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One thing I find helpful for analyzing what things sound like is to remember that human hearing is not intended to be a tool for the perfect capture of sounds like a WAV file or a phonograph. It's a tool that primarily grew as a survival tool. Its purpose was to get as much information about the world as possible. Music came later. Human hearing ...


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I always think of consonance and dissonance as representing "rest" and "motion" respectively (in the style being used.) Mostly I write short dance pieces (ballroom mostly). I tend to put dissonances in to break up longer mostly consonant phrases. Often with lyrics, one uses a slight (or big in some cases) to mark an ensuing phrase end. Ludmilla Uhleha has a ...


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If harmonics naturally tripled, then the perfect 12th would be the most harmonious because it’s ratio is 3/1 Not exactly “naturally tripled”, but quite a few instruments in fact don't feature the 2nd (octave) overtone, but only odd-numbered ones. The most-discussed one is the clarinet. Good orchestrators take this into account when they blend instruments, ...


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The harmonic series that you describe was discovered to be related to our perception of consonance and dissonance by the German Physicist Herman Helmholtz in the late 1800s. The concept was known to us (the human race) for a lot longer than that. Helmholtz was out to provide an objective description of why some intervals are considered "unpleasant" and ...


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Octaves are universal (in the sense of culture-independent) and have a frequency ratio of 2:1 between higher and lower end. And no, harmonics don't double, there are even as well as odd harmonics (2nd, 3rd overtones). Pythagorean tuning results from the insight, that some other intervals also have simple ratios, as the perfect fifth 3:2. Any attempt to ...


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The basic idea is that (supposedly) interval rations sound less dissonant if the largest number in either the numerator or denominator has smaller factors that other cases. Octave: 2/1 big factor 2 Fifth: 3/2 big factor 3 Just Third: 5/4 big factor 5 Pythagorean Third: 81/64 (or something close, I'm not sure) big factor 81 A few quick computations will ...


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