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Questionable overtones.

1748 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Martinman
does it matter if my Bb up to C overtones are sharp? the purpose of overtones is to match your normal tone to the does it matter if the intonation is off? my low Bb is always at least 15 cents sharp and my middle Bb is always either in tune or if not it is flat. so im just wondering if that matters.

Oh and do sub tones have the same concept as overtones........i was told that overtones are showing you the true tone of your instrument and that those sub tones might be showing the same thing.

So if someone could get back to me on these things i would really appreciate it.

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In general, and this may also be an oversimplification, even numbered overtones (with the fundamental being 1) are usually related to the fundamental by a 'perfect' interval (octave, fifth, or fourth). These will be more 'in tune' than the odd intervals. If you play a low B, and voice it up an octave, it should be in tune with the regularly fingered B.

I got interested in different systems of intonation while studying harmonic singing. Since harmonic singing can't 'tune' itself, adherents generally use a form of 'just' intonation.

Tuneing In, microtonality in Electronic Music
by Scott Wilkerson has a very accessible explanation of tuning systems, including those espoused by Ling Lun (the first musical theorist), Pythagorus, Ptolemy, Ho Tcheng-Tien (who developed the first equal tempered tuning), well tempered (Werckmeister), just, mean-tone, Quarter tones, ethnic tunings, and an intonation system invented by Wendy Carlos.

[It's interesting to note that Indian ragas are based on 22 pure intervals (sruti). They are NOT quarter tone (24 tone equal temperment).]

So, you see, the subject of tuning is actually quite deep, and goes a LOT furthur than tuning to a Korg tuner.
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