Music Of The Spheres

The Harmonic Series Played By Planets

The first 16 notes of the musical harmonic series are played by a hypothetical planetary system. The frequency of each planet, which determines its pitch and rhythm, is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency played by the outer planet (1, 2, 3…,16). These are also the pitches produced when an oscillating string is divided into equal length segments or the rhythms produced when a bar of music is divided into equal lengths of time.

The harmonic series is often thought of as the basis of musical harmony since the most common and consonant intervals found in music are found in the lower terms of the series. Additionally, when a note is played by any stringed instrument (and many woodwinds), all of the notes of the harmonic series are actually present and their relative strengths strongly determine the quality or timbre of the sound we hear. 

The first 16 modes of the harmonic series as standing waves, musical notes, and rhythms. The notes of the harmonic series deviate from the 'equal tempered' notes found on a piano (1 cent = 1 per cent of a note).
The first 16 modes of the harmonic series as standing waves, musical notes, and rhythms. The notes of the harmonic series deviate from the ‘equal tempered’ notes found on a piano (1 cent = 1 per cent of a note).
Music Of The Spheres
The closest 'equal tempered' notes to the pitches of the harmonic series. Modes 7, 11, 13, and 14 are the furthest from equal temperament. Source: wikipedia/hyacinth.
The closest ‘equal tempered’ notes to the pitches of the harmonic series. Modes 7, 11, 13, and 14 are the furthest from equal temperament. Source: wikipedia/hyacinth.