Acoustics & Sound For Musicians - Online Book

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

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24. A musical sound may vary in three different respects. Let a note be played, first by a single violin, then, by two, by three, and so on, until we have all the violins of an orchestra in unison upon it. This is a variation of loudness only. Next let a succession of notes be played on any instrument of uniform power, such as the harmonium without the expression-stop, or on the principal manual of an organ, only one combination of stops being in either case used. Here we have a variation of pitch only. Lastly, let one and the same note be suc­cessively struck on a number of pianofortes of the same size, but by different makers. The sounds heard will all have exactly the same pitch, and about the same degree of loudness ; nevertheless they will exhibit decided differences of character. The tone of one instrument will be rich and full, of another ringing and metallic, that of a third will be described as ' wiry,' of a fourth as ' tinkling/ and so on.
Sounds thus related to each other are said to vary in quality only. The instances just considered
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