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Dull sounds are low-tension and bright sounds are exciting, as neurons
responsible to high-frequencies are excited (cortico-collicular or
colliculo-cochlear feedback is possible). Moreover, high-frequency could
mean that the sound source is not far away, because more distant sounds lose
high frequencies (thanks for Chris Darwin's and Jim Beauchamp's comments).
It is thus reasonable that as soon as human or animal hear sound containing
strong high-frequency components, they will be excited and alarmed.
Instead of physical high/low, bright/dull may be related to near/distant.