Questions tagged [harmonics]

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

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55
votes
20answers
36k views

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 ...
33
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
21k 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 ...
19
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
10k 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 ...
24
votes
10answers
7k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
220 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
32k 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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
5
votes
3answers
529 views

Harmonics within Harmony question

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?
7
votes
0answers
423 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
737 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
515 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
961 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
213 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 ...
0
votes
6answers
365 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 ...