brian capleton


tubular bells




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Here's an example of musical sound with some pitch ambiguity - tubular bells made from ordinary copper plumbing tube:

The tune, in an alternative voice, is this:

Actually, no such sequence of notes exists in the sound of the bells. The last note is present, but not the whole tune, at that pitch.

The tune is there, however, an octave lower :

But you might even hear this tune instead:

Listen to this one 3 or 4 times, then listen to the bells again, below:

The bells:

Each bell has a set of sound ingredients, parts of which resemble parts of the harmonic series. But not being a true harmonic series, there is some room for ambiguity in the perceived pitch.

The lowest bell on its own sounds like this:

And its first 7 ingredients (partials) are (listed descending):

7th partial:

6th partial:

5th partial:

4th partial:

3rd partial:

2nd partial:

1st partial:

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