This undergraduate textbook for non-physical science majors introduces the physics of sound, but only requires a knowledge of algebra. The team of four authors (University of Massachusetts Amherst) describe the properties of sound waves and the mechanisms of resonance, and explain how they apply to human speech and hearing. Spectrograms illustrate the production of specific speech sounds. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Reviewer:Geralyn M. Schulz, PhD, CCC-SLP(George Washington University)
Description:This book is designed to be an introduction to the physics of sound. As such, it provides basic knowledge of waves by providing the reader with ample information from mathematics to the dynamic nature of sound as waves in an associated Web site.
Purpose:The authors' stated purpose is provide undergraduate speech and hearing students and those from other disciplines a general understanding of the physics of sound. This is an area that is crucial for any student in speech and hearing science and the authors have met this goal without apology with the rigor necessary to accomplish this goal.
Audience:The target audience is any undergraduate student who has an interest in the basic physics of sound with special emphasis for those undergraduate students in speech and hearing science. Three of the authors are from physics departments and one is from the communication disorders department so they are well versed in the topic and can meet the stated need for the target audience.
Features:The book in large measure is devoted to grounding the student in the basic understanding of the physics of waves. This is accomplished by many illustrations but perhaps the biggest contribution to helping the student understand the concepts is the Web site that is provided as a companion. It illustrates the dynamic nature of waves in ways that a book by itself cannot. In addition, the book provides a variety of formative assessments: chapter quizzes, Web-based tests that give feedback geared to the answer the student provides. This is a welcome addition to other content in this area.
Assessment:This book represents a wonderful first introduction to the basics of sound and presents concepts upon which other books on this topic can then build.