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On the Sensations of Tone (Dover Books on Music) Paperback – June 1, 1954
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Part 2 discusses the theory of consonance. Again, the Fourier analysis point of view is the key. The consonance or dissonance of two tones is determined by the interaction of the partials of the tones, giving mathematical precision to the idea that "two consonant tones flow on quietly side by side in an undisturbed stream; dissonant tones cut one another up into separate pulses of tone" (p. 226). Thus one can claim that "ultimately, then, the reason of the rational numerical relations of Pythagoras is to be found in the theorem of Fourier, and in one sense this theorem may be considered as the prime source of the theory of harmony" and so "the enigma which, about 2500 years ago, Pythagoras proposed to science ... 'Why is consonance determined by the ratios of small whole numbers?' has been solved by the discovery that the ear resolves all complex sounds into pendular oscillations ... and that it regards as harmonious only such excitement of the nerves as continue without disturbance" (p. 229).Read more ›
have it. The science of sound is the same today as it was in the 1800's when this book was written. It
is a must have for anyone involved in audio or musical instruments. This is a big book, lots of valuable material. The fact that it is still available is a blessing. I can't put it down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book deals with the physics of music, requires familiarity with musical terms and with at least basics of physics /math. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Antoni Rafalski
This is a book every engineering student who likes music should read.Published 11 months ago by Gene Frantz
What a great mathematical physicist and at the same time a pioneer physiologist Helmholtz was. He formulated some basic results in fluid mechanics and the conservation law of... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ash
This is a classic work that ties together tones, the way musical instruments work, the physics of sound, and the anatomy of the ear. Read morePublished on November 22, 2013 by Frank B. Manning
Not only is it good for learning about this revolutionary subject in it's infancy, it's quite good for technical terms and vocabulary boosting, even if some of the vernacular is... Read morePublished on August 2, 2013 by S. O.
This book is a translation from German into an English that's difficult for me, born in the mid-20th century, to understand. Read morePublished on June 23, 2013 by Steve Freides
This is a reprint of the 1954 Dover edition, which is in turn a reprint of the 1885 edition. The font is small and a little hard to read, and the margins are too wide. Read morePublished on January 30, 2012 by biggvsdiccvs