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Homework Help: Harmonics Question

  1. Mar 1, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I have a question about the following text:
    In the red section, if I understand correctly, they're saying that if on a string, there is a musical note being played, the frequency that the note is being played at is called the fundamental frequency. But, if it's at its fundamental frequency, how can there be other harmonics present?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2015 #2
    I think two elements play a role: the string is not ideal, you are not able to excite ONLY the fundamental mode (when you apply a force to the string, that force has Fourier components also at higher harmonics).
  4. Mar 1, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    No, they say that the note being played is considered to be the one corresponding to the fundamental frequency. If you have a combination of 261.6 Hz and 523.2 Hz, you consider it to be middle C.

    As matteo137 said, a pure note is never played on a real instrument.
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