Re: Overtones and chords

Subject: Re: Overtones and chords
From: Mark Ballora (
Date: Mon Jul 19 2004 - 16:04:10 EDT

>Concerning the 3rd and 5th harmonic, I thought that they were the
>third and fifth from the root in equally tempered? Or is it
>different because of the "true" 5th and "true" 3rd.

It's different. The equally tempered fifth is close, but the equally
tempered third is something like 1/8 or 1/4 tone sharp from the
natural third (5/4) in the harmonic series.

>On Friday, July 16, 2004, at 09:45AM, lawrence casserley
><> wrote:
>>Hi Jay
>>First of all, you are confusing the issue a bit with your different
>>categories, which don't have a real meaning. The simple overtones of a
>>given fundamental (ignoring for the moment inharmonic overtones and
>>certain deviations caused by the acoustic peculiarities of individual
>>instruments) are simple multiples of the fundamental frequency, ie:
>>82 Hz 1st harmonic (fundamental)
>>164 Hz = 82x2 2nd harmonic (1 octave above)
>>246 Hz=82x3 3rd harmonic (true
>>fifth - ie not equally tempered)
>>328 Hz=82x4 4th harmonic (2 octaves above)
>>410 Hz=82x5 5th harmonic (true
>>M3rd - ie not equally tempered)
>>492 Hz=82x6 6th harmonic (octave
>>above 3rd harmonic)
>>574 Hz=82x7 7th harmonic ("flat" 7th)
>>656 Hz=82x8 8th harmonic (3 octaves above)
>>738 Hz=82x9 9th harmonic (close
>>to an equally tempered M2nd)
>>820 Hz=82x10 10th harmonic (octave
>>above 5th harmonic)
>>etc, etc................
>>All these are "harmonic" overtones - although they don't fit exactly
>>with equally tempered notes, because these were manufactured by putting
>>everything out of tune a littlle bit. Yes, the first thing to emerge is
>>an untempered (natural) major triad, but as you go farther up the
>>series all sorts of other possibilities arise.
>>Inharmonic overtones are a bigger issue, because they emerge often due
>>to special physical factors on each instrument, which can distort the
>>"true" tuning of harmonics, or to noise content (and are part of the
>>character of particular instruments). but this is the simple basis.
>>Lots and lots of stuff about all this out there.
>>Lawrence Casserley -
>>Lawrence Electronic Operations -
>>Colourscape Music Festivals -

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