# Tag Info

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### Why do higher harmonics have a lower amplitude than the fundamental frequency?

Why not calculate it? Consider a string of length $L$, with its ends fixed at $x=0$ and $x = L$. Let's assume for convenience that at time $t=0$ the string is "plucked" at $x = L/2$, so that ...
• 13.8k
Accepted

### How are overtones produced by plucking a string?

The only way to avoid overtones would be to pluck the string in such a way that its initial shape is sinusoidal. However, that would be nearly impossible. In practice, the initial shape is almost ...
• 24.8k

### Why do higher harmonics have a lower amplitude than the fundamental frequency?

The answer is actually very dependent on how you pluck the string. If you pluck it closer to the center, you put more energy into the lower modes. Pluck it near either end, and you have more higher ...
• 49.9k

### Feynman claimed "The ear is not very sensitive to the relative phases of the harmonics." Is that true?

What Feynman means by that statement is that the "ear" (cochlea) is a spectrum analyzer with a large set of very narrow band filters each followed by a square law (energy) detector, that is ...
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### If all harmonics are generated by plucking, how does a guitar string produce a pure frequency sound?

Usually, a guitar does not produce a pure tone/frequency. If so, its sound would be very close to a diapason. The difference between noise and a musical tone is not that a unique frequency makes a ...

### Why do higher harmonics have a lower amplitude than the fundamental frequency?

It's simple energy conservation. With an increase in harmonics, the frequency of vibration of the string increases. We know that each particle in the string is executing a simple harmonic motion with ...
• 2,000
Accepted

• 6,604

### How is it possible that multiple overtones can exist at the same time?

If there are overtones, then the "wave" is not just of the main frequency, but is more complicated. In the linear approximation the tone and overtones may come together - in a superposition, due to ...