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Musical tone

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A musical tone is a steady periodic sound. A musical tone is characterized by its duration, pitch, intensity (or loudness), and timbre (or quality).[1] The notes used in music can be more complex than musical tones, as they may include aperiodic aspects, such as attack transients, vibrato, and envelope modulation.

A simple tone, or pure tone, has a sinusoidal waveform. A complex tone is any musical tone that is not sinusoidal, but is periodic, such that it can be described as a sum of simple tones with harmonically related frequencies.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. Juan G. Roederer (2008). The Physics and Psychophysics of Music: An Introduction, fourth, Springer.
  2. Hermann von Helmholtz and Alexander John Ellis (1885). On the sensations of tone as a physiological basis for the theory of music, second, Longmans, Green.
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