Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

The Theory Of Sound Which Constitutes The Physical Basis Of The Art Of Music.

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CHAPTER IV.
ON QUALITY.
43. The laws of resonance enable us to establish a remarkable, and by most persons utterly un­suspected fact, viz. that the notes of nearly every regular musical instrument with which we are familiar, are not, as they are ordinarily taken to be, single tones of one determinate pitch, but composite sounds containing an assemblage of such tones. These are always members of a regular series, form­ing with each other fixed intervals which may be thus stated: if we number the separate single tones of which any given sound is made up, 1, 2, 3, &c., beginning with the lowest, we have
(1)     The deepest, or 'fundamental/ tone, whose pitch is ordinarily regarded as that of the whole sound.
(2)    A tone one Octave above (1).
(3)    A tone a Fifth above (2), i.e. a Twelfth above (1).
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