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I don't know--I understand the basics of overtones, but I'd never heard of covered and uncovered singing before.    As I understand it, harmonics are created by multiple voices sounding different tones, while overtones are created around the single voice, but I suppose overtones are a kind of harmonic on the single voice.

A quick check on wikipedia tells me I've got it wrong:

Overtone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An overtone is a natural resonance or vibration frequency of a system. Systems described by overtones are often sound systems, for example, blown pipes or plucked strings. Approximate harmonic overtones on a string

If such a system is excited, a number of sound frequencies may be produced. These frequencies, are usually, but not always, a close approximation to an integer multiple of a lowest resonance frequency. Thus, overtones and harmonics should not be confused or interchanged. By definition a harmonic is an exact integer multiple of a fundamental frequency, whereas in most systems, overtones are never exact integer multiples of a root frequency. For example, the first overtone of a circular drum is approximately 2.4 times its fundamental resonance frequency.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 29th, 2008 at 03:00:47 PM EST
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Thank you. I think I understand the difference now. I think opera singing is relatively open and relaxed, it has to be for the musculature to produce rapid and virtuosic effects, but covering (voluntarily partially tightening parts of it to alter it) produces distinctive overtones. (This is true for all voices, not just female).

Music, vocal and instrumental that is electronically processed and amplified loses a lot of harmonics/and/or overtones, that is why aficionadoes don't care for it. But you can get used to anything.

by John Culpepper on Sun Mar 30th, 2008 at 12:56:17 PM EST
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