The quality that distinguishes the sound of an instrument (trumpet, flute, saxophone, guitar, etc.) is called Tone Color or Timbre (pronounced tam-ber).
It can further be described in words such as bright, dark, brilliant, mellow, rich.
Envelopes account for only part of what we perceive as timbre.
Harmonic Spectrum=The amplitude of each of the frequencies that make up the sound.
The predominant pitch in any tone is called the fundamental frequency of the sound.
Other frequencies present in a tone occur in a mathematical series called harmonic or overtone.
The frequency of each harmonic (a.k.a. "partial") is a whole number multiple of the fundamental frequency (2x, 3x, 4x, etc.).
Patterns and Sounds Of The Harmonic Series
Physics of Sound-Terms For Review
cycles per second (cps)
harmonic series (overtone series)
timbre (tone color)