[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: Harmonic vs inharmonic sounds
At 6:17 AM -0400 3/12/07, David Schwartz wrote:
Since the spectral components of just about any sound are harmonic
in the mathematical sense (i.e., they have a common denominator) ...
I would have said the opposite: Since a sound can never actually be
The idea that all signals are made of a finite set of discrete
spectral components is nonsensical in itself, but even for the set of
signals that can be defined that way, there's no reason to expect
those components to be in a rational frequency relationship, unless
the only signals you are considering are periodic signals.
The relation between "signals" and "sounds" is also worth considering
critically. No real sound lasts forever, and therefore no real sound
is periodic or mathematically harmonic.
The set of signals that are exactly mathematically harmonic is the
set of periodic signals. It's a boring set, totally uninformative
with respect to auditory perception, and does not include signals
that can be called "sounds" without further qualification. Just
depends on how mathematically picky you need to be for what you're
trying to do.