What is Timbre in Music?

If you have ever heard the word Timbre and want to know what it means then this article will answer your question what is Timbre? In this particular article we will discuss this important component to describe the sound of music and as a result get better acquainted with this important aspect of sound production. As well as learning what is Timbre do you also get to learn how to make music more interesting and vibrant using Timbre?

Basically there are three things which are involved in timbre: pitch, intensity, and wave visualization. The pitch is the intensity of the sound or notes and the timbre is how those sounds change over time when playing. There are several different ways that we could describe timbre but for our purposes we will stick to the fundamental aspects. The fundamental aspect we will be discussing is that of being in time. That is, we will discuss that what is in time refers to the phase of the wave which makes up the sound.

To get a better understanding of what is timbre in music it is best to first mention what happens when the wave that makes up the sound travels from a source to an instrument or speaker. The timbre of the sound depends on what is known as the sound source or the instrument. The timbre can be a low frequency which has a timbre which is closest to pure white noise or it can be a very high frequency which has a timbre that is closest to ringing. Now the reason that high frequencies have a timbre which is closer to ringing is due to the fact that they travel further away from the listener. Now high frequencies are said to have a phase shift which is what we would call a phase distortion.

So, when you hear a piece of music which has a timbre which is close to pure white noise or ringing then it is said to have a ringing in the ear or a cymbal crash. On the other hand a piece of music which has a timbre which is quite high produces a flanging effect which has a timbre which is nearer to the note, or a bit higher. A piece of music which has a timbre lower than the middle range but has a good bass quantity will be said to have noisiness. The next time you listen to some music and hear the word noisiness it will mean that there is some distortion within the sound, this is the same for timbre.

Now we will talk about how this affects the voice and what is called a spectrogram. A spectrogram is basically a graph which plots the strength of the timbre against the amplitude of the chord. This is because the amplitude of the chord itself changes over time, and this affects the timbre. With this in mind it becomes quite easy to see why there are certain songs that are more popular than others and why they have that certain timbre which listeners respond to.

Now when we go on to the technical side of things what we want to find is an explanation of how these sounds are transformed by the audio signal into tones, which are then interpreted by our brain and converted into actual sound. To do this we need to understand how these sounds are made. Well this is done through the excitation of the nerve endings, which are situated just behind the outer ear, which then changes the sound waves into rhythms which are then converted by our brain into actual visual perception.