Franklin Square Song Collection - online songbook

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Unison.—When notes from any two sources are •in unison, they are produced by the same number of vibrations. If the string of a violin, the cord of a guitar, the parchment of a drum, the pipe of an organ, produce the same musical tone, it is because the vibra­tions in all are performed in equal times. If a voice and a piano execute the same music, the steel strings of the piano and the vocal cords of the singer vibrate together and send out sound-waves of the same length.
In order, then, to determine the number and length of the sound-waves produced by a sonorous- body, we have only to bring its sound and that of the siren, an instrument for determining the number of vibrations in a given time, into unison. In this way, says Tyn-dall,it has been found that the wings of a gnat flap, in flying, at the rate of 15,000 times per second. The waves of a man's voice in conversation are from 8 to 12 feet long; a'woman's, from 2 to 4 feet long.
Mendelssohn, Ait. by Carl Matz.

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III