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Music based on the overtone series
The overtone series can be mathematically generated by
1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1, 5/1, 6/1, 7/1... ad infinitum.
The undertone series is its inversion: 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7... ad infinitum.
Steps between adjacent members of either series are called "
," and they appear in the form (n+1)/n, eg. 4/3, 28/27, 33/32...
In just intonation theory, the overtone series is often treated as the foundation of consonance. The
chord of nature
is the name sometimes given to the overtone series, or the series up to a certain stopping point, regarded as a chord.
One might compose with the overtone series by, for instance:
Tuning to the first several overtones over one fundamental.
Tuning to an octave-repeating slice of the overtone series for use as a scale (for instance overtones 8 though 16,
12 through 24
20 through 40
Tuning to the overtones of the overtones.
Tuning to the overtones of the overtones & the undertones of the undertones. (This can produce complex scales such as
's 43-tone Monophonic; this kind of thing is more often called "
" than "overtone music".)
Spectral music article on wikipedia
- web site dedicated to overtone music (by austrian composer Johannes Kotschy) - a lot of theory material and practical guides to write music based on the overtone series
Overtone music network
- a portal for overtone music.
- german-speaking group dedicated to overtone music on the social network platform
. Microtonal music in general is welcome, too.
Some individual compositions
Drone Inside An Harmonic Series
by Dave Seidel
by Dave Seidel
Chord Progression on the Harmonic Overtone Series
Rock Trio in Harmonic Series
by Richard Burdick
by Karlheinz Stockhausen
Symphony No.3 (Gloria)
Georg Friedrich Haas
Various played with
(slovak overtone flute)
("Snake" overtone flute)
(meditative new age with overtone singing)
(experimental alphorn and yodeling combined with overtone singing)
First Five Octaves of the Harmonic Series
The Prime Harmonic Series
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