It is suggested that p modes in the sun are on average excited to a surface amplitude which is solely a function of frequency, except in the case of modes of the highest degree. Observational data in the 2-4 mHz range seem to be consistent with this hypothesis. The sharp-line component first reported by Claverie et al (1979) in the power spectra of whole-disc measurements is due to a near coincidence of the eigenfrequencies of modes of low degree, which are the modes to which such measurements are most sensitive. Previously, similar observations did not isolate the sharp-line component, in part, because although the amplitudes of the motion observed were consistent with the stated hypothesis, the observing intervals were too short. The amplitudes of the higher-degree modes responsible for the five-minute oscillations reported by Leighton. Noyes and Simon (1962) are also essentially in accord with the hypothesis presented.