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Modern sound-based appliances often have a button or control to turn off the sound. This is great if, say, you've got the volume on your stereo or tv cranked way up and you want to take a phone call.

On an appliance like a telephone or speaker phone, the mute function works almost the exact opposite - it prevents the other party from hearing any sounds on your end.

Even the volume control in MS Windows has a mute option to silence any but the most basic computer-based noises. I'm always scrambling for this one when I come across a web site with tacky midis playing in the background.

This is a skateboarding/snowboarding grab. It is the most basic grab right beside the indy. It is quick and easy to do, making it ideal for beginners and for combos.

As I said before, this trick is relatively simple. It can even be done off the ground without the assistance of a jump. Simply reach down behind you with your right hand (left if you are goofy) and grab the edge board in between your legs. For more style try tweaking it.

Mutes are widely used additions to instruments, usually for jazz, but which can also be seen in chamber and orchestra music. There are many different types, each eliciting a different sound, nuance, or effect, but each are used in a similar manner. All that I know of are for brass instruments, and almost always for use in trombones or trumpets. Each is inserted into the bell, in order to stop or alter the sound exiting the end of the instrument.

Some common mute types (all vary by size according to instrument):

Plunger: Perhaps the most common mute, this is simply the rubber end taken off any (un-used) toilet plunger. There are more expensive, made-for-music models, but they pretty much do the same thing. Held at an angle over the bell, as to not totally block off all sound, the plunger will give a softer, reverberating nuance to the tone of the note. Can also be used to create a "wah-wah" effect by moving the hand and mute closer or farther away from the bell. In the event that one forgets his or her plunger, the player's hand may be substituted, but only in emergencies.

Straight Mute: Another very common mute, this comes in a conical shape which will be partially stuck into the bell. It is usually fashioned out of high-grade cardboard and stone lining. Peices of cork and pressure hold it in place. The straight mute gives the tone a softer and slightly nasal sound.

Cup Mute: Very similar to the straight mute, the cup mute has all the same attributes except for a cup at the end which comes up to about 1/4 of the way up the cone. This creates a much more nasal sound, and also creates a more "tinny" effect on the note played.

Harmon Mute: The Harmon mute is usually made out of fiberglass or aluminum. Most used by trumpet players, and most often in jazz. This mute creates a more "tinny" sound (especially if aluminum), and also creates a buzz due to a stopper in the center of the front of the mute. This can be removed to create less of a buzz, or moved in and out to create a "buzz-wah" effect.

Bucket Mute: Also held in by a cork pieces on a tube-like arm into the bell, this mute has a bucket off the end that traps much of the sound. This creates a warm or fuzzy nuance in the note, along with the quieting effect. Other styles are simple cylindrical buckets which clip to the outside of the bell (this is the more classic style).

There are, of course, many more variations involving shapes, sizes, and especially materials. Another, more boring mute is the practice mute which stops all sound (obviously for the purpose of practicing, in order to avoid annoying everyone in your general vicinity).

When I begin to watch "Mute", the fifth episode of the fourth season of The Twilight Zone, my first impression was "This looks a little bit lighter, that is good, I could use something light". After such heavy fare as The Thirty-Fathom Grave and He's Alive, it made sense for the pendulum to swing back. I was not totally wrong, but this episode developed earlier topics in its own way. It begins in Dusseldorf, Germany, where a group of four couples decide to learn to be telepathic by not speaking, and raising their children without speech. We then fast forward to the present day, when one of those couples dies in a fire in Pennsylvania, with a county sheriff rescuing their 12 year old daughter.

Incidentally, a small town sheriff coming to the rescue of a psychic child because she reminds him of his dead daughter was an important plot point in Stranger Things, but I wouldn't draw too direct of a comparison between them. The more relevant episode to me is that this episode focused on a female protagonist, and her relationship with other women. It passes the Bechdel Test in ways both mundane and important. This is especially a contrast since two recent previous episodes (The Thirty-Fathom Grave and He's Alive) contained no speaking roles for women. Young telepath Ilse has a gift. After the sheriff brings her home, his wife wants to adopt her---but has no understanding of why Ilse can not speak. When Ilse goes away to school, the teacher, Miss Frank, wants to help her speak--- and, we find, actually does understand that Ilse is telepathic. The two women trying to bring Ilse into the fold is the emotional struggle of the episode. And, in the case of Miss Frank, it has certain undertones, as it reminded me almost of sexuality-conversion therapy. Interestingly enough, the short story by Richard Matheson that this is based on had a male child as a protagonist. And I believe that changing the gender gives another angle to the story. Because one of The Twilight Zone's running arguments with itself is about how healthy it is to be different. Consider A World of His Own and The Obsolete Man, episodes that show different sides to wanting to live in a world of your own. Both of those have male pronouns. This episode, in its own way, addresses what the question is like for women, with the perhaps condescending conclusion that for a woman, it is worthwhile to give up special abilities to earn happiness from others. That is, of course, only one way to look at it, especially since other episodes have come to the opposite conclusion.

Mute (?), v. t. [L. mutare to change. See Molt.]

To cast off; to molt.

Have I muted all my feathers? Beau. & Fl.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mute, v. t. & i. [F. mutir, 'emeutir, OF. esmeltir, fr. OD. smelten, prop., to melt. See Smelt.]

To eject the contents of the bowels; -- said of birds.

B. Jonson.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mute, n.

The dung of birds.

Hudibras.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mute, a. [L. mutus; cf. Gr. to shut, Skr. mta bound, mka dumb: cf. OE. muet, fr. F. muet, a dim. of OF. mu, L. mutus.]

1.

Not speaking; uttering no sound; silent.

All the heavenly choir stood mute, And silence was in heaven. Milton.

In law a prisoner is said to stand mute, when, upon being arranged, he makes no answer, or does not plead directly, or will not put himself on trial.

2.

Incapable of speaking; dumb.

Dryden.

3.

Not uttered; unpronounced; silent; also, produced by complete closure of the mouth organs which interrupt the passage of breath; -- said of certain letters. See 5th Mute, 2.

4.

Not giving a ringing sound when struck; -- said of a metal.

Mute swan Zool., a European wild white swan (Cygnus gibbus), which produces no loud notes.<-- in distinction from the Trumpeter swan -->

Syn. -- Silent; dumb; speechless. -- Mute, Silent, Dumb. One is silent who does not speak; one is dumb who can not, for want of the proper organs; as, a dumb beast, etc.; and hence, figuratively, we speak of a person as struck dumb with astonishment, etc. One is mute who is held back from speaking by some special cause; as, he was mute through fear; mute astonishment, etc. Such is the case with most of those who never speak from childhood; they are not ordinarily dumb, but mute because they are deaf, and therefore never learn to talk; and hence their more appropriate name is deaf-mutes.

They spake not a word; But, like dumb statues, or breathing stones, Gazed each on other. Shak.

All sat mute, Pondering the danger with deep thoughts. Milton.

 

© Webster 1913.


Mute, n.

1.

One who does not speak, whether from physical inability, unwillingness, or other cause.

Specifically: (a)

One who, from deafness, either congenital or from early life, is unable to use articulate language; a deaf-mute.

(b)

A person employed by undertakers at a funeral.

(c)

A person whose part in a play does not require him to speak.

(d)

Among the Turks, an officer or attendant who is selected for his place because he can not speak.

2. Phon.

A letter which represents no sound; a silent letter; also, a close articulation; an element of speech formed by a position of the mouth organs which stops the passage of the breath; as, p, b, d, k, t.

3. Mus.

A little utensil made of brass, ivory, or other material, so formed that it can be fixed in an erect position on the bridge of a violin, or similar instrument, in order to deaden or soften the tone.

 

© Webster 1913.

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