If you hear electrical equipment humming, it’s probably at a pitch of about 60 Hz since that’s the frequency of AC power, at least in North America. In Europe and most of Asia it’s a little lower at 50 Hz. Here’s an audio clip in a couple formats: wav, mp3.
The screen shot above comes from a tuner app taken when I was around some electrical equipment. The pitch sometimes registered at A# and sometimes as B, and for good reason. In a previous post I derived the formula for converting frequencies to musical pitches:
h = 12 log(P / C) / log 2.
Here C is the pitch of middle C, 261.626 Hz, P is the frequency of your tone, and h is the number of half steps your tone is above middle C. When we stick P = 60 Hz into this formula, we get h = -25.49, so our electrical hum is half way between 25 and 26 half-steps below middle C. So that’s between a A# and a B two octaves below middle C.
For 50 Hz hum, h = -28.65. That would be between a G and a G#, a little closer to G.
Update: So why would the frequency of the sound match the frequency of the electricity? The magnetic fields generated by the current would push and pull parts, driving mechanical vibrations at the same frequency.
Related: Accoustics consulting