Overtone Music Network

a common space & database for harmonic overtones

I show my way to work with formants and overtones.
Before I need to explain the A B C of formantic theory and classic theory of harmonics because can be somebody that doesn't know them, but I wouldn't seem a teacher.
Sorry for my bad English.

Some simple acoustic notes: to measure a sound timbre we need many parameters, it can't be maked by frequencies and intensity only.
Helmholtz advanced this theory:
each natural sound is composed by a group of different frequencies, called harmonic components, everyone with different intensity. These harmonics create our timbre perception.
So each sound wave can be divided in many sine (or cosine) waves, each one with its frequency, its intensity and its phase.


(to be continued)

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Replies to This Discussion

Is there a way to record and display the different overtones from a prayer bowl.. for example, if the bowl was made form 7 different metals, could you display 7 different sound waves..?
Hi Darren,
you have anticipate the next chapter :-)

It is possible to record and display the spectrogram of anything, and the result is a regular or irregular overtones serie. The regularity of overtones series depends if the sound is harmonic or enharmonic.

The overtones number that we can listen with a prayer bowl depends by the regularity and density of metal alloy.
For example: tubular bells or tuning fork produce defined frequency because they are not handmade, so their molecular density is regular enough.
If seven different metals are fused we obtain a unique metal alloy, and its overtones serie depends by its molecular density.
Attention, only if an instrument are built by seven metal layers I can obtain seven overtones series, but with a spectrogram I see them mixed.

I hope my explanation is useful.
is it like infrared analysis in chemistry?
I don't know, I'm not an expert chemist ;-)
Actually it was just a casual observation, I'm not a chemist either, but maybe it's not that offtopic.

From wilipedia: "Infrared spectroscopy exploits the fact that molecules have specific frequencies at which they rotate or vibrate corresponding to discrete energy levels". It also talks about fundamental and overtone vibrations... full article here:

There are other systems of analysis based on the absorption/resonance of the atoms/molecula. You can have results like this:

I hope this can give any hints to someone, because this is all I can say about this.
It's very interesting, Lorenzo, but I don't see the earticle link...
try here


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