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Vibration & Sound

Wolfgang Saus, internationally renowned harmonic/diphonic specialist and singer* describes harmonics/diphonics as:

"...... a natural vibration phenomenon that can be found throughout the cosmos. With each vibration, the fundamental vibration also generates faster overlapping vibrations. This is a universal vibration behavior of nature, regardless of whether it is a sound wave or whether it is a vibration in the atomic, electric or also in the cosmic range."

Every sound is composed of a fundamental tone and an infinite number of harmonics. When analyzing a sound, one can find a complete chord of up to more than 100 tones all sounding at the same time. These tones can be made visible by means of a spectrogram.

Pythagoras described the principle of vibration and harmonics more than 2000 years ago. In his research on the monochord, he described the frequency relationship of the overtones based on an exact mathematical way using a single string.

You can try this yourself using the example of a guitar string. When we vibrate the whole string, the fundamental tone sounds. In addition, the overtones or harmonics also sound. This means that the tone also resonates, which would result if we split the string in half, exactly here, you would get the first overtone, which would then vibrate twice as fast as the fundamental.

The series of overtones is theoretically unlimited and depends on the quality and tuning of an instrument. The higher the pitch, the lower the overtones.

However, as a rule, we do not hear overtones individually. Wolfgang Saus** describes that our hearing is actually specialized in nuances, because it can differentiate whether the same tone comes from a piano or a guitar, for example. This has to do with harmonics. The same harmonics sound on both instruments, but their volumes are distributed differently.

Our brain processes tone colors and not individual nuances.

In the course of the development of musical instruments, instrument making in Western musical culture has increasingly specialized in instruments that sound as clearly as possible with precisely defined basic tones. On the other hand, instruments typical of Eastern musical culture often have a wealth of overtones and are characterized more by their diverse timbres.

*Specialized magazine Klang-Massage-Therapy 6/2008, p. 58).

**"Nuances of fascination - What are nuances?" Journal Klang-Massage-Therapy 6/2008, p. 58 ff.

Peter Hess® Klangmassage Ausbildung. Klangmassage I.


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