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Why do some chords sounds pleasing while others do not?

  1. Feb 5, 2013 #1
    Does it have to do with how the wavelength and what beat frequencies are created?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Welcome to PF;
    The aesthetic feel of a note depends on the structure of the ear, the structure of the sound, and the musical taste of the observer :)

    In terms of beat frequencies - it is hard to answer without doing your homework for you.

    What happens as:
    you start out with two identical tones, and gradually change the frequency of one of them?
     
  4. Feb 5, 2013 #3
    Well when you increase ones frequency it just gets higher pitched. No? What I don't get is why a certain chord sounds good while others do not.
     
  5. Feb 5, 2013 #4

    berkeman

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    Thread closed for Moderation...
     
  6. Feb 6, 2013 #5

    berkeman

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    Thread is re-opened.
     
  7. Feb 6, 2013 #6

    Simon Bridge

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    Well yes - but what you hear is the mixture of the two tones.

    What happens - in terms of beats?
    If you have not seen/heard this done - there are demonstrations on youtube.
     
  8. Feb 6, 2013 #7

    haruspex

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    I read this as a question of human preference rather than anything about the physics. I think I've heard of research showing that speakers in agreement tend to harmonise their pitches more than those in disagreement. But I can't find a reference to this, and it still leaves the chicken-and-egg question of which came first, the preference or the tendency.
     
  9. Feb 6, 2013 #8

    Simon Bridge

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    Yes this could be read as a question of aesthetics and culture, and the evolution of the human auditory system.

    However, I recognize the question from part of how beats are taught in some schools.
    There is a crossover point between two ordered behaviors of the waveform where the wave appears disordered. The sound is really ugly at that point. Shallow, I know.
     
  10. Feb 6, 2013 #9

    turbo

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    Some chords are "resolved" in character. Others are "suspended" or otherwise discordant. You might need a lot of music theory to sort this out.

    Here is an example of a chord that is often used as a "turnaround" chord in some forms of music. It's not discordant in and of itself, but it can resolve easily to any number of more natural chords.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominant_seventh_sharp_ninth_chord
     
  11. Feb 6, 2013 #10

    Simon Bridge

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    So we need more feedback from nathew to answer properly.
     
  12. Feb 6, 2013 #11
    From what I have read, the chords that sound good are comprised of notes with frequencies that align on a regular basis. Random notes will not usually do this and that is why they don't sound as nice
     
  13. Feb 6, 2013 #12

    haruspex

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    It explains why they sound different, but why they would not sound as nice to a human is a much tougher question. A cockroach might prefer them.
     
  14. Feb 7, 2013 #13
    That's true. Didnt really think about it like that
     
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