Musical Tone

Also found in: Wikipedia.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tone, Musical


a tone with a basic pitch ranging from C three octaves below middle C to the C or D of the fifth octave (from 16 to 4,000–4,500 cycles per sec). Its loudness may not exceed the pain threshhold.

Musical tones are quite varied in duration and timbre. They are organized into a musical system: each octave usually has only 12 tones, each a semitone apart. The dynamic markings constitute the scale of loudness (pianissimo, piano, mezzopiano, mezzoforte, forte, fortissimo) that does not have absolute meaning. In the most widespread system of rhythmic duration, sounds are in a 1:2 relationship (quarter notes being half as long as half notes and half notes half as long as whole notes). The timbre of a sound is determined primarily by its overtones and the method that produces the sound (voice or instrument). In music many timbres and combinations of timbres are employed.


Muzykal’naia akustika, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1954.
Mutli, A. F. “Zvuk i slukh.” In the collection Voprosy muzykoznaniia, vol. 3. Moscow, 1960.
Stumpf, K. Tonpsychologie, vols. 1–2. Leipzig, 1883–90.
Handschin, J. Der Toncharakter. Zürich [1948].


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The Bellman perceived that their spirits were low, And repeated in musical tone Some jokes he had kept for a season of woe-- But the crew would do nothing but groan.
It's waiting to be fed!'" but in a more musical tone than the shrill screech in which he had begun.
She is a leading concert pianist in the Philippines hailed for her expressive ability to communicate her passion for music through warm, articulate musical tone.
Josh Tillman, to give him his real name, is another in a long line of artists who spin stories across any combination of keys, guitars and sweeping string arrangements with a dry wit, underlying melancholy and timeless musical tone.
This shared dialogue is a strong running theme throughout the opening section, considering the variations in musical tone and practical arrangements necessitated by the conditions of the different spaces.
The brain undergoes immediate changes in response to a single experience of picking up an instrument and trying to produce a specific musical tone, a new study suggests.
It also discusses different structural damage detection methods, including musical tone law method by using vibration data, delamination detection based on laser ultrasonic imaging, bridge deflection monitoring using CCD cameras, and quick structural monitoring and damage assessment technique using smartphone.
R--Refinement of musical tone creation through thoughtful repetition and listening.
Fortepianist Robert Levin, known as a Mozart scholar, is likely responsible for setting the musical tone here.
The right way to combine a musical tone with other tones is already built into the tone itself.
I really need to know why they couldn't find a more musical tone!