#1
In my Music Theory AP class we did some work with an organ not too long ago. It consisted of a "listen and write" type thing where my teacher played something and we wrote the melody and bass down.

The problem lies in that another student and I heard two notes as very, very similar. Let's say the Key is C. My teacher plays the G above it. It's all good and in place. He then plays the G below it. It sounds higher in pitch than the G an octave higher than it.

Is this because of the way an organ is structured? The overtones? Help?
#2
Most Organ's have drawbars or switches that control the different harmonics/overtones, most likely your teacher has it on a setting that always has some sort of higher overtone.
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#3
Quote by Ghast
Most Organ's have drawbars or switches that control the different harmonics/overtones, most likely your teacher has it on a setting that always has some sort of higher overtone.

That's what I was thinking too, but I was never too sure.
#4
yes it has everything to do with the overtones of an organ. They are a rather unique beast in that (if it was an actual pipe organ at least) there is an infinite amount of overtones you can be hearing at any given time. Organs are obviously structured around pipes of different length (larger pipe= lower pitch smaller pipe= higher pitch) Many organs have pipe lengths that are stops of 2 2/3' or 1 1/3' or various lengths like that which when activated produce a pitch that will be relative to the note that is actually being played (sometimes called a mutation stop depending on what country the organ was made in lol) so yes on organ it is entirely possible that even though only one note is being played you are hearing more than one note. In fact whenever you are hearing a note on any instrument you are hearing more than one note anyways based on the overtone series (in western music) but it's more prevalent and obvious on organ because of how it is structured. This is why you can often leave the 5th out of chords when you are voicing them, they are already in the overtone series so you are already hearing them. So yes hearing a C and a G as very similar on the organ is entirely possible. Gosh this will be an ordeal to read
#5
Quote by Nergal22691
yes it has everything to do with the overtones of an organ. They are a rather unique beast in that (if it was an actual pipe organ at least) there is an infinite amount of overtones you can be hearing at any given time. Organs are obviously structured around pipes of different length (larger pipe= lower pitch smaller pipe= higher pitch) Many organs have pipe lengths that are stops of 2 2/3' or 1 1/3' or various lengths like that which when activated produce a pitch that will be relative to the note that is actually being played (sometimes called a mutation stop depending on what country the organ was made in lol) so yes on organ it is entirely possible that even though only one note is being played you are hearing more than one note. In fact whenever you are hearing a note on any instrument you are hearing more than one note anyways based on the overtone series (in western music) but it's more prevalent and obvious on organ because of how it is structured. This is why you can often leave the 5th out of chords when you are voicing them, they are already in the overtone series so you are already hearing them. So yes hearing a C and a G as very similar on the organ is entirely possible. Gosh this will be an ordeal to read

Would that work for two different octaves of a note though? We heard the lower G as higher than the G that was an octave higher than it.
#6
Quote by DiminishedFifth
Would that work for two different octaves of a note though? We heard the lower G as higher than the G that was an octave higher than it.
I'm gonna suggest one possible explanation. I won't go as far as to say this is what happened, only that it might have happened.


Let's say the drawbars were pulled out such that you had equal amounts of the fundamental and a tone TWO octaves above the fundamental.

Let's say the first note you heard was an G2 (98Hz) along with the tone two octaves above that ... G4 (392Hz). Your ear tells you the A2 is the fundamental note. It perceives the G4 as being part of the harmonics. Your ear says the note is G2.

The second note you hear is an octave below: G1 (49Hz) along with an G3 (196Hz)
Normally, your ear would hear this as an G1 (with an overtone at G3).
You would think the note is G1.


But what happens if the speaker this is being played through does a very poor job of reproducing sounds at lower frequencies? Maybe it does alright at 98Hz but the response drops off quickly below that. The G1 (49Hz) is very weak and barely present. But the G3 (196Hz) comes through, loud and clear.

Your ear no longer perceives the lower frequency as defining the note, because it's so weak. So your ear tells you the note is G3.

In this case, the second note sounds higher than the first, even though it's a lower note on the keyboard. Maybe something like this happened. idk.
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