Missing Fundamental

The phenomenon by which an observer, presented with a harmonic tone in which the fundamental is absent, hears the same pitch as would be heard if the fundamental had been present. Therefore, only some of the harmonics are needed to hear the pitch. The pitch that is heard when the fundamental is absent is called periodicity pitch because the period of the wave is the same whether the fundamental is present or not.

See also: Fundamental, Harmonic.

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Subjects: Audio Noise & Vibration