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The Place Principle

by Greg Crowther


Lyrics

From the apex to the base,
Every pitch has its place!


Comments

Georg von Bekesy's research on the human cochlea established the "place principle": different sections of the basilar membrane and their corresponding hair cells are sensitive to different frequencies of sound. The apex of the cochlea is most sensitive to low pitches; the base is most sensitive to high pitches. This range is encapsulated in the jingle (written for BIOL 220 at the University of Washington) by singing "apex" as a low note, "base" as a high note, and "Every pitch has its place" as an ascending arpeggio musically traversing the octave between "apex" and "base."