What is up with Noises? (The Science and Mathematics of Sound, Frequency, and Pitch)

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Accuracy not guaranteed. Get Audacity and play! http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Correction: it is the “Basilar” membrane, which is what I say, but somehow between recording the script and actually drawing the stuff I got confused and thought I just pronounced my Vs poorly. Always sad to have such a simple and glaring error in something I put hundreds of hours of work into, but a “Vasilar” membrane can be the kind that a Vi draws to explain Viola Vibrations, I guess! Making up new words is just so prolightfully awstastic.

Props to my Bro for excellent and creative swing pushing, and to my Mamma for filming it.

Extra special thanks to my generous donators, without whom I would not have been able to create this video. Because of your support, I have the equipment, time, and take-out Thai food necessary for doing stuff like this.

My personal website, which you might like: http://vihart.com


Nick J Jones says:


Angelo_Bones says:

Wow! Awesome video! Been studying music for years and no one has explained this as well as you have!

tropicalstrings says:

Interesting, I never realized that this is the methode how to mesure the pipes of a big organ.
This is how you make harmonics on your viola
You see: string p;ayers hear better.

Silent Shadows says:

You are a genius, I feel as if you would be able to be a scientist, Or invent things. Do you do research before your videos?

Tom Hickok says:

Very impressive. I've been playing around with synthesizers for about 40 years and this is really a very beautiful and concise explanation of several relevant topics to not only musicians, but people with ears. Kudos to you. And your Mom and Bro. Nicely done.

Frank Harr says:

You know that it's not the string pushing on the air, but rather the string pushing on the bridge that flexes the sound board that resonates in the body of the viola. But it's still a good video.

bert says:

why does it look like there is missing black keys on a piano?

Katty Actor says:

You are so god damn smart

Katty Actor says:


Divya “Divy” Whiteberg says:


I think it might have been useful here to also discuss how this affects the shapes of wave forms such that one gets square waves, triangle waves, and the rest

Divya “Divy” Whiteberg says:


All of the notes of a chromatic scale would naturally include all of the semitones, since that word is generally associated with 1/2 of a tone and not impartial tones, which is instead referenced by the word "microtones." Given that, it should be noted that that particular Bb was in fact rather not the same as our equal tempered Bb and certainly neither was the E, although somewhat closer. The G was closer still to the approximation with the equal temperament, but indeed unless the keyboard was properly tuned, the notes were a lie :0

At any rate it would be silly so say that we would derive a chromatic scale before semitones, and certainly that the 11th partial (or is it tenth? do we consider the fundamental as 1 or 0 when numbering partials?) could be considered as even a full diatonic scale as we understand it today. But maybe you were saying that we start to get all of the semitones and then have a certain approximation of a kind of chromatic scale, who knows.

At any rate, yes, at 1/16 in the fourth octave, the series becomes significantly chromatic and we have pitches at at least roughly each half step, but there are also some extra pitches in there such that that particular octave has not twelve but fifteen distinct notes. Of course we expect there to be twice as many in each octave because of the way this whole shindig runs.

My point here is this: I know that these videos are not intended (at least as I read them) to laboriously trudge through the kind of specific facts and details which often turn people off to math (and other topics), but I think that perhaps we could have used more accuracy here, if at the cost of specificity. I hope that I have illustrated my point clearly and we can learn more together going forward! :D

Kaylee Price says:

holy crap, vi. thank you for doing this i can tell you put so much work into this

Philip Yassin says:

Precious. And fun. Thanks!

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