When we reach the octave in the ascent of the scale we actually fancy we hear the fundamental tone repeated.
The fundamental tone determines the pitch; the overtones determine the quality, tone-color, timbre, or physiognomy of the tone.
Nay, by the very riotous revel of upper harmonies he has stressed the more clearly the path of the fundamental tone.
Those which give out the fundamental tone and harmonics up to the eighth, such as the tubas and ophicleide.
Helmholtz has shown that the fundamental tone of any note is represented by the sound oo.
The simplest chord is the triad, which consists of a fundamental tone called the root, with the third and fifth above it.
Each crook is named according to the fundamental tone which it produces on being added to the body.
These overtones are not so loud as the fundamental tone and cannot readily be detected by the uncultivated ear.
When I add an octave to a fundamental tone, I hear in the octave a part of what was heard in the fundamental tone.
What the ear hears is the fundamental pitch only; the overtones harmonize with the primary or fundamental tone, and enrich it.
mid-15c., "primary, original, pertaining to a foundation," modeled on Late Latin fundamentalis "of the foundation," from Latin fundamentum "foundation" (see fundament). Fundamentals "primary principles or rules" of anything is from 1630s.