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Lecture# Harmonic Mean: Music Proportions

Description

This lecture covers the concept of harmonic mean and its application in music proportions, exploring the relationships between arithmetic, geometric, and harmonic means. It delves into the construction of these means using ruler and compass, as well as their significance in musical intervals. The lecture also discusses the invariance by projection of the harmonic ratio and its historical importance in architecture. Through examples, it illustrates how the harmonic mean can be used to create harmonious musical chords and how it influenced architectural design. The presentation concludes with a reflection on the intersection of visual proportions in architecture and acoustic proportions in music.

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Average

In ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in the list (the arithmetic mean). For example, the average of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, and 9 (summing to 25) is 5. Depending on the context, an average might be another statistic such as the median, or mode. For example, the average personal income is often given as the median—the number below which are 50% of personal incomes and above which are 50% of personal incomes—because the mean would be higher by including personal incomes from a few billionaires.

Harmonic

A harmonic is a sinusoidal wave with a frequency that is a positive integer multiple of the fundamental frequency of a periodic signal. The fundamental frequency is also called the 1st harmonic, the other harmonics are known as higher harmonics. As all harmonics are periodic at the fundamental frequency, the sum of harmonics is also periodic at that frequency. The set of harmonics forms a harmonic series. The term is employed in various disciplines, including music, physics, acoustics, electronic power transmission, radio technology, and other fields.

Interval (music)

In music theory, an interval is a difference in pitch between two sounds. An interval may be described as horizontal, linear, or melodic if it refers to successively sounding tones, such as two adjacent pitches in a melody, and vertical or harmonic if it pertains to simultaneously sounding tones, such as in a chord. In Western music, intervals are most commonly differences between notes of a diatonic scale. Intervals between successive notes of a scale are also known as scale steps. The smallest of these intervals is a semitone.

Interval ratio

In music, an interval ratio is a ratio of the frequencies of the pitches in a musical interval. For example, a just perfect fifth (for example C to G) is 3:2 (), 1.5, and may be approximated by an equal tempered perfect fifth () which is 27/12 (about 1.498). If the A above middle C is 440 Hz, the perfect fifth above it would be E, at (440*1.5=) 660 Hz, while the equal tempered E5 is 659.255 Hz.

Superparticular ratio

In mathematics, a superparticular ratio, also called a superparticular number or epimoric ratio, is the ratio of two consecutive integer numbers. More particularly, the ratio takes the form: where n is a positive integer. Thus: A superparticular number is when a great number contains a lesser number, to which it is compared, and at the same time one part of it. For example, when 3 and 2 are compared, they contain 2, plus the 3 has another 1, which is half of two.

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