A Day In The Life

Sgt PepperI was reading my old copy of The Beatles Recording Sessions the other day, in particular about the creation of A Day In The Life — which recently was voted number 24 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 of All Time.

I was interested in the orchestral crescendo of sound halfway through the song and again at the end, but I also mentioned to the kids the “dog whistle” sound just after it. The book reveals it wasn’t a real dog whistle, but a tone at the same pitch as a dog whistle.

Can you hear it?

Playing it, I can’t hear a thing. Neither can Jeremy. But interestingly, Isaac can. Apparently at some ages, kids are able to hear those tones, and Isaac told me that one enterprising company sells such a tone as a mobile phone ring, which the kids can hear but their teachers and parents can’t.

Speaking of Beatles, forty years ago on Saturday, the photo shoot for the Abbey Road cover took place. Apparently there are moves to remove the crossing… but in the mean time, you can view it live on the Abbey Road crossing cam.

Oh, and here’s my not-very-well posed picture on the crossing from back in ’98:
Abbey Road crossing, 1998

And here’s a spoof circa 1990ish.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

11 replies on “A Day In The Life”

I can hear it too (I’m 30) – and yes, as Will says, it’s super annoying!

There are also very high-pitched ‘mosquito tones’ that are sometimes used outside the front of shops to deter teenagers from hanging around outside, which is all very well unless you’re an adult that can hear them too. The first time I heard one I thought the aliens were landing, it was such an unearthly noise…

I’ve always found it easy to hear and I still do. But I’ve never listened to it on rubbish equipment – on a portable CD player with poor speakers it will be much quieter.

I’m very excited. I’m finally losing those upper registers and I can only just hear it. It’s been very hard on my ears all these years and now it’s almost gone!!

You can get some apps on the iphone that can play the high sounds. When I first loaded one up and pressed the button I couldn’t hear a thing. But my wife immediately said, “What is that noise?”.

I could hear nothing unless I put my ear next to my laptop’s speaker. Then I only heard a very faint high pitched sound that could have been background noise in the media player for all I know. Perhaps some speakers (depending on what device you are listening to) might not be able to reproduce this sound. When my dad was about my age (almost 42) he could no longer hear some sounds such as crickets chirping. I still can.

I have seen small sonic devices that are supposed to deter rats, mice, and roaches with a high pitched sounds. I don’t know if they actually work.
I have heard that loud classical music will deter teens from loitering around 7-11 and other similiar stores.

I’ve always heard it and still can (I’m 32). I had put it down to the fact that I’m a classical musician, but it appears I’m not in the minority!


It’s the same noise that I hear when someone back in the day left a monitor on and turned off the Beeb that was connected to it. The High School computer lab was really annoying when I first walked in there each time… People would wonder how I could just walk straight to every monitor that was turned on and turn them off without searching for the glowing lights..

… Especially the monitor that had the broken power LED!

I guess that dates me, but to help, I’m 35 and was born at episode 3 of Death To The Daleks!

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