History Main / Pitch

10th Sep '12 9:13:50 AM Koveras
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No, you were here for the music-related definition.

to:

No, you were here for the music-related definition.
definition. Unless you weren't, and are actually looking for a single line summing up a show idea to present to the producers--see HighConcept for that.
20th Sep '10 4:14:34 PM GlennMagusHarvey
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Added DiffLines:


If you have a wave pattern that travels through air (or another medium), and has a given number of wave patterns per second, then you get your pitch. But why do different instruments playing the same pitch sound so different?

Because the wave patterns themselves are different. Only the frequency determines the "fundamental" pitch. Instruments, when they sound a note of a certain pitch, actually sound many pitches that, added together at different volumes, give their distinctive waveform.

The simplest, purest pitched sound is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sine_wave sine wave]]. But note that, if you have a pattern that's half the length of your original wave, or a third, or a fourth, and so on, it also fits into the same wave period. These are called '''harmonics''', and the original sine wave is called the '''fundamental frequency'''. Harmonics have half, a third, a fourth, etc. the wavelength of a the fundamental frequency, and their frequencies are correspondingly twice, thrice, etc. as high.

These different waves, all with the same fundamental period length, can be added together using a concept known as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_series Fourier series]]--basically overlain one on top of another, if you're drawing them--to create a distinctive waveform.
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