The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64439   Message #1054349
Posted By: GUEST, Mikefule
15-Nov-03 - 06:10 PM
Thread Name: tone vs pitch
Subject: RE: tone vs pitch
Surely a 'pure' note has only a pitch, which is directly and only related to its frequency, or wavelength. Shorten the wavelength/increase the frequency, and you raise the pitch.

But a voice or instrument does not make a pure note. It makes a complex wave pattern which sounds not only like an F#, but also like a violin, or a reed, or whatever.

That quality which makes it sound LIKE a violin, reed, etc., is the 'tone' or (more correctly?) the 'timbre'.

So, I guess that if you could electronically record the whole sound of a violin playing a given note, you could map the various tones, overtones and undertones - notes of various related pitches which combine to make the timbre - and adjust one or more of them independently. In that context, I can sort of vaguely imagine that lowering one of the components of a complex note could make the whole note sound higher, or vice versa.

But does a scientist ask a folksinger for advice on qhuantum physics? No. So should we ask scientists for advice on music? No.