Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


A unit of pitch, equal to one-thousandth of the pitch of a simple tone whose frequency is 1000 hertz and whose loudness is 40 decibels above a listener's threshold.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a subsidiary unit for the pitch of a sound that is used mainly in musical acoustics. The quantitative evaluation of sound with respect to pitch is based on statistical treatment of a great deal of data regarding the subjective impression of pitch for audible tones. Research results indicate that the pitch of a sound is mainly dependent on the frequency of the vibrations but that it also depends on the loudness and timbre.

Acoustic vibrations at a frequency of 1000 hertz (Hz) and an effective sound pressure of 2 X 10−3 newton per sq m (that is, a loudness of 40 phons) coming from in front of an observer with normal hearing create for him an impression of a pitch fixed by definition at 1,000 mels. A sound at a frequency of 20 Hz and a loudness level of 40 phons has, by definition, zero pitch (0 mel). The relationship between the pitch of pure tones and the frequency for constant loudness are shown in Figure 1. It is a nonlinear function, especially at low frequencies (for “low” sounds).

Figure 1


Skudrzyk, E. Osnovy akustiki, vol. 2. Moscow, 1959. (Translated from German.)
Beranek, L. Akusticheskie izmereniia. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


(Maya Embedded Language) See Maya.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Mel pointed the finger at Lorraine in divorce papers as a key factor in the end of the marriage but she will be shocked Stephen and Lorraine have stayed close.
"It made Mel review any feelings of bitterness and upset.
Last night our source said: "Mel was just happy to clear this mess up once and for all.
The girls kick off their UK stadium tour in Cardiff on May 27, earning PS2.2million each - but Rusty said Mel never told him why Posh had dropped out of the reunion plans.
Mel C also added that it is unlikely for Spice Girls to reunite as Victoria Beckham has been vocal about her resistance for a reunion.
The US source said: "Mel's decision to sign for AGT shows no one is locked in for the gigs as summer would be the best time for business."
11.40-L Easton (O), R Anderson (Mel), S Howker (BH).
Mel feared the tumour could still grow, but doctors say this is "not necessarily the case".
To determine the actual MEL on an item, you need two figures:
Mel added: "I'd had the same allotment in Pontcanna for 40 years and went there every day and the doctors said it's what saved me."
In June of 2008, Mel Knight will become 2nd Vice-President of the National Environmental Health Association and he will assume the NEHA Presidency in 2011.