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My reputation is too low to post a comment, however I stumbled over this (old) question and want to correct a detail in the accepted answer by Matthew Read: On a guitar, when you strike an open string the wavelength λ of the sound produced is the length if the string. However, the wavelength is twice the length, though. Or in other words, the length of ...


The point of consonant intervals (of which chords are mostly comprised) is that the various frequencies are in a ratio of small numbers. Now if the intervals are perfect intervals, the result is a combined signal that has the frequency of the greatest common divisor of all contained frequencies, reminiscent (after frequency separation in the inner ear) of a ...


Pitches in lower registers have harmonics which are more easily discernible to our hearing. When two or more low notes are heard together, each will produce their own set of harmonics which will tend to clash. Thus muddy. Higher pitches will also produce harmonics, but they won't be heard so easily, and won't be so discordant with each other.

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