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Questions tagged [frequency]

Frequency is a property of any repeating event, and in music, the phenomenon of pitch is qualitatively assessed via a sound wave's frequency, or number of vibrations per second. Higher sounds have higher frequency, and lower-pitched sounds have lower frequencies.

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65 votes
12 answers
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A (440 Hz) and A (880 Hz) are completely different sounds to me. Does this mean I'm tone deaf?

A recent episode of the podcast Surprisingly Awesome about music theory featured the line: So just to be clear, pretty much every human, when they hear a 440 or an 880, it’s going to sound like the ...
laffoyb's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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Dissonance: why doesn't the roughness curve have a dip for complex intervals like 7/6?

Roughness is explained well in Is there a way to measure the consonance or dissonance of a chord? In particular the Plomp-Levelt curve is derived, which has various dips showing how simple intervals (...
Sideshow Bob's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Trumpet Peculiar Frequency spectrum

So I made this frequency spectrum analyzer and tested various instruments playing a certain note. There doesn't seem to be any problem with the 'equalizer'. However, I found the spectrum for trumpet ...
Black Jack 21's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

How did Pythagoras and Ptolemy measure the relative pitch of musical notes?

Both Pythagoras and Ptolemy believed that the intervals between notes in music should be ratios of small integer numbers. This is known as Just Intonation. Pythagoras liked them to derived from ...
Electric-Gecko's user avatar
2 votes
6 answers
6k views

Do musical instruments pitched at different frequencies play different notes when compared to each other?

I'm trying to get a better understanding how the pitch affects the note. Say if person A has a flute that is pitched to 440Hz and person B has a flute pitched to 335Hz, and they both decide to play ...
O S's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
284 views

In one note played on a piano, say C4, what can we say about the phases of the different frequencies heard?

Say C4 is played. There are the harmonics, and then other frequencies of lesser amplitude. Based on how a string vibrates, can we describe a pattern to the phases of these frequencies?
Artemmm's user avatar
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36 votes
9 answers
14k views

Why are C♯ and D♭ different frequencies?

I am a music enthusiast, and I was recently reading What is the difference between equivalent Flat and Sharp keys as far as musical notation? Are there any reasons to prefer one over the other? This ...
yasar's user avatar
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30 votes
4 answers
25k views

Why is a 440 Hz frequency considered the "standard" pitch for musical instruments?

I was reading the Idiot's Guides: Music Theory (3rd edition), and I read: The "standard" pitch today that most musicians tune to is the A above middle C, which equals 440 Hz; all the other ...
O S's user avatar
  • 725
22 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why do certain rooms/vessels respond to specific frequencies?

Since I was a kid I was always wondering why is it that when I sing in a small room (i.e. bathroom!), whenever I touch a certain frequency, the whole room vibrates sympathetically. What are the ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
11k views

What are the true frequencies of the piano keys?

In theory it is easy, to get the frequency of the note other than A4=440Hz you just multiply/divide 440Hz by the proper number. For example, to get A2, you divide by 4 and get A2=110Hz. I read for ...
nuoritoveri's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why is the perfect fifth the nicest interval?

I heard that after the sound of the octave the most pleasant interval to people is the perfect fifth. If we take a middle C (C4) with frequency of 261.63 Hz If we take one octave higher that'd be 2*...
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the significance of Pythagorean comma (as in why is there a need to end in the same place)?

The following two links provide a brief introduction to Pythagorean comma: Pythagorean Comma - Indiana University The "Pythagorean Comma" - Jody Nagel The wikipedia article on this subject is also ...
Shashank Sawant's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why are pure tones depicted as sine waves?

This is pretty much the only thing in music theory (that i've covered so far) that I cannot understand. What I would expect to hear is what you get from LFO, or Low Frequency Oscillator represented by ...
user108262's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
6k views

Are the highest pitches always the easiest to hear in a musical texture?

Are the highest pitches always the easiest to hear in a musical texture (all other factors, such as dynamic, timbre, articulation, etc. being equal)? Is this why melodic parts tend to be the highest ...
Bob Broadley's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why are the frequency ratios of notes in the Pythagorean scales 9/8 and 256/243?

In Pythagorean tuning, for every 7th semitones the frequency would increase by a factor of 3/2 (to get that harmonious perfect fifth). If the frequency of C4 is set to 256Hz, the frequency of G4 can ...
KMC's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Difference between drum sounds and melody sounds

I would like to learn more about the kind of sounds used in music that can make a scale discernable. Regular drums for instance do a bad job, even if they can be tuned. I've no idea if that's true ...
visionset's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is virtual pitch?

From what I understand, virtual pitch is a concept that is supposed to account for the "missing fundamental" phenomenon. Specifically, A harmonic sound is said to have a missing fundamental when ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
453 views

is there an instrument that plays all notes for the same volume profile (over time) regardless of pitch

So you know how when playing a stringed instrument a low note will always play longer than a high note. Here is a good question about it - When we press a piano key, why does a high pitch note not run ...
missway's user avatar
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