Musical tone

Sound referred to in the music a sound event ( and its auditory sensation and intellectual abstraction), which can be assigned to musical instruments, the human voice, or is otherwise generated and a more or less exact pitch. While the physical properties can be analyzed and described as combinations of pure tones and sound components, the subjective sound perception of psychoacoustic factors, cultural experience and aesthetic expectancy is dependent.

In music practice and music theory sounds are elements of a sound system or a ( mathematically describable ) clay structure, which are in a relationship and interval are described by Tonsymbole and / or notes.

Etymology and conceptual complexity

The term sound comes from tone, the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek τόνος, tonos " tension" to the verb τείνειν teinein "clamp on, relax ." The meaning of the word varies depending on the context. A general definition as a "musical particle " is phenomenologically not possible due to the lack of a universal definition of music a priori. More on the complexity of the description, analysis and perception of sounds can be found in numerous articles. In addition to universals of music perception and objective aspects such as pitch, tone, tonality, harmonics, sound spectra aspects of the subjective perception for example, explained in Hörtypologie, auditory perception, psychology of music, pitch perception and psychoacoustics.

Sound parameters

For a more detailed description of a tone different parameters are used depending on access. Usually, these include the following:

  • The pitch; they can be acoustically specify as frequency or practical print in Tonsymbolen or notes.
  • The volume or tone level; they can be acoustically determine as amplitude or sound pressure, but also pragmatically by volume specifications.
  • The tone duration; it can be physical- acoustic measure in seconds or specify practically by note values.
  • The timbre; they can be acoustically annäherernd by the Obertonzusammensetzung or characterize general by the frequency spectrum or practically determined by instrument indications and ways of playing.

Temporal structure of Instrumentaltons

The sound produced by musical instruments can be temporally divided into three sections: it consists of the three phases of the transient ( the onset), the stationary vibration, or mostly superimposed transient quasi-stationary vibration (sustain ) and the decay process (decay ).

In the time course of the sound itself changes as a volume ratio ( amplitude) of the partials. This volume ratios determine the timbre of the sounds. The voice is in this respect an "instrument " and generates tones in the above sense, which affect so-called formants but the coloring of the sound.

Sound and sound in physical acoustics

While one understands only the pure sine wave in the physical acoustics with sound, a vocal or instrumental sound produced from the perspective of physical acoustics is a complex sound signal, which approximately represents a sound in many cases. Underchord is understood in physics a periodic composed of pure tones sound event, in which the frequencies of the partials to one another, in an integer ratio therefore relate to each other " harmonious". This is, however, a simplified model that can be applied to real sounds only approximate.

Real sounds are in fact generally complex, with noise components and inharmonicities play an important role. In the human voice and wind instruments, keep Teiltonzusammensetzung is largely harmonious, and is in good agreement with the simple model. For stringed instruments, the frequency composition is only approximately harmonic, and percussion instruments individual partials are only nearly harmonic, while the overall spectrum is rather discordant. Such discordant sounds, which are referred to in the physical acoustics as clay mixture as they join on with timpani, bells, mallet, tubes or membrane-like bodies. A pitch impression can also be based on so-called formants, which are influenced, for example, at a Jew's harp by changing the mouth and throat. Also internal structures of sounds, individual frequencies as contained enhanced amplitude can generate a pitch impression.

The pitch sensation has a sufficient time to condition the sound signal, otherwise a pitch blur occurs.