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Originally Posted by BDB
A bugle, for instance, can play several notes without any changes in the air pipe. Each one is a different mode.

A partial is an integral multiple of a tone. It is just a mathematical concept.



But not real...?

Pwg


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It is real and there. It can be heard and measured.

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It seems that our conceptions are always idealized images of reality. They help us to understand and they also can cause us to misunderstand when we reach the limits of their usefulness.
Unlike a violin string or organ pipe, a piano string is energized mostly by its displacement at the beginning of its sounding (albeit there are also exchanges of energy via coupling...bravo pedal!).
So, because of inharmonicity, the string does not settle into a simple repeating pattern...it is always "looking for its stable pattern, but the faster moving inharmonic partials always rush ahead."
Kawai has an ultra-slow-motion video (proprietery, alas) which Don Mannino sometimes shares in his classes. It shows the movement of the impulse along a low tenor string. It looks similar to the generated complex wave forms, but the cute part is the little displacements that race out ahead of the main displacement, like porpoises riding the bow wave of a ship. They will reflect off the termination and race ahead of the main displacement, making it highly unlikely that the string will ever settle into a repeating pattern.
(It is also worth noting that the overall string shape is much flatter than the digitally generated wave illustrations.)


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I like these discussions that take the thinking beyond what has been described hitherto in the 'classic texts'.

But sometimes I feel a bit like the Gary Larson cartoon where, in a class of podgy school pupils, one podgy boy has his hand up and is saying to the teacher "Mr Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full".

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Thus far nothing has been presented that gives me any reason to question or change my understanding of the physics of vibrating strings OR columns of air (that BTW create the same partial patterns as strings do, however the specific pattern depends on whether it is a closed pipe or an open pipe). Do your research and you'll find out.

Partials are not "heard" in the sense that we are "aware" of them per se. They form the "coloration" of what we hear and are perceived and interpreted by the brain to form our perception of the tone/sound. All sounds have partials. The presence, absence, and amplitude of each one in combination with others is what determines what we "hear" as a particular sound.

Until I am confronted with compelling evidence to the contrary, I remain convinced of this phenomenon as it is.

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 09/02/19 12:38 PM.

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To me, it does not matter what you think of partials. What matters to me is what do they have to do with tuning?


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I have not been able to follow BDB's line of reasoning. I think he has a good point to make that I, for one, fail to grasp. Kinda like saying the sky is not blue, because if it was, you could not see the stars at night. But that doesn't explain why it looks blue during the day.


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Originally Posted by BDB
To me, it does not matter what you think of partials. What matters to me is what do they have to do with tuning?


Evidently nothing...nothing at all. 😎

Pwg


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So why do you care? It seems you owe me some explanations.


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Since you deny their existence, except as a mathematical concept (whatever that is supposed to mean) it is obviously useless to continue the discussion. Your mind is closed, and you offer no rational alternative. It is a waste of time and effort. If you were presenting a practical alternative, that would be different. You have not.

Pwg


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Here is another enlightening and very entertaining video about Fourier Series

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ds0cmAV-Yek

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Now that is AWESOME. Very cool.video. Thx for sharing it.

This explains why any sound or combination of sounds (which in fact are nothing more than combinations of partials in varying amplitudes), gives a predictable result. If we know the underlying math involved we could predict the result. If we don't know the math, we still can reverse-engineer it to actually see the underlying math. Math never lies.

This also illustrates the connection between partials and tuning. Aural tuners do serious math on their heads at every tuning.

Pwg


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Originally Posted by P W Grey
...

Aural tuners do serious math on their heads at every tuning.

Pwg


Like this?

[Linked Image]


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IN their heads...OOPS! 🤣

Pwg


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Most piano technicians use an ETD. All ETDs are based on partial analysis. If partial analysis was incorrect, most pianos would be out of tune after being tuned.

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I think most aural tuners look at a thread like this and yawn.
If there was a theory that covered finding a parking place in a city, or finding an obscure rural address, ... THAT would be useful.


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I'd have to say I do nothing with numbers when tuning, so I wouldn't call it math. More like I do search and rescue (which single string is out of place) or sleuthing (if these intervals are right, but those intervals are wrong...). But that's just the listening part. How the piano sounds a week later due to how the pins are set is really harder. That takes both hearing and touch. And speaking of touch, what difference does it make if the piano is in tune if the pianist can't express themselves through the action, which brings us to tone...

Ugh, let's talk about something simply mathematical, like the 12th root of 2, or the 19th root of 3...


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Mathematics is not just numbers.


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Originally Posted by David Jenson
I think most aural tuners look at a thread like this and yawn.
If there was a theory that covered finding a parking place in a city, or finding an obscure rural address, ... THAT would be useful.

There is surely a distinction between usefulness and intellectual curiosity?

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