Loading...
 

Fundamental

Base tone, sound or keynote of a key, scale or overtone series.

"The lowest tone of a chord when the chord is founded on that tone; also, the lowest note in the harmonic series." [Learning Music with Synthesizers; Friend, David; Learning Music with Synthesizers; Hal Leonard Publishing Corporation, 1974]

Usually the lowest frequency component in simple waveforms, perceived as the "pitch" of the sound.

Ramsay
After vibrations the next thing is musical notes, the sounds produced by the vibrations falling into the ear. Sounds arise in association. There are no bare simple sounds in music; it is a thing full of the play of sympathy. Such a thing as a simple solitary sound would be felt as a strange thing in our ears, accustomed as we are to hear affiliated sounds only. These affiliated sounds, called "harmonics," or "partials" as they have also been called, because they are the parts of which the sound is made up, are like perspective in vision. In perspective the objects lying in the line of sight, seem smaller and smaller, and more dim and indefinite as they stretch away into the distance; while nearer objects and those in the foreground are apparently larger, and are more clearly seen. This is the way of a musical sound; one of its component elements, the fundamental partial, being, as it were, in the foreground to the ear, is large and pronounced; while the other elements are less distinctly heard, and are fainter and fainter as they recede into the musical distance in the perspective of the ear. Few have any idea of the number of these weaker partials of a musical sound. Tyndal's illustrations in his very instructive work on Sound show a string spontaneously divided into twenty segments, all vibrating separately, being divided by still nodes along its length; and a vibrating string will keep thus [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 58]

dividing itself by 2 or 3 or 5, etc., up through the whole geometrical series of numbers, not keeping fixed at one thing; but while the whole length is vibrating the fundamental partial, it keeps shifting the still nodes along its length, and sometimes longer and sometimes shorter segments are sounding the other partials which clothe the chief sound. It has been commonly said that "a musical sound is composed of three sounds," for every ear is capable of hearing these three, and with a little attention a few more than these; but many will be startled when told that there are twenty-five sounds in that sound. Eighteen of them are simply the octaves of the other seven, all of these seven except one having one or more octaves in the sound. Four of the seven also are very feeble, the one which has no octave being the feeblest of all. Two of the other three are so distinctly audible along with the chief partial that they gave rise to the saying we have quoted about a musical sound being composed of three sounds.1 If the three most pronounced partials were equally developed in one sound, it could not be called one sound - it would decidedly be a chord; and when in the system they do become developed, they form a chord; but in the one sound they, the partials, having fewer and fewer octaves to strengthen them, fade away in the perspective of sound. The sharp seventh, which in the developed system has only one place, not coming into existence until the sixth octave of the genesis, is by far the feeblest of all the partials, and Nature did well to appoint it so. These harmonics are also sometimes called "overtones," because they are higher than the fundamental one, which is the sound among the sounds, as the Bible is the book among books. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 59]

Six Octaves required for the Birth of the Scale

EXPLANATION OF PLATES.
[BY THE EDITOR.]


THIS plate is a Pendulum illustration of the System of musical vibrations. The circular lines represent Octaves in music. The thick are the octave lines of the fundamental note; and the thin lines between them are lines of the other six notes of the octave. The notes are all on lines only, not lines and spaces. The black dots arranged in these lines are not notes, but pendulum oscillations, which have the same ratios in their slow way as the vibrations of sounding instruments in the much quicker region where they exist. The center circle is the Root of the System; it represents F1, the root of the subdominant chord; the second thick line is F2, its octave; and all the thick lines are the rising octaves of F, namely 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64. In the second octave on the fifth line are dots for the three oscillations which represent the note C3, the Fifth to F2, standing in the ratio of 3 to 2; and the corresponding lines in the four succeeding Octaves are the Octaves of C3, namely 6, 12, 24, and 48. On the third line in the third Octave are 5 dots, which are the 5 oscillations of a pendulum tuned to swing 5 to 4 of the F close below; and it represents A5, which is the Third of F4 among musical vibrations. On the first line in the fourth Octave are 9 dots. These again represent G9, which stands related to C3 as C3 stands to F1. On the seventh line of the same octave are 15 dots; these represent the vibrations of E15, which stands related to C3 as A5 stands to F1. On the sixth line of the fifth Octave are 27 dots, representing D27, which stands related to G9 as G9 stands to C3, and C3 also to F1; it is the Fifth to G. And last of all, on the fourth line of the sixth Octave are 45 dots, representing B45, which, lastly, stands related to G9 as E15 stands to C3, and A5 to F1; it is the Third to this third chord - G, B, D. The notes which arise in each octave coming outward from the center are repeated in a double number of dots in the following Octaves; A5 appears as 10, 20, and 40; G9 appears as 18 and 36; E15 appears as 30 and 60; D27 appears as 54; and last of all B45 only appears this once. This we have represented by pendulum oscillations, which we can follow with the eye, the three chords of the musical system, F, A, C; C, E, G; and G, B, D. C3 is from F1 multiplied by 3; G9 is from C3 multiplied by 3; these are the three Roots of the three Chords. Their Middles, that is their Thirds, are similarly developed; A is from F1 multiplied by 5; E15 is from C3 multiplied by 5; B45 is from G9 multiplied by 5. The primes 3 and 5 beget all the new notes, the Fifths and the Thirds; and the prime 2 repeats them all in Octaves to any extent. [Scientific Basis and Build of Music, page 102]

See Also


Cause
Figure 8.11 - Four Fundamental Phases of a Wave
Figure 8.9 - Four Fundamental Motions of a Pendulum
fundamental chord
fundamental field of energy particles
Fundamental Forces
Fundamental Length
fundamental note
fundamental root
fundamental sound
fundamental theorem of calculus
Fundamental
Harmonic Series
Idea
Interval
Keynote
Music
Neter
Overtone Series
Principle
Ramsay - CHAPTER IV - THE FUNDAMENTAL LAWS OF MUSIC
Ramsay - The Great Chord of Chords, the Three-in-One17
Seed
Sound
Tone

Created by Dale Pond. Last Modification: Monday December 28, 2020 04:26:25 MST by Dale Pond.