Re: Why is high high? ("James W. Beauchamp" )

Subject: Re: Why is high high?
From:    "James W. Beauchamp"  <jwb(at)TIMBRE.MUSIC.UIUC.EDU>
Date:    Thu, 27 Aug 1998 13:24:27 -0500

We not only think of high pitches as being higher, but in the case of speakers we tend to place the high frequency units higher and the low frequency units lower. High frequencies tend to travel in straight paths, and we don't want anything to get in their way, so we put their transducers at ear level. Low frequencies, on the other hand, are much more unidirectional and seem to hug the floor and walls, so we tend to place them low, sometimes even on the floor ( e. g., the sub-woofer). This might have something to do with our current high-low pitch nomenclature. Can you imagine a situation where the high frequencies would be coming out of the floor and the base frequencies out of the ceiling? Wouldn't this seem strange? Wouldn't the reverse situation seem more natural? Jim Beauchamp Email to AUDITORY should now be sent to AUDITORY(at) LISTSERV commands should be sent to listserv(at) Information is available on the WEB at

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