Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Music and Science

Being of the feline kind, I have a lot of spare time on my pretty little paws. As I glanced up at the rain on a cold Wednesday eve a horrid man-machine screeched passed me blaring out what only can be described as 'man sounds' (MUSIC to you homo sapiens).
A chill ran up my spine and that's when it hit me!


Obviously sound is affected by environment and the space it's in, but can temperature actually affect it?

I've never heard of it being 'too hot' for people to hear or 'too cold' that the sound hurts peoples ears. 
I know temperature can affect how you feel when you're hearing music but can it actually affect the music?

"Temperature is also a condition that affects the speed of sound. Heat, like sound, is a form of kinetic energy. Molecules at higher temperatures have more energy, thus they can vibrate faster. Since the molecules vibrate faster, sound waves can travel more quickly."

(Temperature and the Speed of Sound, n.d.)

Knowing the new knowledge about sound being a kinetic energy, there must be a 'perfect' temperature in which music can be played, taking into consideration the style of music and BPM. With an acoustic, slow gig you wouldn't want the temperature to be hot in which the music would speed up. 

It's quite a serious point, especially if the temperature could make or break a gig. It's just a serious as the acoustics in the room. It's funny that I've never heard anyone, ever, raise this point and showing that it can have such serious effects as to speed up the sound of the music.

So, I ask you, have you ever thought about it?


Temperature And The Speed Of Sound (n.d.). NDT Resource Center [online]. Available at: <http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/HighSchool/Sound/tempandspeed.htm>

[Accessed 20th October 2012]


  1. It's an interesting thought! I wonder however if the differences in sound influenced by temperature would be detectable by the human ear.

    1. Someone mentioned about the 'coldest gig' and I just came across this article:

  2. Shame it doesn't mention anything about the actual sound of it