Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Sound and Music. A Non-Mathematical Treatise on the Physical Constitution of Musical Sounds and Harmony
Taylor, Sedley
[I- § 3. 
there is an unusually distinct echo from the wall at 
its eastern extremity. Standing near the opposite 
end of the cloister, I clapped my hands rhythmically, 
in such a manner that the strokes and echoes suc¬ 
ceeded each other alternately at equal intervals of 
time. A friend at my side, watch in hand, counted 
the number of strokes and echoes. The result was 
that there were 76 in half a minute, i. e. 38 strokes 
and 38 echoes. A little consideration will show that 
the sound traversed the cloister and returned to the 
point of its origination regularly once in each interval 
between a stroke and its echo. Since each • such 
interval was exactly equal to that between an echo 
and the following stroke, the whole movement of 
Sound took place in alternate equal intervals, i.e. in 
half the observed time, or fifteen seconds. Accord¬ 
ingly the sound travelled to and fro in the cloister 
38 times in 15 seconds. The length thus traversed, 
I found to be 419 feet. The velocity of Sound per 
second thus comes out equal to — 19, ^ lOG 11 
feet and a fraction. Sound, then, travels through the 
air at the rate of upwards of 1000 feet in a second, 
which is more than GOO miles an hour, or about 15 
times the speed of an express-train. In solid and 
1 This is about 50 feet below its real value under the circum¬ 
stances of my observation. See Tyndall’s Sound, p. 24.


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