Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

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

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VIII. § 88.] CONSONANCE AND QUALITY.                177
possessed by an assigned interval is not fixed and invariable, but dependent on the quality of the sounds by which the interval is held. The results we have arrived at are generally true for sounds containing the first six partial-tones, but they will not apply, without modification, to clangs differently constituted. Let us take a case or two in illustration of this point. Suppose, for instance, we are dealing with sounds such as those of stopped organ-pipes which contain only odd partial-tones (p. 124). It is at once clear from p. 172 that the interval of the Sharp Fourth CF#, which owes its dissonant character to the beating pairs 32, 43 and 64, will become something quite different when the dissonance due to all these pairs disappears, as it must do, since each of them contains at least one partial-tone of an even order. The Minor Sixth would also gain in smoothness in such a timbre, by the removal of the loudly discordant pair 32.
Further, if the two notes forming any interval are held by instruments of different quality, the smoothness of the combination may greatly depend on which instrument takes the lower and which the upper note. Thus e.g. for the interval of a Fifth, reference to p. 171 will show that the instrument which has the weaker third partial-tone should' for the smoother effect take the upper note, since that t.                                                               12
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