Questions tagged [harmonics]

Queries that relate to overtones or harmonics as used in a musical context.

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5
votes
4answers
210 views

12-TET and harmonics

I recently found out that 12-TET tuning does not produce perfect fifths or thirds, but that most intervals are a few cents out of key. It's actually a compromise that works very well. I wanted to ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Where can I find the harmonic profile for each instrument?

I'm doing a project on instrument detection using the harmonic profile of each instrument. The idea is that the relative amplitudes of the harmonics will allow me to identify what instrument is ...
21
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4answers
2k views

How do harmonic tones get “out of tune” on a brass instrument?

In a video I saw, a guy was reviewing a prototype trombone, and he said that "the high f is out of tune" (the sixth overtone) I don't understand how a fixed length of tubing (1st position) can produce ...
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0answers
34 views

Is it accurate to tune with harmonics higher than a third on the double bass?

I typically play an A4 with my tuner when I am tuning because that is the note that the violin would be playing. On the bass, I would be playing the A harmonic on the D-string in fourth position. If ...
2
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5answers
93 views

Is it possible to modify an instrument's waveform to sound like another?

An instrument's distinctive "sound" comes from its timbre which comes from its various harmonics and these in turn affect the shape of the waveform. As such, I feel like it would be possible for ...
1
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2answers
80 views

Why does a sixth sound so harsh below C3? [closed]

I have noticed that a sixth, particularly a harmonic sixth, sounds very harsh when the lowest note is below C3 and especially harsh if the sixth is minor. In fact, a minor sixth below C3 sounds to my ...
5
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2answers
265 views

Harmonics and Amplitude

We know the harmonic series increases, f*1, f*2, f*3 etc... where f = fundamental. We also know there is a drop in amplitude roughly corresponding to 1/h, where h = harmonic. So if 440 is our ...
4
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5answers
507 views

What is required in a hollow “tube” to resonate?

What is required in a hollow piece of tube of any shape to resonate and generate musical stable pitches and harmonics?
42
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8answers
2k views

Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound?

We all know that an instrument's timbre is uniquely determined by its harmonic series. Harmonic series are also very effective in describing whether an interval is consonant or not. For example, the ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Should I listen to bowed note or released note when tuning?

When I am tuning my double bass using harmonics, the note sounds like it changes intonation when I release the note compared to when I am bowing. I think this has something to do with the bow action ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Does the series of octaves (1, 2, 4, 8) have a name?

We call any series of frequencies which are multiples of 1,2,3,4,5... etc a harmonic series, and they define the notes (for example) C0-C1-G1-C2-E2-G2-Bb2-... Is there a name for the series of ...
3
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2answers
160 views

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? [duplicate]

How could the Greek (Pythagoras et al.) measure the frequencies - as they didn't have a mobile app? They didn't have a tuning fork or any other standardized measure. But even without standards they ...
9
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6answers
1k views

Do interval ratios take overtones into account or solely the fundamental frequency?

An interval holds two pitches (C an G). Those two pitches have a fundamental frequency which represents their pitch names, along with their harmonic series/overtones. When we turn that interval into ...
1
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2answers
113 views

Harmonic series role in a just intonation interval ranking?

In my studies, I was reflecting on this theory and just wanted your guys clarification.. A pitch in an octave is comprised of a fundamental frequency followed by its overtones. When we focus on an ...
5
votes
4answers
638 views

Is practicing Indian classical on a harmonium a problem?

My Indian classical music teacher asks me to practice alankaars on a harmonium. 1) Will practicing on a harmonium somehow bias my voice towards the western fixed tempered scale on which the harmonium ...
1
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2answers
78 views

Does this harmonic pattern look strange? [closed]

This is a sound from nature. It only has 3 harmonics, plus the 2nd and 3rd harmonic are louder than the first. I don't know what made the sound. Could a human or instrument make a similar waveform? ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Playing saxophone without using the octave key

A few years back, I have noticed by accident (I forgot to press the octave key while practising one of the musical pieces) that I can play all the notes on the tenor saxophone that normally require ...
5
votes
3answers
346 views

How do ratios work within the harmonic series?

Good day stack family, So in the harmonic series, we have a fundamental (pitch/note) and a succession of harmonics that stem from the fundamental which also hold other pitches within themselves. ...
1
vote
2answers
317 views

How should I write a tutti chord?

Somebody commented on my Pathetique Sonata orchestration that it is all wrong and how it is wrong. Here I will focus on the part of the comment related to tutti chords. Here is the link to my ...
2
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0answers
75 views

Interpretation of songsterr tab

Hi guys I'm looking at a tab on songsterr (Use Somebody fingerstyle) and at the 8th bar the tab indicates the playing of the open CGC strings and above it says t.h.(12) and t.h.(19). Can anyone ...
4
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5answers
1k views

Why does flute fingering have to be so complicated?

So, I have progressed on my flute. I'm now getting the notes that I am supposed to be getting. Here is what I noticed during my last flute practice as far as fingerings: All open: C# 1 key down(...
15
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2answers
2k views

Can the harmonic series explain the origin of the major scale?

This Wikipedia article is the source for two overtone series charts... The numbers above the harmonic indicate the number of cents' difference from equal temperament (rounded to the nearest cent). ...
1
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1answer
146 views

Is this double stop playable on violin?

I am thinking of ending my trio piece with the violin playing a double stop. I am wondering however, if the double stop I am thinking of using is playable. Here, I will just show the harmony as I am ...
9
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4answers
1k views

Where do the natural harmonics fall on the bass guitar?

Do harmonics work the same on bass guitar as is the case with a regular guitar (Natural harmonics at the 7th and 12th frets) or is it different on the bass?
7
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2answers
1k views

What's the difference between artificial and natural harmonics?

I have heard a lot about natural harmonics, what are they, what's the difference to artificial ones?
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6answers
516 views

What is the maximum number of distinct notes that can be played in a chord?

At what point does adding another note to a chord become chaotic or unpleasant to the ear? What known chord has the most notes and is there way to hear that chord here as an answer? Different ...
8
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4answers
1k views

What causes overtones at harmonic frequencies in an instrument? [duplicate]

I know when a string is plucked on a violin you can hear many overtones at harmonic frequencies, but where do these overtones come from? Does an ideal string vibrating in a vacuum vibrate at the ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Why is the Major-Minor Scale unused?

I tried to make the "best" 7-tone scale in just intonation. Specifically: The tones must be alongside the equal temperament. (7-TET here) The tones must have the least maximum harmonic distance. ...
1
vote
1answer
330 views

Harmonics in composition

As a composer, I never took under consideration the harmonics and natural overtones of note frequencies and never had trouble, as long as it all sounded well and was not very dissonant (unless I ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What does a wave with all even harmonics sound like?

So most synthesizers provide us with four standard wave forms: A sine wave which has a single fundamental A sawtooth wave which has a fundamental and a range of odd and even harmonics A square wave ...
14
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6answers
4k 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 ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Bass guitar: Fret distance formula

I just set off a new trip to the wonderful world of fretted instruments. I bought myself an electric bass guitar (cort c4h). My question to you is what is the formula of the fret distances along the ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Do all periodic sound waves have harmonics?

I 've read that all periodic sound waves have a fundamental frequency and I was wondering if all periodic sound waves also have harmonics (integer multiples of a fundamental frequency). If that ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Pitch perception: What allows us to uniquely identify a musical note?

If I start on a musical note on the piano and play out the folllowing harmonics/overtones I can find all the notes in the chromatic scale via the harmonic series eventually. Does that mean that every ...
0
votes
1answer
259 views

Why do we scale/shift up an octave in the overtone series?

If I take C (middle C on piano ) as a base from which to construct the overtone series, I quickly find G and E to have simple ratios 3:1 and 5:1 and by shifting octaves I get 3:2 and 5:4. And I was ...
7
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5answers
2k views

In a musical note (A for an example) are all the other frequencies harmonic?

In a musical note (A for an example) are all the other frequencies harmonic (integer multiples)? Is there any inharmonic frequencies in A? Edit: A4 on the piano for example. Im very grateful for ...
3
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2answers
100 views

What to call natural harmonics on bowed strings in speech

I was describing harmonics to a friend and it occurred to me that I don't know the convention for naming harmonics on bowed strings. I can read it in standard notation and I recognise the symbols, I ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Playing complex chords on a 6-string guitar

Forgive my ignorance, I lately got a little bit into music theory and I realize that on a 6 string guitar there are a good bunch of chords that can't be played correctly/completely. Now, if you ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What determines the relative volumes of the harmonics when plucking a guitar string?

When you pluck a single guitar string, several different frequencies/tones are produced at once. leftaroundbout's answer here does a great job of explaining why these higher harmonics are produced on ...
0
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2answers
711 views

How do I practice overtones on the saxophone?

I've read through What are the best techniques to play overtones in the saxophone? but I can't seem to move forward. I've gotten to the point where I can play the first harmonic, as in an octave above,...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How to understand a minor chord using the harmonic series?

I play bass guitar and I have often wondered why a bass note would synchronise well with both major and minor chords of say a piano when we consider the harmonic series. For instance, the C Major is ...
2
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1answer
458 views

Why harmonic seventh seems irrelevant?

I've been learning about the science behind music and came across the harmonic seventh interval as 7:4 ratio. Now we know that it's generally not used in just intonation as well as equal temperament. ...
2
votes
2answers
620 views

Why does signal clipping create more resonance in the upper harmonics

I was watching this video: In it you can see that upper harmonics start to resonate/sustain even grow. What is about a square wave that fosters harmonics better then ...
6
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1answer
3k 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 ...
5
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4answers
855 views

Why is a Perfect Fourth Considered Consonant? [duplicate]

I've been doing some research into the harmonic series lately. What I've come to understand is that the lower the ratio between the harmonics, the more pleasant/consonant the interval is. So, an ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Reference frequency computation procedure explanations

I develop a web tool to detect Harmonic Key on a < audio >/< video > node on a web page. I found over wikipedia, the "Harmonic Pitch Class Profiles". It's a procedure to extract the harmonic ...
3
votes
1answer
827 views

How should I interpret decimals in guitar tabs?

I found this in the Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Dream Theater Guitar Tab Book. The notation implies a harmonic on the second and third strings, but what do 2.7 and 3.2 mean?
3
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2answers
305 views

Harmonics and muted notes

Are harmonics and muted notes only possible on string instruments like Guitars and Violins? Are they possible on pianos, organs, flutes, horns, harps or brass instruments? By harmonics I meant those ...
2
votes
3answers
159 views

Would an instrument that tuned itself harmonically on the fly sound in tune?

Pianos can't be tuned perfectly using harmonic tuning, because they have a string for every note. See this MinutePhysics video for a good explanation of why. But with current technology, we could ...