timbre


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timbre

Music tone colour or quality of sound, esp a specific type of tone colour

Timbre

 

the quality of sound (its “color”) that makes it possible to distinguish between sounds of the same pitch when made on different instruments or by different voices.

Timbre is associated with the complex nature of sound vibrations and depends on such factors as the overtones or partial tones that accompany the fundamental tone and the regions of the sound spectrum in which they are particularly intense. These factors are determined by the material and shape of the body emitting the sound, the resonators that help form the sound, and the means of producing the sound. The times of sound production and decay also have a large effect on timbre.

In speech, timbre makes it possible to distinguish between vowels and other sonorants; here, the first and second formants play the main role. Speech sounds of the same timbre may be of any pitch and intensity. At the same time, the relationship between the frequency of the fundamental tone and the formants and overtones determines the individual characteristics of a given person’s speech; here, the third and higher formants play the leading role. In intonation in running speech, timbre makes it possible to distinguish between shades of emotion, such as joy, displeasure, and hostility.

timbre

[′tam·bər]
(acoustics)
That attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which a listener can judge that two sounds similarly presented and having the same loudness and pitch are dissimilar. Also known as musical quality; quality of sound.

timbre

A quality of sound that distinguishes one voice or musical instrument from another. For example, MIDI synthesizers are multi-timbral, meaning that they can play multiple instruments simultaneously.
References in periodicals archive ?
This article analyzes the timbre for each key using three indices by normalizing the data of the frequency spectrum.
In this context she posits the notion that we must reexamine Haydn's oeuvre with an eye to the emergence of interest in instrumental timbre. Offering examples such as the ocular harpsichord, the piano de chats, and the glass harmonica, Dolan shows how the eighteenth-century public was enamored of novelty instruments of unusual timbre and how attentive they were to tone color.
Of course, the use of pedals (the forte pedal--that leaves the dampers, thus amplifying the so-called "sympathetic vibration"; and the piano pedal--through the una corda effect due to the slightly modified mechanical properties of the unused felt with which the hammers hit the strings) allows for distinguishable timbre changes, but they do not arise as a result of the pianist's touch; in addition, they affect the whole range of the instrument.
L'Organisation de la Poste saoudienne a emis plusieurs timbres commemoratifs, tres remarquables et d'une valeur inestimable, a-t-on declare a l'ambassade saoudienne au Caire.
Morton told students that it was the unique timbre of the oboe that prompted her to take it up.
Timbre is a hard-to-quantify concept loosely defined as everything in music that isn't duration, loudness or pitch.
Baritone Roderick Williams and tenor Andrew Kennedy out weighed counter-tenor Robin Blaze and soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, whose more intimate timbre would be better suited to a smaller scale and liturgical reading of the work.