Musical Instrument Harmonics
Why does a piano string , or any other instrument ,
when produced a sound if a certain frequency, also produces
sounds of different frequency? I think the best way to look
at this is to see how a F note of a instrument look like in
a graphic equalizer. There are frequencies scattered all over
the equalizer, and why is this so? Shouldn't a note vibrating
at a certain frequency have only one frequency?
You might find the scattered frequencies are not really scattered
at all if you realize the "other" frequencies are multiples of the
musical note or fundamental frequency you are playing. These
"other" frequencies are integer multiples of the fundamental frequency.
These are called harmonics and have frequencies that are 2*f, 3*f, 4*f,
5*f...where f is the fundamental frequency or note you are playing.
Furthermore, it can be observed that these additional harmonics
reinforce or cancel each other, and the end result is a standing
wave of the fundamental frequency or musical note you are playing.
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Update: June 2012