Fundamental Tone

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fundamental tone

[¦fən·də¦ment·əl ′tōn]
The component tone of lowest pitch in a complex tone.

Fundamental Tone


(or fundamental), the tone produced by an acoustic system when the system is vibrating at its lowest possible frequency. The pitch of the fundamental tone is determined by the natural vibration frequency of the system; hence, the pitch depends on the nature of the system itself. The term “fundamental tone” is used to designate the tone having the lowest frequency when a complex periodic vibration is expanded in a series of harmonics.

References in periodicals archive ?
We rarely hear a pure fundamental tone either in music or in nature.
58), and further - and with equal originality - that "the structure of Rameau's genealogy of sound, from the fundamental tones of the corps sonore to the complex configurations of music, is reproduced in Condillac's synchronic view of knowledge" (p.
This means that music lovers listening to MP3s or CDs on their computer are missing half the fundamental tones of music.

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