Harmonic - Harmonics On Stringed Instruments

Harmonics On Stringed Instruments

The following table displays the stop points on a stringed instrument, such as the guitar (guitar harmonics), at which gentle touching of a string will force it into a harmonic mode when vibrated. String harmonics (flageolet tones) are described as having a "flutelike, silvery quality that can be highly effective as a special color" when used and heard in orchestration. It is unusual to encounter natural harmonics higher than the fifth partial on any stringed instrument except the double bass, on account of its much longer strings.

Harmonic Stop note Sounded note relative to open string Cents above open string Cents reduced to one octave
2 octave octave (P8) 1,200.0 0.0
3 just perfect fifth P8 + just perfect fifth (P5) 1,902.0 702.0
4 second octave 2P8 2,400.0 0.0
5 just major third 2P8 + just major third (M3) 2,786.3 386.3
6 just minor third 2P8 + P5 3,102.0 702.0
7 septimal minor third 2P8 + septimal minor seventh (m7) 3,368.8 968.8
8 septimal major second 3P8 3,600.0 0.0
9 Pythagorean major second 3P8 + Pythagorean major second (M2) 3,803.9 203.9
10 just minor whole tone 3P8 + just M3 3,986.3 386.3
11 greater unidecimal neutral second 3P8 + lesser undecimal tritone 4,151.3 551.3
12 lesser unidecimal neutral second 3P8 + P5 4,302.0 702.0
13 tridecimal 2/3-tone 3P8 + tridecimal neutral sixth (n6) 4,440.5 840.5
14 2/3-tone 3P8 + P5 + septimal minor third (m3) 4,568.8 968.8
15 septimal (or major) diatonic semitone 3P8 + just major seventh (M7) 4,688.3 1,088.3
16 just (or minor) diatonic semitone 4P8 4,800.0 0.0

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