MUSIC THEORY – Why are Low Notes Muddy and High Notes Weak ?04:28


MUSIC THEORY – Why are Low Notes Muddy and High Notes Weak ?


MUSIC THEORY – Why are Low Notes Muddy and High Notes Weak ?

In this music theory animated tutorial made by Walk That Bass, you are going to learn why are low notes muddy and high notes weak.

“Have you ever noticed that really low notes sound quite muddy and dissonant, while really high notes sound quite weak and feeble? Well this is also because of the overtone series.

Our hearing range is from about 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Anything below or above this range is inaudible to us. So if we play a really low note, say A1 at 55 Hz, lots of overtones fall within our hearing range. The first 20 harmonics only gets us up to 1,100 Hz – well within our hearing range. So when we play this low note, we are in fact hearing lots and lots of notes all at once. Though we generally only hear the first 8 harmonics clearly, with the rest being progressively weaker.

Whereas if we play the highest note on the piano – C8 at 4,186 Hz – then we only hear 4 harmonics before the 5th one falls outside of our hearing range. So this note is really weak and simple. We only hear 4 frequencies, instead of the scores we heard with the low A note.

So when you play a really low note, most of what can we hear is actually the overtones of that note, especially because middle register frequencies sound louder to us than lower frequencies, as I covered in a previous video on volume. And this is why low notes sound muddy. Whereas, we hear very few overtones on high notes so they sound really weak.” (Credit : Walk That Bass)


A really interesting subject with crystal-clear exaplanations from our friend Walk That Bass. Once again, I recommend it !

Level : Advanced Beginner / Intermediate

  • MUSIC THEORY – Why are Low Notes Muddy and High Notes Weak ?
  • Tutorial Duration = 4min27sec

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