Questions tagged [harmonics]

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

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7
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
187 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

How do I play the last chord of Scherzo, Tarantelle?

At the end of 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 tried it ...
5
votes
2answers
226 views

How would one go about composing a Tintinnabuli piece?

I've been doing some research on the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt lately, known best for his simple yet highly emotive Tintinnabuli compositions. The theory behind it is incredibly dense and difficult ...
15
votes
3answers
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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0answers
40 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. ...
3
votes
4answers
249 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 ...
29
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4answers
5k views

Do different synthesizers have different timbres and/or produce different harmonics for the same given waveform?

All basic synthesizers can produce the basic waveforms: sawtooth, square, triangle, and sometimes sine. Does each synthesizer "injects" its own character to the waveform? Are all sawtooths ...
3
votes
3answers
503 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
138 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
609 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 ...
11
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5answers
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
700 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
votes
1answer
134 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, ...
15
votes
8answers
971 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 ...
8
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3answers
856 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 ...
2
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3answers
136 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Vocal harmonies in Grateful Dead - I Know You Rider [closed]

I'm a total beginner in singing and I'd like to learn to sing this song with two friends: I Know You Rider by the Grateful Dead. There should be three voices (Jerry, Bobby and Phil), but I'm not even ...
5
votes
2answers
364 views

How to play a diamond note on guitar? [duplicate]

Source Here it is written in diamond notes in the first measure. How should one play them on guitar and also what do they indicate?
3
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2answers
2k views

What is this harmonic?

In the bridge to the last section of the Symphonic Dances from Fiddler on the Roof by Jerry Bock arranged by Ira Hearshen there are four bars of harmonics 217 - 220. The last two make sense to me: ...
26
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8answers
6k views

Why do harmonics played on guitar sound lower as you move to higher frets while fretted notes sound higher?

By lightly touching a guitar string at specific nodes (most commonly at the 12, 7th and 5th fret) and releasing your finger immediately upon plucking the string - a clear ringing tone is produced. ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

Can you change some composition I wrote to whatever music you want just by changing the timbre of the instruments?

Here is my problem: suppose I am a composer you have contracted to create any sheet music I dream of with the unique condition it is not pure silence and that I don't stipulate the instrument section (...
1
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0answers
46 views

Inverted pedal tones but intervals

What is the correct term when you play melodic intervals in higher pitch than primary melody? As for the rhythmic support for primary melody. If it was pedal tones played that way, it would be called ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Remove sharp sounds in audio

I listen to music as a way to relax. However, sometimes the brass section of orchestral works produce quite sharp sounds. Using an equalizer works and reducing the 5-44.1khz sections work, but then ...
5
votes
4answers
318 views

Is the bottom note of an interval favored?

I was practicing counterpoint (2nd species) and decided to experiment with ending on a perfect 5th except the top line was a C and the bottom an F. I know this isn't technically allowed in 2nd species,...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

What are the rules of writing a solo for guitars or violins on a keyboard?

What are the harmonic rules that serve as the foundation of a solo? For example, notes of triads serve as the foundation for voices and arpeggios, with an occasional non-chord tone. Harmonic function ...
21
votes
10answers
3k views

Is it possible to create the illusion of a sub-harmonic?

The way I understand it, a normal plucked tone consists of a great many overtones in addition to the base tone. A pinched harmonic, however, shifts the base tone higher into the overtone series by ...
1
vote
4answers
119 views

How do you approach consonance/dissonance when making music?

I used to think it was absurd to think of consonance/dissonance as anything but an objective measurement, but after doing more research and reading posts like this How does the harmonic series affect ...
0
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4answers
83 views

Simple ratios create harmonious frequencies?

I’m trying to wrap my head around consonance and dissonance in terms of the harmonic series. From what I understand, the value of having simple ratios is not because they are ‘simple’, but because the ...
1
vote
4answers
275 views

Guitar that gives the best harmonics

I'm trying to learn just intonation and was recommended by my harmony/theory teacher to use a guitar's harmonics for doing so since 1. it's easy to tune the strings and 2. produce the harmonics. Can ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

What is meant by a 'simple' frequency ratio?

For the most part, I understand the application of simple ratios when determining consonance/dissonance, but I still don’t really know what makes one ratio more ‘simple’ than another. What really ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Is it accurate to tune with harmonics higher than the third harmonic 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
370 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
379 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
votes
1answer
77 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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
280 views

Does our hearing generate neural signals for harmonics?

First off, the (unrolled) length of our cochlea maps out frequencies such that high frequency sounds cause excitation (neural signals) from the front part of the cochlea, and low frequencies result in ...
5
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
44
votes
8answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
914 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
125 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
598 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?
3
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
892 views

Why do intervals sound “better” or “worse” depending on distance?

Why do chords usually "sound better" to the human ear when using larger intervals between low notes and, smaller intervals between high notes? Is it how the ear and brain register the harmonics?
3
votes
2answers
126 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
votes
2answers
209 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
6answers
2k 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
vote
2answers
155 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 ...