Overtone Music Network

a common space & database for harmonic overtones

# The Octave Spiral - Overtone Visualization

The octave spiral is a structure that clarifies the ratios of the harmonic series. It illustrates something essential and universal, so it is obvious for anyone to try to understand and experiment with this pattern - first and foremost singers and musicians.
Marco Gianotta has made his design and programming expertise available for the project.
The program will not work in Internet Explorer, but in Edge and other modern browsers.
You can find it here: http://suonoterapia.org/overtones/

This content has been seen 1839 times

Comment by Harry Smit on February 24, 2016 at 9:54am
First, a very special visualisation of the overtonescale! But I don't understand completely what is the meaning. When I Click on the question mark, ther are only 2 out of ten explanation signs. Can you tell me how I can see the other 8. Thank you so far! Harry Smit
Comment by M. L. Giannotta on February 24, 2016 at 11:35am

When you are at the second step, you need to click to the middle circle to proceed.

Comment by Skye Løfvander on February 24, 2016 at 12:36pm

Your questions are very welcome, so feel free to ask about anything which is unclear - it may also help us improving the presentation!
Further explanation:
Each of the circles represent a partial tone of the harmonic series: The one in the center is the first partial, also known as the fundamental. By following the spiral outwardly, the partials 2, 3, 4, ... etc. follow. So their frequencies will be multiples of the fundamental frequency. The last partial in this representation is 16 which is four octaves above the fundamental.
1-2-4-8-16-... represent octaves of the fundamental (at the 12 o' clock position)
3-6-12- ... represent octaves of the perfect fifth (at 210.6 degrees of the circle)
5-10- ... represent octave of the just major third (at 115.9 degrees of the circle)

Comment by Skye Løfvander on February 24, 2016 at 12:51pm

The structure of the circles are visualizations of factorization.
As you may understand from what I wrote above
- the digit 2 represents the octave (doubling and halving)
- the digit 3 represents the perfect fifth (division by three)
- the digit 5 represents the just major third (division by five)
... and all following prime numbers introduce a new musical function to the harmonic series.
The prime numbers as you can see all have a number of spokes meeting in the middle.
Apart from those there are composites of which I will use partial 15 (the second last) as an example:
It consists of two rings which means that it is composed from two prime numbers: 3 (the three division in the core) and 5 (the further division in the outer ring).
Test if the maths also makes sense musically:
3x5=15. Partial 15 is a major seventh and is composed by two steps: a perfect fifth (3) and a just major third (5) - the two intervals together (adding intervals is like multiplicating ratios) give us the major seventh.

Comment by Leonoor on February 24, 2016 at 2:01pm

Thanks Marco, you can hear that half and whole secunds are equal in the last overtones, so we have to choose what name it get. My violin teachr at the conservaory in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, died last month at the age of 90. He and his wife played violin duets with 32 tones in an octave. I cannot like the sound electronic soynd, but is is nice to see the 16 overtones and there equal steps at the end. We the living group Contact & muziek sing every day music I composed with natural hatmonies. We sing 8 years and it become mo=re and more in tune. The overtones are coming, that sounds very well. I was a violinist and overtones are very important for tuning and listening if you are playing in tune. Also children like it to hear this. So I daily work with naturally overtones, I like them very much. I want to send a recordng at home, but it seesm not possible, with love Leonoor

Comment by Luca Recupero on February 24, 2016 at 10:34pm

This visualization of overtone scale is really fantastic.
Thank you so much!!!

Comment

Join Overtone Music Network

## Latest Activity

Ilaria Orefice updated their profile
Monday
Jens Ickert posted events
Monday
Timber Freier Träumer (Hanfreich posted an event

### Obertongesang (Grundkurs) mit Timber - in Stuttgart at Stuttgart, Forum 3

April 27, 2024 from 11am to 6pm
Feb 16
Julia Renöckl posted a blog post

### Frühling-News

Feb 12
Julia Renöckl is now in contact with Timber Freier Träumer (Hanfreich
Feb 12
Julia Renöckl posted a status
"Obertonkurs in der www.stimmwerkstatt.at am 16. und 17. März 2024"
Feb 12
Timber Freier Träumer (Hanfreich is now in contact with Filip Rydlo
Feb 10

Feb 7

### He Prabho by Mantra Circle

He prabho ananda-data jnana hama ko dijieShighra sare durguno ko dura hama se kijieLijie hama ko sharana me hama sad-achari baneBrahmachari, dharma-rakshaka,...
Jan 20

### WSP Oberbalm Juli 2021 - Kailash Kokopelli

Jan 13
Willi Grimm posted a video

### WSP Oberbalm Juli 2021 - Kailash Kokopelli

Klang im Wasserspeicher OberbalmEin Zeitungsbericht im Juli 2020 gab den Anstoss, dass wieder einmal ein akustisch ganz besonderer Raum klanglich ausgelotet ...
Jan 9
Willi Grimm updated their profile
Jan 9