[Smt-talk] Question About The First 16 Partials Of The Harmonic Overtone Series

Nicolas Meeùs nicolas.meeus at scarlet.be
Mon Apr 28 06:54:56 PDT 2014

Supposing that I understand what you mean, this is a very odd way to 
express it, to say the least.

The only direct interval of a fifth in a harmonic series is that between 
partials 2 and 3; it also exists between any pair of partials multiple 
of these two, e.g. 4 and 6, 6 and 9, etc. Is this the "second strongest 
group"? In what sense, "strongest"? And what is a "group" within a 
harmonic spectrum?

What you really mean, I suspect, is that the harmonic spectra of sounds 
distant by an octave, a fifth, a fourth, a major third, etc., in this 
order, are the most likey to attain some level of fusion, In other 
terms, the harmonic spectra of fifth-related sounds are the second most 
"fusionable" ones.

You seem also to mean that the fusion of spectra related by an octave is 
fundamentally different of that of sound related by a fifth ("Today 
there is a biology of the octave. But there is no biology of the 
fifth.") /Natura non facit saltus/: either there is a "biology" of none 
of them, or a biology of all of them. But what do you mean by "biology", 

Nicolas Meeùs
Professeur émérite
Université Paris-Sorbonne
nicolas.meeus at scarlet.be

Le 28/04/2014 12:59, Martin Braun a écrit :
> the main reason may be that in harmonic sound spectra the group of 
> fifth-related partials is the second strongest group after the group 
> of octave-related partials.

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