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Apparently it means there is a dungeon around but I can never find any?

If it does mean dungeons how far away will it trigger?

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I wish I could hear the music :( –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Oct 13 '10 at 18:13
    
Do you not have speakers or does it not play? You can download the sounds here –  Ronan Forman Oct 13 '10 at 20:05
    
I hate those sounds. They always freak me out... –  Anonymous Pi Sep 1 '13 at 14:08

5 Answers 5

up vote 40 down vote accepted

As described in this article on minecraftwiki.net,

Ambience (sometimes called cave noises) is a set of sounds that occasionally plays when the player is in close proximity to an unlit cave. Despite their name, they are not sounds that one would expect to hear inside of a cave, such as falling pebbles, but rather supernatural noises frequently likened to ghostly train whistles, rice rockets, and demon roars.

Ambient sounds require that a space at least 3×3×3, entirely at light level zero, be positioned ten to twenty blocks away from the player in any direction. The space does not need to be sealed off - a sound can even play from a space that the player can actually see - nor does the player need to be underground to hear it. The sounds can also come from player-created spaces, even if that space is a box above the clouds.

Contrary to popular insistence, ambience is not an indicator of nearby ore, dungeons, or mobs. Following them can still lead the player to such things indirectly, since they emanate from unexplored caves.

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to answer number 1 it is pressing f3 and looking around u can tell if there is a dungeon bacuase it well list enemies and others mobs by a some random number with letters in it if there is a large group of numbers and letters then theres your dungeon but if they didnt fix it yet by spamming your fog toggle key u can see light and flames and lava through stone and any other matieral u are trying to peer through –  user8972 Apr 25 '11 at 19:38
    
@overkillfish I think that's been fixed recently. –  Keaanu May 31 '11 at 14:33
    
The f3 Entity count "e" will tell you how many mobs are in the direction you are facing. –  Chris Nava Sep 18 '12 at 14:41

I don't think it means anything significant, definitely not that there's a dungeon around.

I have noticed that I tend to hear it as I descend into darkness or reach the surface during the day, so I believe that there are triggers to improve the mood, just not ones that are related to dungeons (yet).

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I've heard it when entering a dark area when I'm caving before put torches up. This has happened regularly enough to make me think it is a trigger for the scary music, but may be just a coincidence.

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The train-like noise means that you're near an unlit undiscovered cave system. One of the noises of which I'm not sure means that you're near a dungeon, but the only problem is that you can't tell whether to dig in front of you, behind you, up, down, left, or right.

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As far as I can tell the music is mostly meaningless. I have heard that it signifies morning has come but it doesn't always play then. I think it's more there to just freak you out or get you inspired than it is to serve any mechanical purpose.

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Now there's a game design idea; play sinister music snatches at random. "dun Dun DUUUN!" –  Stuart Pegg Oct 13 '10 at 18:38
    
I was under the impression that it meant a mob had spawned somewhere in the vicinity –  Keaanu Oct 13 '10 at 21:44
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@Keaanu If that's the case it would never play on peaceful. Since it does play on peaceful, there goes that theory. –  StrixVaria Oct 13 '10 at 21:53
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According to what I could understand from a forum topic, mobs spawn on every difficulty level, but they are removed right after spawning on Peaceful. –  Denilson Sá Nov 27 '10 at 22:14

protected by Community Jun 25 '11 at 16:30

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