Teaching Heart Sounds to Health ProfessionalsTeaching Heart Sounds to Health Professionals

• NEW for 2021 •

Pediatric Heart Murmur Recognition Program

This Heart Murmur Recognition Program is designed to teach you to distinguish between the normal, vibrating murmur and the abnormal, more harsh sounding murmur, by listening to many examples and comparing them with each other.

The two normal heart sounds have a very short duration, relating to valve closure.

Murmurs are sounds having a longer duration and are made either by movement of blood through the heart, or by vibration of heart tissue. When there is a murmur, either a “swooshing” or a vibrating sound is heard in addition to the “lub-dub”.

Murmurs are very common in children and most are normal. The normal type of murmur has a vibrating quality like the beginning of the letter “V”. Abnormal murmurs have a more harsh sound, like the syllable “sh” sound.

The sounds were recorded in children aged one year to teenage. You may hear background noise or breath sounds.

The aim of the program is not to diagnose specific abnormalities but to distinguish between normal and abnormal murmurs.

A careful history and physical examination is needed to properly assess the significance and source of any murmur.

Identifying a murmur as normal or abnormal is an important step in the process, especially for family physicians.


  • Listen to the heart sounds in a quiet room, using good quality earbuds directly connected to the computer or mobile device.
  • Do not use computer speakers.
  • First, the program will present recordings of two murmurs: a normal, vibrating type of murmur, and an abnormal harsh “sh” sounding murmur. Try to remember the difference between these two sounds as you listen to the recordings in the program.
  • Then you will be presented with a random series of recordings one at a time and for each one you will be asked to decide whether the murmur is normal (vibrating) or abnormal (shh). You will get immediate confirmation of your answer as correct or incorrect.
  • After 20 answers you will be given your cumulative score. Then proceed for a further series of 23. You can repeat the exercise as many times as you like.
  • Tip: Comparing sounds is helpful for remembering them. After each of your answers is confirmed, compare that recording with the previous one and note the difference. You can flag specific recordings for later review using the yellow [REVIEW] button.

Expect to get some wrong answers! It may take you a few tries to become proficient at murmur recognition. This is to be expected as it is a learned skill which will improve with practice.

The Quiz

There are a randomized mixture of 43 normal and abnormal heart murmur sounds in this quiz.

Each time the quiz restarts, the sounds are presented in a different randomized order.

After 20 answers you will be given your cumulative score. Then you can proceed for a further series of 23 heart murmur recordings.

Test data is collected to calculate the average score for all users taking the quiz. All data is anonymous and no personal information is collected by this website.

(jump to Part 2)

There are 43 heart murmur sounds in this quiz (19 normal and 24 abnormal).
Each time the quiz restarts, the sounds are presented in a random order.

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