In an overview of Quantum Field Theory, I recently heard the behavior of an elementary particle compared to that of a plucked (bowed) string. Although the stable states of excitation of the string are limited (quantized) by its boundary conditions, the final waveform is actually quite complicated, representing as it does a superposition of each state, with their respective contributions determined by amplitude (i.e., fundamental and harmonics). Likewise in this view, the final behavior of the particle is informed by all the potential measurement results.
This differs from conventional descriptions of quantum events involving the realization of a single alternative and a corresponding collapse of the wave function. Unless you consider the trivial case of the outcome as a superposition of alternatives with all but one of them assigned a probability of 0 – in a sense a fundamental with multiple zero-amplitude harmonics. Are these two descriptions reconcilable? Or is the plucked string analogy simply inappropriate?