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Questions tagged [harmonics]

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

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20 votes
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Why do the Fourier components of a piano note shift away from the harmonic series?

This comes from me answering a question about functionally modeling a piano playing a middle C note in Mathematica. I figured the note would consist of the fundamental frequency f0 ~ 440 × 2−9/12 Hz ...
ydd's user avatar
  • 303
4 votes
3 answers
939 views

Why does a harmonic still sound even though you lift your finger?

I have been experimenting with harmonics lately on my cello and found that the harmonic still sounds when you release your finger. Why is that? I know how to not let it sound (by plucking it) but why ...
Andy K's user avatar
  • 145
3 votes
3 answers
330 views

how much the pickup can influence the 'quality' of a pinch hamonic

I have two guitars, one Ibanez RG 550 with a Dimarzio tone zone and a Jackson RR5 with a Dimarzio X2N. Both the guitars as well as the pickups are of great quality. I have noticed that the pinch ...
BCArg's user avatar
  • 272
7 votes
3 answers
562 views

Equation to calculate the expected frequency of a natural harmonic at any location on the fretboard

On guitar you can play a "natural harmonic" by gently resting your finger directly over a fretwire and plucking the string. I am trying to determine the pattern to natural harmonics. I would ...
tjwrona's user avatar
  • 785
11 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
  • 139
8 votes
1 answer
421 views

Notation (circles and diamonds) in flute score

I recently heard a piece by Nathaniel Parks, "and by opening up". Could someone explain to me the notation in the flute part (circles and diamonds)?
AGuyCalledGerald's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are bells the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental?

I heard (from a Paccard church bells rep) that bells are the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental. Is this true?
Geremia's user avatar
  • 881
5 votes
1 answer
148 views

Is there standard notation for guitar left hand barres of natural harmonics?

I'm a self taught guitarrist and hobby musician who composes original music and who creates transcriptions/arrangements of music from other artists for classical guitar. I've recently learned about ...
Gandalf The Bard's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are percussion instruments the only instrument type capable of making an unpitched (indefinite) sound? [Electronic instruments excluded]

I just want to confirm, wind instruments and stringed instruments are completely incapable of creating an unpitched sound correct?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 994
0 votes
3 answers
179 views

Does rhythm create pitch? [closed]

You see, rhythm and pitch are exactly the same thing, only at very different speeds. https://dantepfer.com/blog/?p=277 Every pitch can be interpreted as a (very fast) rhythm, but the only rhythms ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 994
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
  • 994
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is there a debate over whether or not percussion instruments are pitched?

Here is an excerpt from Introduction to the Study of Musical Scales by Alain Danielou. The important part is in bold. I included the rest of the passage only to provide context: It is the loss of ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 994
0 votes
1 answer
75 views

Which is better in determining consonance in chords and in scales: The Harmonic Series or Simpler Ratios?

Is the answer to this question simply that both of these concepts aid in understanding which chords and intervals are consonant or is one of these discoveries actually better than the other?
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 994
0 votes
3 answers
138 views

Pinched/Palm Harmonics

After playing with pinched harmonics for ages, I recently, completely by accident, found palm harmonics. Pinched uses the edge of the thumb to produce the node, while palm uses the palm for the same ...
Tim's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Fast descending harmonics on guitar

I sometimes hear sequences of fast (fairly random but in a general descending pattern) harmonics played on guitar and can't really figure out how it's done. I've tried tremolo picking the string while ...
Alexbib's user avatar
  • 623
3 votes
2 answers
347 views

How can I split a sound into sinewaves, with each sine note being a different part of the overtone series?

I'm attempting to make a fake choir sound out of sine waves. For the past 5 years, I have been playing around with onlinesequencer.net. It's a very simple and limited online midi music making website ...
Wilson's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
3 answers
605 views

Is it true that 1st harmonic's amplitude is, in most cases, greater than half the maximum?

Ladies, Gentlemen, please let me tell you that I have created small program finding 1st harmonic with accuracy 10 times and more better than fft can do. In few words I have create DFT grid with span ...
George Theodosiou's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
339 views

Bending techniques in 16-hole Chromatic harmonicas (like Hohner 64)

Obviously, diatonic harmonica requires bending a note to get a chromatic scale. Chromatic harmonica (16-hole like Hohner 64) can get a full chromatic scale by pressing or releasing the side button. ...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 921
4 votes
3 answers
390 views

Harmonic or fundamental?

I've always called the overtones one can play on, say, guitar, harmonics, but some say the fundamental is also a harmonic. Which means my 1st harmonic is their 2nd harmonic. Confusing - to both of us, ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 195k
4 votes
3 answers
445 views

Which ukulele harmonic corresponds to which fret position?

According to this page, ukulele natural harmonics can be played on the 12th (octave), 9th, 7th (octave+fifth), 5th (2octaves) and 3rd frets. Which interval is obtained at the 9th and 3rd frets?
Karlo's user avatar
  • 1,557
5 votes
3 answers
547 views

Problems in recognising harmonic intervals when ear training

I have started doing ear training, I've been using an App called Ear Gym. I'm doing OK, first with ascending intervals and now with descending (using the reference song method) but I'm struggling ...
Paul Hudson's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
70 views

Artificial harmonics extra sound

I’ll repeat what I’ve already said in the last few posts of mine: I am a complete beginner in the fingerstyle guitar technique, and have absolutely no experience or any skills in this field. I am just ...
insipidintegrator's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
130 views

Oscillating Volume of partials of a single note on piano

This question may be better suited to the physics stack exchange but I figure I’ll ask here as well. So a month or two ago after trying to learn to overtone sing for a couple days I finally managed to ...
Phillip Brandel's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
308 views

Artificial harmonic pitch

When playing an artificial harmonic, does it matter where the stopping finger is placed? Leaving tone quality aside, will the same pitch class be produced regardless the stopping location? I performed ...
Emil's user avatar
  • 759
1 vote
0 answers
126 views

When to use natural vs. artificial harmonics

I am working on the above homework assignment regarding string harmonics. I'm stuck on exercise #2. What are the rules or guidelines for determining whether a pitch should be played via a natural or ...
Marie Labellarte's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
288 views

Notation for violin harmonics in "La Création du Monde"

At the end of Darius Milhaud's La Création du Monde, the violins have some harmonics notated that I can't quite figure out. I'm not a string player, and I'm wondering if the notation given here would ...
Michael Seifert's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Why do I hear higher harmonics, when the strings aren't free to vibrate?

For example, I try to press the G1 key down without it producing a sound, and when I abruptly play the C1 beneath it, the G, an octave above, is clearly audible, although the string isn't free to ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 193
1 vote
2 answers
218 views

Harmonic Slides on Bass Guitar

I recently saw a video where bassist Adam Neely did a harmonic slide on a fretless bass, and he said it was also possible to do on a fretted bass. I have attempted to do them but I cannot figure it ...
optionaljazz's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
172 views

Major Harmonic chords - Fourth degree, substitute for min/maj chord

Please see below for F#/Gb Major Harmonic four note chords which I made. You will notice the fourth degree shows as a min/major 7th chord (which doesn't sound too bad). But, what is considered a good ...
topstuff's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
663 views

High B-flat on cello

I'm working on a chamber music piece and I want the cello to play a high Bb at the end. I want Bb5 (sits above treble clef). The tempo is slow and it doesn't need to compete in the orchestration, ...
nuggethead's user avatar
  • 5,630
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Cello pressed at half length higher than harmonic?

I was playing around with harmonics on my e-cello, and noticed that when pressing at the first one (half-length), the pitch was higher than when merely touching for the harmonics itself. I thought it ...
Florian Poujade's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
669 views

harmonics in violin strings

a friend of mine is playing violin, and she explained to me that she can hear if she plays a false note because the string doesn't resonate well i find it very counter intuitive based on what i know ...
hugogogo's user avatar
  • 163
11 votes
1 answer
709 views

How is this dissonant harp sound achieved?

In "L’Impatiente de Balfour" for viola and harp by Claire-Mélanie Sinnhuber, there are some harp notes that sound somehow dissonant and metallic, almost like a prepared piano. In this video ...
All Ears's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Current consensus on consonant frequencies

I just read Physics and Music: The Science of Musical Sound Book by Donald H. White and Harvey Elliott White and the book explains that consonant frequencies — those sounding "good" when ...
Weier's user avatar
  • 221
6 votes
1 answer
914 views

Double bass harmonics are slightly flat?

Here, Lauren Pierce claims that she doesn't use harmonics to tune because they are "slightly flat". Why is this? Is she referring to just intonation vs equal temperament, or inharmonicity, ...
abelian's user avatar
  • 699
13 votes
3 answers
840 views

What is the explanation for higher harmonics not being integral multiples of the fundamental?

Looking at this file of a A4 note from a piano, I get this spectrogram (simply using Python code performing a FFT): Piano A4 spectrum with harmonics values assuming a 440 Hz tuning I'm trying to ...
mins's user avatar
  • 377
5 votes
2 answers
381 views

Which octave should sound for Stravinsky's viola harmonics in the "Pulcinella Suite"?

This is the viola part from Stravinsky "Pulcinella" Suite, movement 3a "Scherzino". How should the harmonics (diamond notes written on open string places) sound? Norman del Mar, &...
David's user avatar
  • 278
8 votes
2 answers
187 views

Is there a name for the octatonic scale made from the first sixteen harmonics? And is it good for anything?

When the first sixteen harmonics are octave-displaced and compressed into the span of one octave, the result is an octatonic scale whose pitches have the following frequency ratios: 1 9:8 5:4 (a.k.a. ...
Mark Morales II's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
292 views

Best practice for notating harmonic: quarter vs. half note?

Typically, an "open diamond" notehead is used to indicate a harmonic fingering. The image here is from an edition of the Cassado Cello Suite (1st mov't). It's clear from the overall ...
Carl Witthoft's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
963 views

High G and G# splitting/jumping to the next harmonic on saxophone

I had asked this question on SaxOnTheWeb a while ago, but I'm still battling with this problem, and it makes certain pieces (like The Beatles' "Come Together") virtually unplayable. ...
Pyromonk's user avatar
  • 1,490
3 votes
3 answers
625 views

Harmonic Series Interference

I have been analysing intervals to look at the frequency difference between harmonics. Before my analysis I was under the impression that harmonics for 'consonant' sounding intervals contained more ...
Yoppayoppa's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
711 views

Why are harmonics on guitar easier with distortion?

Background Something I’ve noticed playing electric guitar is that natural harmonics are easier to achieve under heavy distortion. For the sake of disambiguation, when I use the word harmonic, I mean ...
bearacuda13's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
1k views

Sounds of harmonics

When a string is touched at a certain node point, a harmonic is produced. The open string produces a particular note, say one octave below the first harmonic. Why does that open note (which contains ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 195k
6 votes
6 answers
938 views

(Piano) How should I play this harmonic unison

I stumbled with harmonic unisons for the first time trying to play this arrangement I found this question where some techniques to deal with harmonic unison are discussed, and it helped me with the ...
xvan's user avatar
  • 647
4 votes
2 answers
253 views

How do I play the last chord of Wieniawksi's Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op. 16?

At the end of Scherzo-Tarantelle (and also at the end of the first presto), there is a chord with three normal notes, and the fourth is an artificial harmonic. I know the harmonic works, because I ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Playing 440 Hz, what are the harmonics for a trumpet? For a flute?

Playing 440 Hz, what are the approximate harmonics for a trumpet? For a flute? This to help students understand the differences when those instruments play the same note. I've been to many website, ...
Clyde's user avatar
  • 57
16 votes
8 answers
2k views

Can overtones be heard if the fundamental is below hearing range?

I hope I'm using the term correctly... I think the overtone series is what one hears based on a fundamental. For example, if a C3 is played as the fundamental, the first overtone would be the octave ...
user79440's user avatar
  • 161
10 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the name of this scale based on the harmonic series?

The following table lists the first 13 harmonics of the note C Harmonic Note Unique note ----------------------------- 1 C C 2 C 3 G G 4 C 5 ...
Jaap Joris Vens's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
831 views

How to apply pinch harmonics? This isn't about how to play it, it's more about how to use it in a musical context?

I think I got a decent grasp on producing pinch harmonics (when I do it in isolation, i.e. playing just one note, it comes out pretty reliably.) I want to practice it within a musical context but I ...
mofury's user avatar
  • 475
4 votes
3 answers
886 views

Why does a guitar strum sound better when the G,B & E strings are flat?

When I tune a guitar, electric (luthier intonated) or acoustic to a Spark (black) tuner it doesn't sound right when strummed (always below 12th fret). (All good guitars including Epiphone Texan ...
Randy Zeitman's user avatar