When the FREQUENCY of an OVERTONE is not an integer multiple of the FUNDAMENTAL, the overtone is said to be inharmonic and is called a PARTIAL; its WAVEFORM is aperiodic.
Instruments of the percussion group, bells, and gongs in particular, have overtones which are largely inharmonic. As a result, such sounds may have indefinite or multiple PITCHes associated with them.
Compare: HARMONIC, PERIODIC, SUBHARMONIC. See: SPECTRUM, TIMBRE.
Sound Example: Bronze gamelan instrument.Sound Example: Chinese tam-tam.
Sound Example: Large cathedral bell, Salzburg, Austria.