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Re: harmonic vs. inharmonic sounds (one last time)

On 16/03/07, Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On reconsideration, I would reframe the question something as:

When hearing the partials 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, do you
perceive the fundamental to be 100 Hz? Do you hear a 100 Hz component?

If you play a harmonic series and the partials all come on together and are unmodulated or modulated together then you wouldn't normally hear any 'components'. The partials are strongly bound into a single buzzy sound. If you first play that harmonic series with the fundamental, and then without the fundamental then the two sounds should sound very similar in pitch but somewhat different in timbre. The really interesting thing happens if you play harmonic series with and without the fundamental repeatedly, back to back, switching the harmonic on and off every 500 ms or so. You may then observe that the fundamental 'pops out', i.e. when the fundamental is on you hear two tones (one pure tone, one complex tone), when it is off you hear only one. Well worth playing around with.




Dr Jan Schnupp
University of Oxford
Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
Sherrington Building - Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3PT - UK