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 ?
Although the fundamental tones for each mosquito didn't change very much during a "fly by"--females still produced a fundamental 400-hertz tone and males a 600-hertz tone--each mosquito produced a faint harmonic note, right around 1,200 hertz, that was closely in sync.
For the complex numbers that delineate the fundamental tones whose symphony is the accumulation of primes are precisely those complex numbers that bring Riemann's zeta function to zero.
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.

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