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The characteristic quality of sound produced by an instrument or performer.

Tone is often used interchangeably with pitch, and in whole tone and semitone, but the word usually means the overall sound of a note: not just the specific pitch of a note, but all the harmonics and overtones that make it sound different from a pure sine wave (a pure tone).

Each instrument has a characteristic tone: not just each kind of instrument, but the individual instrument itself. In addition, a performer's playing technique and intonation contribute to the tone.

Use this tag for questions about achieving a better tone (that is, a more pleasing sound) in instrumental technique or vocal performance, the qualities of different models of an instrument, or when comparing the sounds of different kinds of instruments.