Frog gastrocnemius muscles stimulated isometrically in a saline bath at 20 degrees C were found to produce a single ringing sound event beginning just before the tension record began to rise. The sound event was substantially over by the time the isometric tension began to fall. Results from studies correlating the spatial pattern of the sound, the amplitude and frequency of the sound as a function of the muscle length, and the response of both the passive and active muscle to a transverse pluck were found to be consistent with the conclusion that the sounds in these muscles are caused primarily by transverse resonant vibrations. As the muscle develops force, its lack of cylindrical symmetry gives rise to lateral motions, which are most likely the initiators of the bending vibrations detected as sound. © 1987, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.