“Sound Effects”

Washing done

I have been intrigued lately by the various sounds that my appliances and gadgets make. My dryer makes a dreadful blaring noise when it is done. My new washer(yeah, I know, I am presently washer obsessed)plays a jaunty tune which you can hear for yourself by pressing the caption under the photo above. Needless to say, this is a much more pleasant sound to get my attention. The dryer seems to be saying “what’s taking you so long?” The washer, on the other hand, seems to be pleased with itself for having finished another task for me.

My rice cooker plays “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” when the rice is cooked. This is a Japanese rice cooker, and I don’t know if the version sold in Japan plays the same tune.  My stove, on the other hand, does that same annoying blare when time is up. Is there something American about unpleasant noise?(Anyone who has to watch U.S. news would certainly say that there is.) Why do the South Koreans and Japanese opt for pleasant sounds?

More thoughts on sounds tomorrow, including cell phones. Please feel free to comment at any point about your interactions with electronic sounds.

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