matlab to his many examples, especially those dealing with the autocorrelation and I have found errors in his conclusions as to the pitch. Although excited about this supposedly neat tool for estimating pitch, I am a bit mystified at his use of it.

I wish there were a way to communicate my concerns to Prof. Heller but his web site gives no email nor does the Harvard faculty directory. I suppose that his fame precludes accessibility.

In spite of these negative comments, I greatly value this book and have learned a lot from it. I continue to read and study it...but with a jaundiced eye.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful and groundbreaking treatment of sound waves 20. Januar 2014
Von William G. Harter - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Finally, musicians, piano technicians, and any intelligent person who enjoys music and the sounds of nature has a clearly written and beautifully illustrated textbook to learn about those waves that are bouncing around and inside one's ears.
Heller has used his knowledge of waves gained from decades of leading research on quantum wave-packets to bring sound wave mechanics and its human experience to a general audience.
Heller has also used his talent as an artist and expertise in computer graphics to provide lavish illustrations to expose what would otherwise be a highly mathematical subject.
The book grew out of a Harvard course intended for non-science majors on music and acoustics.
It has resulted in an exposition that all can learn from and enjoy, even some of those geeky science majors!
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent conceptual text. 5. Januar 2014
Von Angela Reis - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This text is very well-written and accessible for the gen ed student (no science or math background necessary). It's easy to read, and the supporting website is a great resource. I've been looking for a book like this for a while, and I'm happy to have found it.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen great book, which works at many levels 10. Juni 2014
Von Michael Cohen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
I am learning a lot from this book. The author has a deep intuition about physics and acoustics, which he conveys to the reader via many examples and illustrations, many of which i hadn't encountered in other similar textbooks. The writing style is occasionally awkward, and like a lot of clever people, sometimes Prof. Heller doesn't realize how much more clever he is than "ordinary" readers.
The Kindle version is often quite convenient (including the ability to call up international dictionaries), but the equation formatting isn't very pretty (not the author's fault!). His use of the Falstad "Ripple" app (also available as a stand-alone app for iOS) is welcome, as one can often learn more from interactive demonstrations than from even patient explanations. This is a rich and deep resource, to which students and their teachers can return indefinitely to continuously mine for ideas and insights.
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