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What exactly is overtone

  1. Apr 17, 2008 #1
    please, am finding it difficult to understand what exactly is overtone.please i need your help guys.............
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2008 #2


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    A simple example will illustrate. Hold a string taught and pluck it. It can vibrate many ways, but the end points are fixed. The lowest wavelength (called fundamental) will be 1/2 the string length, others (called overtones) will be multiples of this.

    The concept extends to any wave motion (such as musical tones), where the geometry fixes the allowable waves.
  4. Apr 17, 2008 #3


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    An overtone is any other vibration of a body other than its fundamental frequency. The fundamental wavelength of a stretched string is twice the length of the string. A harmonic is an integral multiple of the fundamental frequency.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
  5. Apr 18, 2008 #4

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    An overtone is not just any other frequency other than its fundamental. It is any frequency above the fundamental at which a body resonates. It need not be a harmonic.
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