Questions tagged [harmonics]

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

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Why Is Just Intonation Impractical?

I've read about the debate of "just intonation" vs 12-tone equal temperament. And nowhere it was clearly stated why just intonation is impractical. Here are my assumptions. Please let me know if I am ...
Bozho's user avatar
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37 votes
3 answers
52k views

How do harmonics work?

The guitar has harmonic notes at some places. I can play it, but I don't understand the logical reason why/how this is can played. Can you tell me how exactly this works? What other musical ...
Quazi Irfan's user avatar
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46 votes
12 answers
32k views

WHY do harmonics happen?

The answers to the question 'How do harmonics work?' were most interesting. OK, that's the HOW it happens. But WHY does it happen ? What is the physics here ? Why doesn't a guitar string vibrate ...
Punksta's user avatar
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21 votes
10 answers
4k 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 ...
luser droog's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
3k views

How does the harmonic series affect consonance?

NOTE: for the purpose of this question, assume we are talking about 12-TET and assume that references to overtones in the harmonic series are being referred to in relationship to the 12-TET note that ...
Grey's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
928 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
  • 637
16 votes
5 answers
13k views

Music Theory: Frequencies related to playing a note on guitar

I am studying the physics related to playing guitar. I need to understand the relationship between the fundamental frequency of a guitar string and its harmonics. For e.g., the top string has the ...
theoryPractitioner's user avatar
29 votes
11 answers
10k views

How to do "metal" harmonics (pinch etc)

I've always struggled with this, tried watching Youtube tutorials, but can't get it to work. Should you hold the pick in any particular way? I've always held my picks with three fingers, for ...
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13 votes
3 answers
784 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
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
11 votes
5 answers
7k views

Playing Tricky Harmonics

A piece I'm working on learning requires some of the more difficult harmonics (namely, fourth- and third-fret harmonics). Are there any tricks for playing these tricky harmonics? For example, I know ...
BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
4k 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?
Milo_666's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
339 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 ...
Dave's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
848 views

Which enharmonic to use when writing down a sequence of chords

I've got a sequence of chords, denoted using solmization here: S: re di do ti A: ti TA la sol B: fa mi ri re I'd like to write down these chords in B flat major. I'm concerned with the ...
H2CO3's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
jdjazz's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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: ...
dumbledad's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
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 ...
Lolo's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
41k views

What's the difference between overtones and harmonics?

What are overtones and what are harmonics? How do they relate? I know that the first harmonic is the tone A at 440 HZ and the second harmonic is at 880HZ an octave higher, it is also the first ...
Phanest's user avatar
  • 355
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
12 votes
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Pyromonk's user avatar
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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
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9 votes
2 answers
4k views

Guitar harmonics notation in tabluature

I would like to get understood about the guitar harmonics notation. I was told decimal numbers in a tablature mean natural harmonics. Is that right? I would like to understand them. For example, what ...
mov0021's user avatar
  • 141
7 votes
0 answers
428 views

How to get the harmonics of ZZTop? [duplicate]

I'm a right-handed newbie, so bear with me. When Gibbons plays in his groove, harmonics seem to be immediate as he picks. Many times I don't hear the note itself and the harmonics is the primary ...
Bob Rainey's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Hiluluk Adde's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
471 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
5 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why do low chords sound muddier than high chords?

In most styles of music low notes seemed to be spaced more sparsely in pitch than high ones ie. a piano piece might have octaves in the left hand and dense melody in the right hand. This spacing is ...
Orinocco's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
2k 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?
Tim Burnett - Bassist's 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
4 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
akrs20's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
244 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 ...
awe lotta's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
313 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 ...
EMBLEM's user avatar
  • 139
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
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Caters's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
John Subas's user avatar
1 vote
6 answers
2k views

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

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 octaves ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
398 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 ...
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