The Sound of a Clock

What makes the sound of a clock tick? In the human ear, the TICK sound from a clock is recognizable as a musical passage. The brain is able to distinguish repeated sounds into distinct musical passages by assigning the second tone of the repeating pattern a lower pitch. Learning to recognize a TICK as a TOCK is a great way to familiarize yourself with this simple, yet intriguing, sound.

Tick tock

Have you ever wondered how a clock makes its sound? Normally, we only hear Ticks on a clock when we are visiting our grandparents. But did you know that your brain organizes repetitive sounds into musical passages? You hear the Ticks as TOCKS because the second tone is lower than the first. This simple trick helps you learn to hear the Ticks in a new way, making them more familiar to you.

The Tick tock sound of a clock comes from the mechanism of turning the hands, which causes a sound similar to the engine ticking. It is useful because it lets us know if the clock has stopped working. The Tick tock sound is produced by the left hand wheel, which is released by an escapement. This wheel rotates under the torque from the spring and weights. A microchip controls the speed of the clock’s movement and enables it to keep track of time.

Another way to make a clock tick is to build a circuit that produces the sound. A timer IC 7555, wired as an astable multivibrator, is used to generate frequencies. A small speaker is connected to pin 3 of IC1, and two yellow LEDs flash in time with the sound. The result is a clock that sounds just like a clock. These devices can be a nice decoration for your home, and are an excellent alternative to a mechanically-operated clock.