[Smt-talk] The Overtone Series

Ninov, Dimitar N dn16 at txstate.edu
Wed Jul 23 03:15:48 PDT 2014

Dear Victor,

I agree with your reflections in principle, but just wanted to add something along the line of Andrew's message. The triad may have not been derived directly from the overtone series but it can certainly be justified by it as a latent, dormant natural phenomenon, awaiting to be discovered. And yes, Rameau constantly reminds us about the "open string" which offers a convenient way of producing the building elements of a triad or an out-of-tune seventh chord.

We know that musical practice is always ahead of theory, but on the other hand good theory always has something to offer to boost or inspire the way we practice music.  One of these good features theory offers is justification of phenomena that have been discovered intuitively or via deliberate practical experiments. A convincing justification makes a musician look at the phenomenon from a different angle and lays the platform of working knowledge. 

Thank you,


Dr. Dimitar Ninov, Lecturer
School of Music
Texas State University
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666

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