Essential Building Blocks
How Tones and Overtones REALLY Work
Tones and Their Properties
What Is a Tone—A Musical Tone?
As discussed in Chapter 1, humans use discrete pitches, or discrete tones, in both speech and music, unlike the sliding vocalizations of most primates.
A music dictionary will tell you that a tone (or note) is a sound of a definite pitch. And a pitch? A tone.
Not terribly helpful.
The truth is, you can use words to describe a tractor or a tiger lily or a tuba. But not a tone. Like that other critical element of music, time, tone defies verbal description because it’s a phenomenon you perceive with one of your senses. You sense tone, just as you sense color, odour, taste, and touch.
You have to actually hear a tone to understand what a tone is. Once you know what a tone is, you can get to know its properties.