I was thinking about humans- and any other objects resonating.

I myself have played classical violin for the last nine years. And just few years ago after I stopped growing, I’ve noticed that my body resonates when hearing lower sounds. Like low c- played on bigger stringed instruments like cellos or contrabasses. Sometimes in concerts I feel my whole spine and lungs resonating with one particular sound. Same with my violin.

I’ve looked it up and tested it with friends and adults. It’s not the same for them which I find rather weird. I even asked my teacher about it. She tried it and said it’s a funny thing. Her violin doesn’t start resonating with the same chord. What could be the cause of it?

  • I have edited out the part about it calming you, since psychology is off-topic here. You might consider cogsci.stackexchange.com
    – user28
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:41

1 Answer 1


Sympathetic vibration. You may have noticed when a lorry passes the house, you feel and hear a certain vibration. Not every lorry. Go into your bathroom, and hum up and down ( or play violin notes). One in particular will sound so much louder, richer. You may have heard the (apocryphal) story of an opera singer who could break glasses. Same phenomenon.

Your body or maybe just your head has a particular frequency that will make it vibrate sympathetically at. When you are exposed to that frequency, it vibrates sympathetically. That's what you feel. I can sing a C note because of the same 'affliction'. I pretend it's a sort of absolute pitch.

I guess some people are more resonant than others, just like some things are more or less. You're lucky (or unlucky) depending on what it gets used for. Good vibrations!!

Just had a horrible thought for the next James Bond film. A destructor that finds someone's frequency, and reproduces it, so they disintegrate.

  • 1
    Good answer. But breaking glass with the voice is not apocryphal -- it's been done several times with amplification, and once without. scientificamerican.com/article/…
    – user28
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:40
  • Just wanted to shout out to Tesla who is legendary with his experiments with resonant frequencies and shaking buildings and bridges and stuff. There are also studies with trying to find frequencies of different cells in order destroy disease cells with their resonant frequency while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Also luthiers and other instrument makers study the resonant frequencies of different woods and shapes and stuff.
    – user33368
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 0:49
  • @jomki - yes, that's why platoons had to break their marching step when crossing bridges. Don't know if they found out after one did collapse, though.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 6:53
  • That's right! I'd heard of that. I think myth busters did an episode about that. Also, speaking of military uses, there is the research into the "brown note". There are theories that different organs and parts of the body resonate at different frequencies. But sometimes this can get a little new age.
    – user33368
    Commented Nov 25, 2016 at 13:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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