Full text: Bacon, Francis: Sylva sylvarum

Century II. hollow; and let two ipeak or ſing, the one long ways the other traverſe. And let two hear at the oppoſite ends; and note, whether the Sound be
confounded, amplified, or dulled. Which two inſtances will alſo give light
to the mixture of Sounds, whereof we ſhall ſpeak hereafter.



A Bellows, blown into the hole of a Drum, and the Drum then ſtrucken,
maketh the Sound a little flatter, but no other apparent alteration. The cauſe is manifeſt; partly for that it hindreth the iſſue of the Sound; and partly for that it maketh the Air being blown together, leſs move-



THe Loudneſs and Softneſs of Sounds, is a thing diſtinct from the Mag-
nitude and Exility of Sounds; for a Baſe-ſtring, though ſoftly ſtrucken,
giveth the greater Sound; but a Trebble ſtring, if hard ftrucken, will be
heard much further off. And the cauſe is, for that the Baſe-ſtring ſtriketh
more Air; and the Trebble leſs Air, but with a ſharper percuſſion.


in Conſort,
touching the
Loudneſs or
Softneß of
Sounds, and
their Carriage
at longer or
ſhorter diſtance.

It is therefore the ſtrength of the Percuſſion, that is a principal cauſe
of the loudneſs or ſoftneſs of Sounds: As in knocking, harder or ſofter; Winding of a Horn, ſtronger or weaker; Ringing of an Hand bell, harder
or ſoftcr, & c. And the ſtrength of this Percuſſion conſiſteth, as much or
more, in the hardneſs of the Body percuſſed, as in the force of the Body
percuſſing: For if you ſtrike againſt a Cloth, it will give a leſs ſound; if
againſt Wood, a greater; if againſt a Metal, yet a greater; and in Metals,
if you ſtrike againſt Gold, (which is the more pliant) it giveth the flatter
ſound; if againſt Silver or Braſs, the more ringing ſound. As for Air, where
it is ſtrongly pent, it matcheth a hard Body. And therefore we ſee in diſ-
charging of a piece, what a great noiſe it maketh. We ſee alſo, that the
Charge with Bullet, or with Paper wet, and hard ſtopped; or with Pow-
der alone rammed in hard, maketh no great difference in the loudneſs of the



The ſharpneſs or quickneſs of the Percuſſion, is a great cauſe of the
loudneſs, as well as the ſtrength: As in a Whip or Wand, if you ſtrike
the Air with it, the ſharper and quicker you ſtrike it, the louder ſound it
giveth. And in playing upon the Lute or Virginals, the quick ſtroke or
touch is a great life to the Sound. The cauſe is, for that the quick ſtrik-
ing cutteth the Air ſpeedily, whereas the ſoft ſtriking, doth rather beat
than cut.



THe Communication of Sounds (as in Bellies of Lutes, empty Veſſels, & c.) hath been touched obiter, in the Majoration of Sounds: But it is fit alſo to
make a Title of it apart.


in Conſort,
touching the
on of Sounds.

The Experiment, for greateſt Demonſtration of Communication of
Sounds, is the Chiming of Bells; where, if you ſtrike with a Hammar
upon the upper part, and then upon the midſt, and then upon the lower,
you ſhall finde the ſound to be more Trebble, and more Baſe, according
unto the Concave on the inſide, though the Percuſſion be onely on the



When the Sound is created between the Blaſt of the Mouth, and the Air
of the Pipe, it hath nevertheleſs ſome communication with the matter of the
ſides of the Pipe, and the ſpirits in them contained: For in a Pipe or Trum-
pet of Wood and Braſs, the ſound will be diverſe; ſo if the Pipe be covered


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