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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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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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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
6k views

What is an All-Pass Filter? What are its uses?

Wikipedia says: An all-pass filter is a signal processing filter that passes all frequencies equally in gain, but changes the phase relationship among various frequencies. What does changes the ...
Lyric Roy's user avatar
  • 707
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
21 votes
7 answers
3k views

Speed of playing notes in different octaves

Is it common for pieces to have lower notes played slower? Do instruments with lower registers typically play slower? I ask because notes in lower octaves are closer together in frequency. For ...
thaimin's user avatar
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19 votes
10 answers
7k views

Why do two identical notes never cancel each other out?

If we consider a note as a sine function with a certain frequency (ignoring timbre), if you start playing another sine function, even with the same frequency but starting at a different offset, ...
Powereleven 's user avatar
18 votes
10 answers
7k views

Tuning a tuning fork?

I just purchased a new 440 Hz tuning fork. But several different computer, iPad and iPhone tuners say it's almost half a percent sharp (around 442) of Concert A. Is there any way to adjust the ...
hotpaw2's user avatar
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17 votes
7 answers
4k views

What is the reason a given note can have different "sounds"

People, instruments, objects, etc. all are capable of producing "sounds" that sound different (not sure the proper term for this) but can produce the same note. Given that sound can be ...
Ryan Griffith'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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14 votes
6 answers
5k views

Why don't tuning forks produce overtones?

I want to know how a tuning fork can produce a pure tone. I do not understand the process because I know, although not sure, the presence of air inside an instrument introduces the harmonics of the ...
Oguz's user avatar
  • 353
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
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does the lip really vibrate at the same frequency of a brass instrument?

The resonance of woodwind brass instruments can be modeled after a closed cylindrical pipe and calculated by the equation f = (nv)/(4L) where n denotes the number of harmonics, v the velocity of sound ...
KMC's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why don't two Boomwhackers with a one-octave pitch difference have a 2:1 length ratio?

I frequently use the tuned percussion tubes Boomwhackers in my elementary music teaching. I noticed something odd about them. When I compare the smaller and larger C tubes, they sound one octave ...
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11 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is it mathematically possible to create an equal temperament which matches just interval ratios?

I've coded a Python app which lets us have any number of semitones in an octave in order to experiment with microtonal music. I would like to ask if there's a possibility to create such an equal ...
ZenBerry's user avatar
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11 votes
9 answers
6k views

Why is the relationship between frequency and pitch exponential?

I read that the formula relating frequency to the note played was: F = 440 × 2 n / 12 Where F is the frequency in hertz of the note played and n is the number of notes from middle A. It seems ...
tom894's user avatar
  • 227
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Confusion about overtones and a slow-motion video of a plucked string

Until now, I thought I understood the basic idea behind a "timbre" of a sound: The specific combination of overtones. For example, this waveshape illustrates a combination of the first ...
mrpotato's user avatar
  • 129
10 votes
5 answers
7k views

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and music?

Is there a relationship between prime numbers and the series of overtones and their frequencies? I've found links to Euler's research about math and about music, and I got goose bumps when I found ...
Albrecht Hügli'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
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

How do I use an equalizer?

So mixing... (audio engineering). When using an equalizer on trackouts/instrument tracks, the general approach is cut out the "bad frequencies" and increase the "good frequencies" to accentuate the ...
Seery's user avatar
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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
9 votes
2 answers
7k views

How to calculate the difference in cents between a note and an arbitrary frequency?

Let's say I have the note A 440Hz and the frequency 450Hz. How do I calculate the distance in cents between that note and that frequency?
TaylorSwiftFan5932's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

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
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is heard when a tuning fork is struck?

When a tuning fork is struck I hear two tones. From a distance I can hear a high octave frequency of the pitch of the tuning fork. Though, if I listen to it closely (closer to my ears), I also hear a ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
9k views

How much should I slow down a song to lower it a half step?

My piano is a half step below the standard tuning. I want to listen to and play this song. I calculated that from the 12-range of tones I should slow it down by 1/12 of its frequency but it actually ...
Probably's user avatar
  • 354
8 votes
3 answers
15k views

PA System: What type of speaker for that "punchy" bass?

I got two JBL MR918 subwoofers and two Behringer EUROLIVE B215XL. My system does well, but when playing electronic music with a bass that would sound very punchy and you would feel it in the chest ...
heysamhey's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the "Jazz Bass Mid Scoop"?

I've heard of the "Jazz Bass Mid Scoop", what exactly is this? Some people say that the "Scoop is generally 500-600 Hz", others say "The frequencies that cancel are different ...
Edward's user avatar
  • 8,542
8 votes
2 answers
858 views

Calculating the frequency of quarter tones

I have several questions on the subject of note frequencies and their ranges: First Question How should I calculate the frequency of a quarter tone, such as the half-flat (half-bemol) that is found in ...
Majd Mahajenah's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a mathematical formula or a list of frequencies (Hz) of notes?

I want to create an app that generates the notes played on a standard bass guitar (4 strings, standard tuning). For this, I need the Hz value of the notes from low E (41 Hz, I think) on up. Is this a ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven'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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7 votes
3 answers
907 views

Are there any tuning differences between the C# Major Scale and Db Major Scale? [duplicate]

I am looking for a little clarification related to the differences between sharp (♯) and flat (♭) notes in music theory. Some people say C♯ and D♭ are the same, but some say they are not. Some say ...
Sooraj's user avatar
  • 918
7 votes
5 answers
8k views

Technique: How to produce even sound of an octave in Bamboo flute [Bansuri]?

I've been practicing to play Bansuri for 3 months. I practice playing single note for longer duration, and Alankars [patterns]. Starting note Sa [or C in Western notation] is played by closing first ...
Shrishail Talukar's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
980 views

More dissonant chords/intervals in the bass clef when frequency proportions are the same?

Take for example C augmented. It sounds more consonant in the treble clef above middle C and more dissonant in the bass clef. However the proportions of the frequencies are exactly the same. This ...
Caters's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
4k views

In Pythagorean tuning, what's the frequency of the tonic of each key?

When playing a fretless instrument (like violin), what frequency should be used to tune beginning of each key? I believe that for A major and A minor, 440Hz is the tonic. What will be the frequency ...
Shimmy Weitzhandler's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
210 views

Predicting the rate at which intensity diminishes as frequency/note increases

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to move this or delete it. I'm working on this application and I've run into a little roadblock. I noticed that as I play higher ...
Kevin Evans's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the math behind how keys/holes on woodwind instruments affect the pitch?

To make this question more specific, I'll provide an example of what I mean. Let's say you have an instrument that's just a tube you blow into, and it has one hole exactly halfway down the tube (I ...
Sam 's user avatar
  • 506
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to calculate the resulting frequency of two tones played together?

I it possible to calculate the resulting frequency when you play two tones with a frequency of X and Y at the same time?
knifre's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
3 answers
335 views

Are theremin's pitch hand positions unique?

I don't know much about theremins, and wondered about this: given a constant volume, I would like to know if I can produce the same note with different hand positions or if all notes have a specific/...
beppe9000's user avatar
  • 163
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
  • 328
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
  • 663
5 votes
5 answers
174 views

Balancing audio frequency bands and instrument volumes for consistent audio quality in highly variable environments, software, and hardware?

I use GarageBand to write music but in theory this question could apply to any composition and recording workflow. A problem I often run into is that different audio players seem to have their own &...
user1258361's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Am I hearing overtones or beats? is it normal to hear them?

I started learning piano not so long ago and there is something that's confusing me a lot: when I play some notes at the same time (chords or two notes) sometimes I hear a second higher vibrating ...
Pedro Brost's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
541 views

what is a beat histogram and how is it different from spectrograms?

I am learning about audio signals for analytical purposes. I came across beat histograms and spectrograms. I understand that a spectrogram is all about frequency and time but I am confused about beat ...
developer101's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
6k views

How do I figure out the fundamental frequency of a sound from its frequency spectrum?

I really want to know the fundamental frequency (hertz) of every sound I play in my DAW. All I have is an oscilloscope. I can see the waveform of a sound, I can see all the frequencies the sound is at ...
SillyQuestionMale's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
531 views

How do polyphonic pitch-shifting algorithms handle doubled/tripled octaves?

I do not in the first place how polyphonic pitch shifters work. What happens internally when one that’s adding octaves (or simply, octaves are being played) is fed into another? Does it treat the ...
JohnnyApplesauce's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
430 views

Frequencies that interfere with human speech

I had this interesting question in mind, sometimes when you listen to loud music, there is no problem speaking to a person at an ordinary volume so that he can hear and understand you, but mostly when ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 3,842
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

How often does each interval appear in the harmonic series (relative to the fundamental)?

For practical purposes, lets assume a limited harmonic series. How many harmonics are a fifth? How many a minor third? And so on. What intervals are commonly found in the harmonic series? What ...
user10930's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
533 views

Do accidental notes have their own name?

So if I understand correctly in western tonal music we chose 12 lucky notes that we decided use tremendously more than the others, among which we have gloriously named 7 even luckier notes as follow : ...
021's user avatar
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