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Jokes / Re: Can you really play your Organ - Too Loud?
« Last post by Peter Anderson on Today at 05:56:19 AM »

Jokes / Re: Can you really play your Organ - Too Loud?
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 22, 2020, 07:16:43 AM »


So we have seen that Timbre allows you to hear a musical note and, usually, immediately recognise what instrument is playing it.

Although this sounds simple, timbre actually incorporates a number of different factors, including tone that we considered in an earlier Reply.

Studies have shown that there are many factors that operate in how we distinguish different sounds.

It is remarkable that, for most of us, our ears and brain, can hear a violin note and instantly know it is a violin.    This is even more remarkable when we consider just how complex timbre actually is!

Obviously we can apply the term timbre to an overall sound, as in considering the timbre of a song, but, it is best to focus on an individual instrument.

A key factor that influences the timbre of an instrument is how each note starts and stops.
Some instruments have a gentle smooth shape to the notes, while others have a sharp, punchy, precise onset and release.

Take a look at Page 117 of your AR Manual, which I have reproduced here:


I have taken the liberty to add additional extra detail especially in the    Attack  Decay   Release diagram,  for completeness.   
The diagram, taken from Page 117, graphically demonstrates the shape of the note.

Other factors include the overall frequency balance of a sound, which is closely related to tone, and how this varies over the duration of a note, how the pitch of a note fluctuates or stays steady, the presence of “noisy” sounds compared with “tonal” sounds, and much more.

For our purposes, we don’t need to worry too much about the specific factors which determine timbre, but learning a bit about them can help us, to appreciate musical timbre in a more precise and sophisticated way.

The better we get to know timbre, the easier it becomes to pick apart the different instruments in a mixed track and appreciate the contribution made by each performer.

Naturally this is doubly useful for the aspiring song writer, composer or audio engineer!

But it can help us to create better adjusted voices for our tracks and by getting the EQ right, we will further enrich the final effect of the voices we select.

One big area is to assist us in removing “muddy” sounds.

Unconsciously or deliberately, we utilise timbre when initially setting up our Yamaha AR to play any piece of music, because we select a mix that sounds good or likeable to us

In the next Reply, we turn to Texture.

For Sale / House for sale - with built-in organ
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 21, 2020, 04:36:39 PM »

House For Sale

Here is an attractive proposition – Trouble is, the house is in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but the magnificent built-in Pipe Organ is Free

Jokes / Re: Can you really play your Organ - Too Loud?
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 21, 2020, 06:49:53 AM »

Jokes / Re: Can you really play your Organ - Too Loud?
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 20, 2020, 08:20:18 AM »


The word Timbre is French in origin, and is often pronounced    TAM-ber,   and, sometimes with a more French-influenced second syllable, TAM-bruh.   

Timbre in modern English refers to the quality of a sound made by a particular voice or musical instrument, where timbre is distinct from pitch, intensity, and loudness as a description of sound.

But because English is rarely straightforward, the word can be spelt    timber.

So   timbre    may also be correctly pronounced just like timber as   TIM-ber.

Now to address our subject here....

Timbre  is essentially that feature that makes one instrument or voice sound very different to another.

In music, timbre, which is also referred to as tone colour or tone quality, is the perceived sound quality of a musical note, sound or tone.

Timbre distinguishes different types of sound production, such as choir voices and musical instruments.
         For instance, we can easily identify a string instrument.

                   Similarly, we can recognise wind instruments, and no one has trouble  appreciating the sound of percussion instruments.

But Timbre, also enables the listener to distinguish different instruments in the same category.   
          For example, most people can distinguish between an oboe and a clarinet, which are both woodwind instruments.

In simple terms, timbre is what makes a particular musical sound have a different sound from any other.

Therefore, for example it is the difference in sound between a guitar and a piano, which are playing exactly the same note at the same volume.

Both instruments can sound equally tuned in relation to each other as they play the same note, and while playing at the same amplitude, each instrument will still sound distinctive, having its own unique tone colour.

Experienced musicians are also able to distinguish between different instruments of the same type, based on their varied timbres, even if those instruments are playing notes at the same fundamental pitch and loudness.     Many professional pianists insist on having a particular make of piano on the stage for their performances, and tone is one of their preferences here, beside touch etc.

Obviously there are so many other factors that come into play, but most people can tell an expensive quality instrument from a cheap brand.   

In the AR-Group we members were attracted to the ‘sound’ of the Yamaha AR, from the very first moment we heard it and recognised its outstanding quality from that very moment!     
Don't forget the original sounds inputted into the instrument, together with the amplifiers and the speakers all play their part in producing that final sound.
I think we all realise that there is a tone difference between the Yamaha AR100 and the Yamaha AR80.

The physical characteristics of sound that determine the perception of timbre include spectrum and envelope.

Singers and instrumental musicians can change the timbre of the music they are singing or playing by using different singing or playing techniques.
                  For example, a violinist can use different bowing styles or play on different parts of the string to obtain different timbres.

One example is by them playing sul tasto, which produces a light, airy timbre, whereas playing sul ponticello, produces a harsh, even and aggressive tone.

To find out more about playing sul tasto click on this link:

To find out more about playing sul ponticello click on this link:

On the electric guitar and electric piano, performers can change the timbre using their effects and graphic equalizers.   
Similarly, we can change the sound of any voice on our Yamaha AR, by use of the Effects page.

In the next reply, we’ll continue to look at Timbre, and the Effects page.

Jokes / Re: Difficult times over Clefs
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 19, 2020, 12:36:51 PM »

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__119___Guide to understanding Time Signatures
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 18, 2020, 02:18:43 PM »
Telemann composed some pieces using odd Time Signatures.

Here is one example, from his Gulliver Suite, which is a series of 12 pieces for violin.

This is an extract from the Brobdingnagische Gigue, which is part of Lilliputsche Chacon.

You will notice that the Time Signature is 24/1.

Even typing the name of this piece of music takes definite concentration, let alone trying to play it.

Peter's Pearls / Re: No__73___Learn To Read Music
« Last post by Peter Anderson on January 18, 2020, 01:46:43 PM »
This piece, in the previous Reply, is an extract from Icarus by the prolific composer Frederick Frahn, who was born in Califirnia on November 8th, 1964.
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