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Thread: What Does "Harmonic" Mean?

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Default What Does "Harmonic" Mean?

    What, exactly and completely in all its senses, does the term "harmonic" mean?
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    No takers? Come on, live dangerously!
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    The "exactly and completely in all its senses" bit probably has people checking their schedules to see how many hours they can spare. Besides, they know that if they can't find the time, you will.

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    Senior Member MacLeod's Avatar
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    Harmonic? Harmonic what? It's an adjective, isn't it, so it needs a noun to go with it.

    (I promised myself I wouldn't take the bait, but...)
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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    A harmonic is any member of the harmonic series. The term is employed in various disciplines, including music, physics, acoustics, electronic power transmission, radio technology, and other fields. It is typically applied to repeating signals, such as sinusoidal waves. A harmonic of such a wave is a wave with a frequency that is a positive integer multiple of the frequency of the original wave, known as the fundamental frequency. The original wave is also called the 1st harmonic, the following harmonics are known as higher harmonics. As all harmonics are periodic at the fundamental frequency, the sum of harmonics is also periodic at that frequency. For example, if the fundamental frequency is 50 Hz, a common AC power supply frequency, the frequencies of the first three higher harmonics are 100 Hz (2nd harmonic), 150 Hz (3rd harmonic), 200 Hz (4th harmonic) and any addition of waves with these frequencies is periodic at 50 Hz.

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    A harmonic is any member of the harmonic series. The term is employed in various disciplines, including music, physics, acoustics, electronic power transmission, radio technology, and other fields. It is typically applied to repeating signals, such as sinusoidal waves. A harmonic of such a wave is a wave with a frequency that is a positive integer multiple of the frequency of the original wave, known as the fundamental frequency. The original wave is also called the 1st harmonic, the following harmonics are known as higher harmonics. As all harmonics are periodic at the fundamental frequency, the sum of harmonics is also periodic at that frequency. For example, if the fundamental frequency is 50 Hz, a common AC power supply frequency, the frequencies of the first three higher harmonics are 100 Hz (2nd harmonic), 150 Hz (3rd harmonic), 200 Hz (4th harmonic) and any addition of waves with these frequencies is periodic at 50 Hz.
    That's correct, but incomplete. What is Bwv 1080 missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by MacLeod View Post
    Harmonic? Harmonic what? It's an adjective, isn't it, so it needs a noun to go with it.
    So far, MacLeod is the only one to recognize the term "harmonic" as having meaning as something other than a noun.

    Adjectives don't necessarily "need" nouns; they can be descriptive terms on their own, decdribing a quality that remains unspecified.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Oct-05-2019 at 18:29.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Furthermore, "harmonic" as a noun can be used as an adjective, with a meaning more connected to its meaning as a noun than with its more common adjective meaning. The term "harmonic model" is an example of this 'new' adjective meaning.

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    Senior Member isorhythm's Avatar
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    No idea, not familiar with that term. Are you going to tell us?

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    A harmonic progression is where the word is used as an adjective instead of a noun. It’s a vertical arrangement of notes.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Oct-11-2019 at 22:34.
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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    A harmonic progression is where the word is used as an adjective instead of a noun. It’s a vertical arrangement of notes.
    Is it? I thought "harmonic progression" described a progression of chords, or a sequence. The "harmonic" adjective refers to "harmony," not any vertical entity such as an upper partial or overtone.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Oct-11-2019 at 23:05.

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    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    The harmonic series sums up terms like 1/k, where k is an integer.

    A Fourier series sums up terms like sin (kwt), where k is an integer and w is the fundamental (k=1). k>1 are the overtones.

    A harmonic oscillator is a classic problem in physics where a mass in subject to a force proportional to its displacement.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    It's that pretty sound that Steve Howe makes on his acoustic guitar at the beginning of Roundabout.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

    - Marcia Bjornerud, Geologist

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I think it's that thing Bob Dylan plays between verses...


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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philoctetes View Post
    The harmonic series sums up terms like 1/k, where k is an integer.
    And like the harmonic series, this thread diverges

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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    And like the harmonic series, this thread diverges
    Math & physics use the term as well.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Oct-13-2019 at 01:39.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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