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1

The main reason you think higher-pitched 6ths sound consonant is because you have spent all your life listening to them played in equal temperament, and that you may not be listening very critically because you are hearing what you are accustomed to. In fact, in equal temperament tuning, thirds and sixths are all grossly out of tune compared with just ...


1

Disclaimer: I am not a professional musician or a physicist. Since you do not specify the instrument which you experience problems with, I am going to presume we are dealing with "pure" (sine) sound waves and no overtones. As one gets lower and lower in terms of octaves, the wave length of any given note increases. Now, as far as my understanding goes, the ...


1

The guide to consonance here is the amount of difference between the tempered interval and the just interval. How complex the fractional difference is, is not audible; how close the interval is to a small-integer ratio is audible. Of course, perception of consonance is also influenced by other factors, including the source of the tones, cultural and ...


2

Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound? My personal experience (working with synthesizers (ADSR), Finale, VST and wavelab. There I encounter often the problems you are mentioning in your question. The sound of different instruments is strong related to the question of timbre and ...


1

Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound? No, not in the real world. In the real world, judgments about consonance and dissonance are based on culture, experience, and context. The psychoacoustic facts only have an indirect effect in most cases, because they set some parameters ...


1

In addition to the good answers you‘ve already got I want to add that Ravels Bolero, Shostakovich‘s ostinato in his 7th Symphony (1. movement) or Lohengrin by Wagner are great studies of orchestration. There are also interesting personal styles of composers: you can recognize like e.g. Schumann leading the flutes parallel (...


14

Other answers so far make good points -- matching timbres (and sound spectra) is actually essential to orchestration, and composers have been noticing these patterns (and using them in orchestration) even before analysis of harmonic spectra was possible. I would add one other related issue to answering the title question about "differences in harmonic ...


5

It would since the very nature of consonance vs dissonance is dependent on the interference of harmonics (in theory). So it stands to reason that if a particular instrument had missing harmonics there would be fewer opportunities for dissonance with when playing intervals on one instrument (string, or piano) and harmony with other players. However that is ...


21

Is it an important thing to consider in Orchestration? You have in fact stumbled onto the very foundation (and art) of orchestration. Orchestration is about not only knowing how each instrument sounds, but how to blend those sounds together to get the effects / textures you're looking for. Composers generally don't think about blend in terms of harmonic ...


11

Does the difference in harmonic series between instruments have a significant effect on the consonance of the sound? Absolutely - and not only between instruments. Different ranges of the same instrument have different harmonic structures - a commonly-given example is the 'muddy' sound at the bottom end of the piano, caused partly by relatively weak lower ...


1

As other answers have already said, the most likely explanation is some form of beats. Assuming your piano or keyboard is equal-tempered, the frequencies of middle C and the B below will be about 261.6 Hertz and 246.9 Hertz respectively. The primary beat frequency is calculated by subtracting the two numbers, i.e., 14.6 Hertz. Which means that you'd ...


0

Beats. When two notes are very nearly at the same pitch, the sound waves they make don't quite co-incide. So we hear a pusing in volume as the waves come together making the volume go up, and then try to cancel each other, making the volume go down. It's the way a lot of players tune guitars - adjusting until the beats slow down and eventually disappear, at ...


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Two close pitches played together will 'beat' at the difference between their frequencies. So a string at 440Hz (A) and 441Hz (a slightly sharp A) will produce a beat frequency of 1Hz. As you say, this phenomenon is useful when tuning one guitar string to match the pitch of another. Beats also occur between the harmonics of a note. Piano tuners make ...


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