combination tone

combination tone

      in musical acoustics (music), faint tone produced in the inner ear by two simultaneously sounded musical tones. Because such tones are caused by the ear rather than by the external source of the sound, they are sometimes called subjective, or resultant, tones. There are two varieties: difference tones (D) and summation tones (S), generated respectively by the frequency differential of the two pitches or the sum of their frequencies. The most commonly heard are difference tones lying below the original pitches; these were discovered by the celebrated violinist-composer Giuseppe Tartini (Tartini, Giuseppe) (1692–1770), who regarded the “third tone” as an excellent means of correcting faulty intonations of double stops on the violin.

      Combination tones are heard when two pure tones (i.e., tones produced by simple harmonic sound waves having no overtones), differing in frequency by about 50 cycles per second or more, sound together at sufficient intensity. Other, more-complex waveforms, such as those produced by singing voices, also occasionally produce combination tones.

      A similar subjective phenomenon, aural harmonics, results from the ear's distortion of a single pure tone. The distortions produce frequencies in the ear corresponding to multiples of the original frequency (2f, 3f, 4f,…), and aural harmonics thus have the same pitch as externally produced harmonics.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Combination tone — A combination tone, also called a sum tone or a difference tone (also occasionally resultant tone), can be any of at least three similar psychoacoustic phenomena. When two tones are played simultaneously, a listener can sometimes perceive an… …   Wikipedia

  • combination tone — noun also combination note : a subjective tone heard by many observers when two pure tones of widely different frequency are sounded together and thought to be due to the fact that the human ear does not in general give a linear response to sound …   Useful english dictionary

  • combination tone — kombinacinis tonas statusas T sritis fizika atitikmenys: angl. combination tone; combined tone vok. Kombinationston, m rus. комбинационный тон, m pranc. son de combinaison, m …   Fizikos terminų žodynas

  • combination tone — /kɒmbəˈneɪʃən toʊn/ (say kombuh nayshuhn tohn) noun a faint musical tone which results acoustically from the simultaneous sounding of two related tones …   Australian-English dictionary

  • combination note — noun see combination tone …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tone — (t[=o]n), n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. to nos a stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent, measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch; akin to tei nein to stretch or strain. See {Thin}, and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone color — Tone Tone (t[=o]n), n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. to nos a stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent, measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch; akin to tei nein to stretch or strain. See {Thin},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tone syllable — Tone Tone (t[=o]n), n. [F. ton, L. tonus a sound, tone, fr. Gr. to nos a stretching, straining, raising of the voice, pitch, accent, measure or meter, in pl., modes or keys differing in pitch; akin to tei nein to stretch or strain. See {Thin},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tone dialling — noun A telephone dialling system in which digits are transmitted as a combination of tones • • • Main Entry: ↑tone * * * ˈtone dialling 7 [tone dialling] (NAmE ˈtone dialing) …   Useful english dictionary

  • tone — [tōn] n. [ME < OFr & L: OFr ton < L tonus, a sound < Gr tonos, a stretching, tone < teinein, to stretch: see THIN] 1. a) a vocal or musical sound b) its quality 2. an intonation, pitch, modulation, etc. of the voice that expresses a… …   English World dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”