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Related to overtone: overtone band


Music Acoustics any of the tones, with the exception of the fundamental, that constitute a musical sound and contribute to its quality, each having a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a constituent tone of a complex vibration (mechanical, including sound and electrical, vibrations) having a frequency higher than that of the fundamental tone. The ratio of the frequencies of the overtones to the fundamental tone is shown by breaking the complex vibration down into a series. Overtones whose frequencies are integral multiples of the frequency of the fundamental are called harmonic overtones, or harmonics. All other overtones are nonharmonic. An overtone can be separated by means of a resonator.

A musical sound is composed of the fundamental tone and the harmonic overtones, or partials. Overtones occur because a sounding body (string, air column) vibrates not only as a whole but also in sections (1/2, 1/3, 1/4). Overtones are weaker than the fundamental tone, and thus blend with it. As a result, they are not detected by the ear. However, the presence and relative force of each overtone determine the timbre of a sound. Nonharmonic overtones are inherent to sirens, bells, and various noises.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A component of a complex sound whose frequency is an integral multiple, greater than 1, of the fundamental frequency.
A component of a complex tone having a pitch higher than that of the fundamental pitch.
One of the normal modes of vibration of a vibrating system whose frequency is greater than that of the fundamental mode.
A harmonic other than the fundamental component.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Now you are empowered to play all kinds of exercises, valve or overtone, scale or arpeggio without anything written down, because you are playing with understanding and harnessing the power of metasymbols and extrapolation from basic principles.
The reasoning is the same for a high g#"--using the traditional T:23 (12th overtone of the G[flat] horn) or T:2 (#10 of the A horn).
Be aware of which overtones you are playing: this is "thinking in horn." Don't stare at the ink any longer than necessary --once or twice through should be plenty.
(1.) Anna-Maria Hefele, "Polyphonic Overtone Singing"; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC9oh709gas (accessed October 21, 2014).
Following the service, the remaining Overtones members revealed they were having a last drink for Timmy in an emotional post.
It's a dream come true.'' TicketInfo THE OVERTONES Tonight: HMV Institute, Digbeth.
It's a powerful and provocative tale, with religious overtones, and it will haunt readers long after they finish it.
These are spacious transports with sporting overtones, dripping with luxury features, and--I must assume--aimed at executives in need of fast ground transport that doubles as an office or as a way to ferry their obstreperous offspring without resorting to a Ritalin-induced coma.
A Memory Lasts Forever is a brave and curious hybrid of musical theater, art therapy, after-school special, and community-based collaboration--with spiritual overtones. As is her established method, Thauberger developed the work in collaboration with her young stars, students who responded to a casting call distributed to musical-theater groups in Greater Vancouver.
When Oscar Wilde pronounced that 'all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful', he captured the essence of utilitarian Modernism: a movement describing how contemporary artists, mainly sculptors, are inspired by archetypal functional forms with overtones of Bauhaus geometric simplicity.
Just as a musical tone consists of a low fundamental frequency with higher-frequency overtones, an image's low-frequency subbands show the broad strokes, while higher-frequency subbands depict details.