SINGING IN THE SHOWER

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Why do we sing in the shower? Clearly we like the sound. But why?

There are sev­eral ef­fects that can con­trib­ute to this. The first is the high re­flec­tiv­ity of bath­room tiles, which to­gether with the rel­a­tively small space, is likely to pro­vide far more feed­back of our own voice than would a nor­mal room or, heaven for­bid, singing in an open public space. This presents a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive of your voice to your usual in­ter­nal per­cep­tion, and makes your voice sound more im­pres­sively pow­er­ful (es­pe­cially to you).

Sec­ond is the re­verb ef­fect from mul­ti­ple re­flec­tions as the sound bounces around the usu­ally par­al­lel walls. Singers love the ef­fect of re­verb, the long tail-off of sound cre­at­ing the ef­fect of space and tonal rich­ness, even though the ac­tual bath­room space it­self is small.

Thirdly this small room size and usu­ally par­al­lel walls will likely cre­ate quite a low res­o­nance, some­where be­tween 100 and 200Hz. This adds to the rich­ness of the re­flected voice.

Fi­nally, of course, there is the con­fi­dence-boost­ing ef­fect of pri­vacy. A closed door and the cov­er­ing sound of run­ning wa­ter may en­cour­age singing, even from those who re­ally shouldn’t.

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