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Timbre
In music, timbre ( ), also known as tone color or tone quality (from psychoacoustics), is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone. Timbre distinguishes different types of sound production, such as choir voices and musical instruments. It also enables listeners to distinguish different instruments in the same category (e.g., an oboe and a clarinet, both woodwind instruments). In simple terms, timbre is what makes a particular musical instrument or human voice have a different sound from another, even when they play or sing the same note. For instance, it is the difference in sound between a guitar and a piano playing the same note at the same volume. Both instruments can sound equally tuned in relation to each other as they play the same note, and while playing at the same amplitude level each instrument will still sound distinctively with its own unique tone color. Experienced musicians are able to distinguish between different instruments of the same ty ...
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Effects Unit
An effects unit or effects pedal is an electronic device that alters the sound of a musical instrument or other audio source through audio signal processing. Common effects include distortion/overdrive, often used with electric guitar in electric blues and rock music; dynamic effects such as volume pedals and compressors, which affect loudness; filters such as wah-wah pedals and graphic equalizers, which modify frequency ranges; modulation effects, such as chorus, flangers and phasers; pitch effects such as pitch shifters; and time effects, such as reverb and delay, which create echoing sounds and emulate the sound of different spaces. Most modern effects use solid-state electronics or digital signal processors. Some effects, particularly older ones such as Leslie speakers and spring reverbs, use mechanical components or vacuum tubes. Effects are often used as stompboxes, typically placed on the floor and controlled with footswitches. They may also be built into guitar ...
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Sul Tasto
A variety of musical terms are likely to be encountered in printed scores, music reviews, and program notes. Most of the terms are Italian, in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions. Sometimes, the special musical meanings of these phrases differ from the original or current Italian meanings. Most of the other terms are taken from French and German, indicated by ''Fr.'' and ''Ger.'', respectively. Unless specified, the terms are Italian or English. The list can never be complete: some terms are common, and others are used only occasionally, and new ones are coined from time to time. Some composers prefer terms from their own language rather than the standard terms listed here. 0–9 ; 1′ : "sifflet" or one foot organ stop ; I : usually for orchestral string instruments, used to indicate that the player should play the passage on the highest-pitched, thinnest string ; ′ : Tierce organ stop ; 2′ : two feet – pipe or ...
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Sul Ponticello
A variety of musical terms are likely to be encountered in printed scores, music reviews, and program notes. Most of the terms are Italian, in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions. Sometimes, the special musical meanings of these phrases differ from the original or current Italian meanings. Most of the other terms are taken from French and German, indicated by ''Fr.'' and ''Ger.'', respectively. Unless specified, the terms are Italian or English. The list can never be complete: some terms are common, and others are used only occasionally, and new ones are coined from time to time. Some composers prefer terms from their own language rather than the standard terms listed here. 0–9 ; 1′ : "sifflet" or one foot organ stop ; I : usually for orchestral string instruments, used to indicate that the player should play the passage on the highest-pitched, thinnest string ; ′ : Tierce organ stop ; 2′ : two feet – pipe o ...
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Clarinet
The clarinet is a musical instrument in the woodwind family. The instrument has a nearly cylindrical bore and a flared bell, and uses a single reed to produce sound. Clarinets comprise a family of instruments of differing sizes and pitches. The clarinet family is the largest such woodwind family, with more than a dozen types, ranging from the BB♭ contrabass to the E♭ soprano. The most common clarinet is the B soprano clarinet. German instrument maker Johann Christoph Denner is generally credited with inventing the clarinet sometime after 1698 by adding a register key to the chalumeau, an earlier single-reed instrument. Over time, additional keywork and the development of airtight pads were added to improve the tone and playability. Today the clarinet is used in classical music, military bands, klezmer, jazz, and other styles. It is a standard fixture of the orchestra and concert band. Etymology The word ''clarinet'' may have entered the English language via the Frenc ...
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Musical Tone
Traditionally in Western music, a musical tone is a steady periodic sound. A musical tone is characterized by its duration, pitch, intensity (or loudness), and timbre (or quality). The notes used in music can be more complex than musical tones, as they may include aperiodic aspects, such as attack transients, vibrato, and envelope modulation. A simple tone, or pure tone, has a sinusoidal waveform. A complex tone is a combination of two or more pure tones that have a periodic pattern of repetition, unless specified otherwise. The Fourier theorem states that any periodic waveform can be approximated as closely as desired as the sum of a series of sine waves with frequencies in a harmonic series and at specific phase relationships to each other. The common denominator frequency, which is also often the lowest of these frequencies is the fundamental frequency, and is also the inverse of the period of the waveform. The fundamental frequency determines the pitch of the tone, w ...
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Oboe
The oboe ( ) is a type of double reed woodwind instrument. Oboes are usually made of wood, but may also be made of synthetic materials, such as plastic, resin, or hybrid composites. The most common oboe plays in the treble or soprano range. A soprano oboe measures roughly long, with metal keys, a conical bore and a flared bell. Sound is produced by blowing into the reed at a sufficient air pressure, causing it to vibrate with the air column. The distinctive tone is versatile and has been described as "bright". When the word ''oboe'' is used alone, it is generally taken to mean the treble instrument rather than other instruments of the family, such as the bass oboe, the cor anglais (English horn), or oboe d'amore. Today, the oboe is commonly used as orchestral or solo instrument in symphony orchestras, concert bands and chamber ensembles. The oboe is especially used in classical music, film music, some genres of folk music, and is occasionally heard in jazz, rock, po ...
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Graphic Equalizer
Equalization, or simply EQ, in sound recording and reproduction is the process of adjusting the volume of different frequency bands within an audio signal. The circuit or equipment used to achieve this is called an equalizer. Most hi-fi equipment uses relatively simple filters to make bass and treble adjustments. Graphic and parametric equalizers have much more flexibility in tailoring the frequency content of an audio signal. Broadcast and recording studios use sophisticated equalizers capable of much more detailed adjustments, such as eliminating unwanted sounds or making certain instruments or voices more prominent. Since equalizers "adjust the amplitude of audio signals at particular frequencies" they are, "in other words, frequency-specific volume knobs." Equalizers are used in recording studios, radio studios and production control rooms, and live sound reinforcement and in instrument amplifiers, such as guitar amplifiers, to correct or adjust the response of micro ...
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Robert Erickson
Robert Erickson (March 7, 1917 – April 24, 1997) was an American composer. Education Erickson was born in Marquette, Michigan. He studied with Ernst Krenek from 1936 to 1947: "I had already studied—and abandoned—the twelve tone system before most other Americans had taken it up." He influenced notable students Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Louise Spizizen, Betty Ann Wong, and Paul Dresher. He is the author of ''The Structure of Music: A Listener's Guide'', which he claimed helped him overcome a " contrapuntal obsession",Erickson, Robert. Quoted in ''Robert Erickson: Sierra & Other Works'' (1991 CRI CD 616). Liner notes by Alan Rich, music critic, ''Los Angeles Daily News. and ''Sound Structure in Music'' (1975), an important early attempt to systematically study timbre in music. Career Teaching He taught at the College of St. Catherine in Saint Paul, Minnesota, San Francisco State College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the San F ...
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Tonality
Tonality is the arrangement of pitches and/or chords of a musical work in a hierarchy of perceived relations, stabilities, attractions and directionality. In this hierarchy, the single pitch or triadic chord with the greatest stability is called the tonic. The root of the tonic chord forms the name given to the key, so in the key of C major, the note C is both the tonic of the scale and the root of the tonic chord (which is C–E–G). Simple folk music songs often start and end with the tonic note. The most common use of the term "is to designate the arrangement of musical phenomena around a referential tonic in European music from about 1600 to about 1910". Contemporary classical music from 1910 to the 2000s may practice or avoid any sort of tonality—but harmony in almost all Western popular music remains tonal. Harmony in jazz includes many but not all tonal characteristics of the European common practice period, usually known as "classical music". "All harmonic idiom ...
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Spectral Envelope
The power spectrum S_(f) of a time series x(t) describes the distribution of power into frequency components composing that signal. According to Fourier analysis, any physical signal can be decomposed into a number of discrete frequencies, or a spectrum of frequencies over a continuous range. The statistical average of a certain signal or sort of signal (including noise) as analyzed in terms of its frequency content, is called its spectrum. When the energy of the signal is concentrated around a finite time interval, especially if its total energy is finite, one may compute the energy spectral density. More commonly used is the power spectral density (or simply power spectrum), which applies to signals existing over ''all'' time, or over a time period large enough (especially in relation to the duration of a measurement) that it could as well have been over an infinite time interval. The power spectral density (PSD) then refers to the spectral energy distribution that would be ...
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Musical Texture
In music, texture is how the tempo, melodic, and harmonic materials are combined in a musical composition, determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece. The texture is often described in regard to the density, or thickness, and range, or width, between lowest and highest pitches, in relative terms as well as more specifically distinguished according to the number of voices, or parts, and the relationship between these voices (see Common types below). For example, a thick texture contains many 'layers' of instruments. One of these layers could be a string section or another brass. The thickness also is changed by the amount and the richness of the instruments playing the piece. The thickness varies from light to thick. A piece's texture may be changed by the number and character of parts playing at once, the timbre of the instruments or voices playing these parts and the harmony, tempo, and rhythms used. The types categorized by number and relationship of parts are ana ...
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Prefix (acoustics)
In acoustics, the prefix of a sound is an initial phase, the onset of a sound quite dissimilar to the ensuing lasting vibration. The term was coined by J. F. Schouten (1968, 42), who called it one of ''at least five major acoustic parameters'' that determine the ''elusive attributes of timbre''. See also * Onset (audio) * Timbre#Attributes * Synthesizer#ADSR envelope * Transient (acoustics) In acoustics and audio, a transient is a high amplitude, short-duration sound at the beginning of a waveform that occurs in phenomena such as musical sounds, noises or speech. Transients do not necessarily directly depend on the frequency of the to ... References * Schouten, J. F. (1968). "The Perception of Timbre". In ''Reports of the 6th International Congress on Acoustics, Tokyo, GP-6-2'', 6 vols., edited by Y. Kohasi, 6:35–44, 90. Tokyo: Maruzen; Amsterdam: Elsevier. Acoustics {{music-stub ...
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