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I think when an instrument doesn't have a clear pitch, the musician's go-to word is 'unpitched', rather than 'noise'. Noise in a musical context often refers to something extraneous or unwanted - e.g. when talking about fret noise, or a noisy amp. However, you are quite right that the sound of many drums is essentially very like 'enveloped noise' - and from ...


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As so often, there's no tidy yes/no answer to your question, but it's interesting to consider the various ways a musician might use the term 'noise'. 'Noise' might mean random sound. Or a definitely UN-random mix of frequencies such White Noise or Pink Noise. Or a randomisation of digital values applied as 'dithering'. Or simply unwanted sound. There's ...


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