Re: Overtones and chords

Subject: Re: Overtones and chords
From: lawrence casserley (
Date: Tue Jul 20 2004 - 05:43:29 EDT

On 19 Jul, 2004, at 20:38, Jay Smalridge wrote:

> Hey,
> 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.

They are defined by having frequencies three and five times that of the
fundamental - that is what the terms "third harmonic" and "fifth
harmonic" mean. As I said, _no_ eqally tempered intervals (apart from
octaves) actually coincide with harmonics. Equal temperament involves
putting everything slightly out of tune.

It is some sort of coincidence, I guess, that the third harmonic is
(one octave and) a fifth above the fundamental, and the fifth is (two
octaves and) a third above the fundamental - please don't get confused
by the two different uses of '''third and fifth'. Life can never be
that simple! :-)>

Hope that helps.


Lawrence Casserley -
Lawrence Electronic Operations -
Colourscape Music Festivals -

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:02 EST