A Crash Course in Music Theory


Overtone and undertone series

We often think about pitches as they're represented by the keys on a piano. But, that's only one way to think about the tones that we know and hear. For a different point of view, we can turn to the acoustical foundations upon which music in the Western art music tradition is based. For example, as we ascend through the overtone series, the first three unique overtones we find are tones in the tonic triad, as shown in Example 1: Example 1: The first six overtones Let's go further out on the proverbial theory limb. Further...

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