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When a system with a natural vibrating FREQUENCY is stimulated by an outside force of the same frequency, the system can be set in a motion called VIBRATION. As the frequency of the stimulus closely approaches that of the system, OSCILLATION occurs, which reaches a maximum AMPLITUDE at the natural resonant frequency.
An OSCILLATION produced in an object which resonates at the same FREQUENCY, or a HARMONIC multiple thereof, as that present in a sound wave in contact with the object.
Although often employed interchangeably with ACOUSTICS, the term might better be restricted to the technology dealing with the practical applications of SOUND, as distinct from the pure science of acoustics. (It will be noted, however, that the contemporary acoustical engineer or acoustician is often mostly involved with the practical applications of sound.)
In music, an adjective referring to HARMONY and its principles. In ACOUSTICS, when a vibrating object, such as a string, is set in motion, it vibrates both as a whole, with a FREQUENCY called the FUNDAMENTAL, and, with lesser intensity, in sections as well. If these smaller lengths are integer fractions (1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ...) of the total length of the string, their frequencies of OSCILLATION are called harmonics, and are integer multiples of the fundamental.