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timbre

Quality of tone or sound. (Stainer, John; Barrett, W.A.; A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900)

"Sounds are "communicated" when they are merely conveyed from one sounding body to another, and this can take place in a noise as well as a musical sound. Sounds are "excited" under two circumstances: when a body which is sounding and that to be excited have the same note and the vibration of one produces sympathetic vibration of the other, the bodies are mutually called "reciprocating", while of the vibration of one produces its harmonics in the other, the latter is said, with regard to the exciting body, to be "resonant". According to Helmholtz, "timbre" or "quality" depends on definite combinations or certain secondary sounds or harmonics with a primary or fundamental sound, and such combinations he calls "sound colours". (Stainer, John; Barrett, W.A.; A Dictionary of Musical Terms; Novello, Ewer and Co., London, pre-1900)

Tim"bre, n. (F., a bell to be struck with a hammer, sound, tone, stamp, crest, in OF., a timbrel. Cf. Timbrel.)

1. (Mus.) The quality or tone distinguishing voices or instruments; tone color; clang tint; as, the timbre of the voice; the timbre of a violin.

Variant(s): also timber /'tam-b&r, 'tim-; 'tam(br&)/
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, bell struck by a hammer, from Old French, drum, from Middle Greek tymbanon kettledrum, from Greek tympanon - more at TYMPANUM
Date: 1849
: the quality given to a sound by its overtones: the resonance by which the ear recognizes and identifies a voiced speech : the quality of tone distinctive of a particular singing voice or musical instrument
- tim·bral /'tam-br&l, 'tim-/ adjective

All those qualities of a sound that make it distinctive. (Friend, David; Learning Music with Synthesizers; Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1974)

See Also

Harmonic
Overtone
Overtone Series
Partial
Tone
Waveform

Page last modified on Friday 26 of May, 2017 04:43:21 MDT

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