This is really more of a synthesis section than a calculation section. From the
collected data it appears that a bright sound has more tuned harmonics. These harmonics
are progressively higher. This explains why instruments that are pitched higher tend
toward being brighter sounding instruments. Brightness vs. darkness is more of a
function of the strength of higher end harmonics.
Tone quality appears to be a function of mistuned and missing harmonics. I would
also propose that the missing harmonics are a function of waves that are between 45 and
90 degrees out of phase, thus weakening the overall synthesis of the sound. This would
be because the ear-brain system would hear the misplaced harmonics caused by the
extraneous vibrations, and would hear the odd interval around the missing harmonics.
This would weaken the sense of tonality and would create interference in the wave, thus
making us perceive a poor tone quality.
This synthesis is logically followed by where the logic and experiments could have
gone bad. Let me talk about these errors now.
Back to the Home Page
Back to the Outline