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How would i measure the frequency, of a song, or sounds?

  1. Jan 21, 2010 #1
    Just curious, what would be a means of measuring various frequencies of music?

    Obviously you would require a microphone, and then what? Would you need a specific type of software? What are the types of physics that would be involved...

    Would anyone be able to refer me to some notes or explinations?

    I want to look at certain geometric patterns in music over history.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2010 #2


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    Gold Member

    for signal analysis, you will need:

    1) the music as a data-file in waveform (pressure vs. time)
    2) Any software that can Fourier transform the data (Goldwave is one I know of that has a free version)

    You also have to think about what you're asking. The Fourier transform will show the higher frequencies that correspond with the pitches (the notes played) but it will also have low frequencies that correspond to the beat of the music and have nothing to do with the pitch.

    For instance, if you play a middle A four times with 6 seconds in between, your fourier transform will show a peak for the 10 Hz signal from the beat, but also a peak for the 440 Hz signal from the pitch of the note).
  4. Jan 22, 2010 #3
    I'm interested in what "patterns" you are looking for. Are you talking about the patterns mentioned by pythagorean above, or are you more concerned with the patterns in the melody or harmony? I ask as you mention "over history" and wondered what this actually involves.
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