Please explain to me how bass music from one house makes another house vibrate, they are roughly 10 feet apart. Thanks for answering!

  • 1
    Please look up resonance in a suitable physics book.
    – MS-SPO
    Feb 3, 2023 at 3:34
  • 1
    @MS-SPO Resonance is not required for sound to rattle things Feb 3, 2023 at 5:56
  • 2
    @MS-SPO I believe the point here is that sound waves will cause objects to vibrate even if the frequency isn't particularly close to any of the object's resonant frequencies. It's sufficient to note that sound waves are periodic changes in pressure and that these will cause the house to move. There's no need for discussions of resonance. Those will be useful to explain why e.g. the floor shakes more when the bass plays G than it does when the bass plays F.
    – phoog
    Feb 3, 2023 at 7:21
  • 1
    Ok, from one house to an other, some distance apart, there are two possible pathes: through soil and through air. With the source involved, bass instrument, air will be more effective than soil. So you have one box (house 1) with vibrating air, travel through air, second box with air. This is resonance phenomena at its best. Why won‘ a flute (higher frequ.) do the same as a bass? Wavelengths, room dimensions, resonance. // I‘ll drop from this discussion now.
    – MS-SPO
    Feb 3, 2023 at 7:39
  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it's fundamentally a physics question rather than a musical one.
    – Aaron
    Feb 10, 2023 at 4:55

1 Answer 1


The exact same way it vibrates your eardrums, and the way high pitched sound can break a glass. Sound is pressure waves - normally in air, but the waves can travel through walls and windows too. Walls, windows, and air will all absorb some of the sound, each absorbing different amounts at different frequencies.

High frequency waves dissipate faster than the low frequency waves, so, by the time the sound reaches the house next door, the bass will be stronger than the treble. Especially if some of that house's building materials have a resonant frequency that matches the bass frequencies, the windows (for example) will rattle!

  • 1
    Dispersion at that distance is not a significant factor Feb 3, 2023 at 16:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.