Questions tagged [overtones]

For questions related to frequencies greater than the fundamental frequency of a given sound. Questions may also necessitate the acoustics and/or harmonics tags.

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How does an electric guitar waveform differ from a pure tone?

I've been writing a program that functions similar to a MIDI interpreter, but the pure tones I'm currently using very poorly resemble the actual tones produced by guitars, pianos, and other ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 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 ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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What is the point of notes lower than human hearing

(Scientific pitch notation) For example: Organs can go down to C-1 Hyperbass Flute goes down to C0 And these notes have neglegible overtones on these instruments! Do they modulate other notes? They ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Schoenberg notation [duplicate]

In Theory of Harmony section 4 on the major mode and diatonic chords by Schoenberg, he writes, A musical sound is a composite, made up of a series of tones sounding together, the overtones; hence, it ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
555 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
82 views

Why do frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound the "same"? [duplicate]

We know that frequencies that follow a base two logarithmic relationship sound as the same tone. This seems to be one of the fundamental principles that underlies music theory. For example, ...
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15 votes
8 answers
1k 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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How can our ears decide which pitch a sound is, if it has a lot of overtones?

I'm starting learning music and I see that usually sounds (say from a guitar or piano) always have a lot of frequencies (usually octave aparts, like the G string will have G3, then G4, G5 over it). ...
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

Tuvan Throat singing: Get overtones louder in sygyt style

I've been practicing Tuvan throat singing, especially the Sygyt style and I am able to reliably create a range of overtones. However, I have the feeling that they are of rather low volume compared to ...
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7 votes
2 answers
114 views

How do tonewheel organs sound coherent?

So there are notes that the key nominally doesn't play in an organ note if the drawbars are pulled out. Yet if I pull all the drawbars out and play a chord, it sounds like a coherent chord. A C minor ...
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0 votes
4 answers
179 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 ...
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4 answers
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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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
111 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
205 views

Why does this chord sound like a very tense C minor when it isn't spelt like C minor at all?

So I have listened to Gustav Holst's The Planets before, especially the first movement, Mars. And in Mars I hear an outright rhythmic and harmonic war. And at the ending I hear a lot of tense C chords ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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21 votes
4 answers
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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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3 votes
2 answers
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Why do I hear tritone overtones when I play my G string very softly?

When I play the G string on my violin exceptionally softly, among the sympathetic overtones I hear is a diminished fifth. Why is this? Is this specific to my particular instrument? Out of curiosity,...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Flutes in octaves sounds like an organ? Why does this happen?

I have noticed something when I hear 2 flutes in octaves or a flute and piccolo playing the same notated notes, sounding an octave apart. It starts to not sound like a flute. In particular it sounds ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Vocal technique: Why is Smiling Used to Sharpen Notes?

A very common technique in singing is to smile in order to brighten the tonality of a given note and raise the pitch of the note. When it comes to raising the pitch of the note, is it the overtones ...
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10 votes
5 answers
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Do sine waves (pure tones) have overtones?

I was told in my music theory lessons that most sounds we hear in our everyday life contain partials which make up the timbral quality of that sound, whilst the sound musical instruments generate ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Research on sound production in flutes: How do angle and position of the airstream affect the 2nd octave?

In flutes, the sound is produced when a thin, laminar airstream is divided by an edge, exciting vibrations of the air inside the flute. I would like to know whether there exists research on how the ...
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26 votes
10 answers
8k views

Are there any instruments that don't produce overtones?

Essentially all instruments produce overtones, which are frequencies other than the dominant frequency of the note. -- How do harmonics work? The use of "essentially" there got me thinking. Are ...
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0 votes
1 answer
124 views

How to Achieve This Guitar Tone in Guitar Rig [closed]

I found Gorgeous cover song on youtube . i just really like to achieve this tone . in fact i like this tone better than the original one. Thanks , Much Appreciated.
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2 votes
1 answer
176 views

Is there a correlation between presence of harmonics and dissonance?

If one were to take a chord or scale or other harmonic structure, and amplify the volume of the overtones of each note relative to the fundamental, would the structure be perceived by audiences as ...
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15 votes
3 answers
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What is brightness?

I hear the term get thrown around a lot, and it seems pretty nebulous. Usually, it's invoked under the heading of tone, but I've heard it linked to intonation and a handful of other categories. At the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
89 views

How can it be explained that the natural fifth of an euphonium is not in the “natural fifth pitch?

I practice with 3 different Euphoniums, a brass-instrument like a small tuba. One of them - a Yamaha training instrument with 4 valves in a row - has a bad intonation at the natural fifth (upper G) ...
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14 votes
6 answers
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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
295 views

How to get a better altissimo tone?

I'm currently practicing my overtone series and trying to get a play some altissimo. Right now, I've been able to play up to a D7 using Sigurd Rascher's Top Tones for the Saxophone, but the notes are ...
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1 vote
4 answers
138 views

How to create the minor/major scales on the piano? [duplicate]

If I sit down in front of a piano, how do I arrive at the minor/major scales?
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2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Where did the diatonic scales come from? [duplicate]

I was wondering how the diatonic scales came about? Like the major scale for instance, what is the reasoning of chosig just those notes? I've heard that the pentatonik scale comes from the overtone ...
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3 votes
4 answers
1k views

Whats the role or practical use of the harmonic series in music?

If two sine waves can create harmony without the harmonics then what role/function does the harmonic series have in music outside of timbre? Is there any practical use for it? Edit: What do the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
401 views

How does the perfect fifth truly work?

If I play a perfect fifth on the piano using C4 and G4 they sound consonant. And If I start on C4 and play out the harmonic series in order I wont come across the note G4 but only the G5 an octave ...
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1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Why don't we use the early overtones in order from a Harmonic series to create chords/scales?

In the harmonic series on the piano, If I play the note C(256) I get the next harmonics: I was wondering why we use the notes much later in the series then the first ones? Why do we rearrange them ...
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3 votes
2 answers
457 views

Prevailing theories about discovery of harmonic intervals

Are there any prevailing theories for how Paleolithic man discovered and shared knowledge about harmonic intervals? EDIT: I'm not referring to the mathematical characterization of the overtone ...
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7 votes
5 answers
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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
43 views

shepherd effect and continuity effect

As far as I have understood a Shepherd tone is a combination of overtones of different octaves between them, for instance F0, 2F0, 4F0 and 8F0. Is this true? I do not quite understand what the ...
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25 votes
6 answers
20k views

What are overtones?

Can someone please explain what overtones are and why they are important? I read a lot on the web about them but didn't understand. Also how can they be used when writing for orchestration?
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0 votes
2 answers
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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,...
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1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
115 views

How can a force on a tone be in two different directions at the same time? What's the practical ramification of that force?

At the bottom of the first page of Ch. 4 of Harmonielehre, Schoenberg talks about two forces acting on C. One force pulls downward toward F, the other upward toward G. He then analogizes C to a man ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What are the most common overtones of a vibrating string? [duplicate]

EDIT: You can tell the degree of uniqueness of this question by it's very noticeable contrast in answers compared to the "duplicate". The answers to the question this "duplicates" are vastly ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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How can you distinguish instruments by their timbre characteristics?

What I am trying to achieve is to distinguish instruments by their timbre. What I have read so far made me think that different instruments have different number of overtones. Is it possible to ...
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9 votes
3 answers
860 views

Harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre

Is there a study of harmonic implications of an instrument's timbre in western music theory? For example: If i use an instrument with a "rich" timbre, with lots of overtones, then isn't the sound ...
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1 vote
2 answers
868 views

To what frequencies do the overtones (harmonics) created by distortion extend?

I just did a test, recorded my bass guitar through a high gain distortion pedal and then direct to my sound card at 96kHz/24bit, and then using a spectrum analyser, I looked at the frequency content, ...
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6 votes
2 answers
207 views

Harmonic stop on cello without fingers

I'm writing a solo cello piece, and I'd like one of the strings to stopped at the first harmonic (specifically, the G string) for the duration of the piece; The trick is, I need this to be done ...
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

What physical effects cause ageing/worn guitar strings to change their tone?

Guitar strings wear out over time and are prone to oxidation due to sweat. As a result, they change their tone usually sounding more "bright" when they are new and "dull" when aged. There's been a ...
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Rhythms notes for didgeridoo

I'm learning to play didgeridoo and have a question - How can I write the rhythms on paper? It's overtone musician instrument and I don't know how can I apply musical notation or something other. I ...
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17 votes
5 answers
39k 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 ...
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