One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The character or quality of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity.‘trumpet mutes with different timbres’‘a voice high in pitch but rich in timbre’
tone, sound, sound quality, voice, voice quality, colour, tone colour, tonality, resonance, ringView synonyms
- ‘Different composers describe perceiving different colours with different keys, instrumental timbres, or harmonic structures.’
- ‘The difference between string timbres and percussion timbres is intentionally blunted here.’
- ‘How did these women match their pitch, vibrato, and timbres with such precision?’
- ‘This changes both the timbres and the chords that are available to the violinist.’
- ‘The plainchant was delivered faultlessly, and gave a flavour of the complementary timbres of the male voices.’
Mid 19th century: from French, from medieval Greek timbanon, from Greek tumpanon ‘drum’.
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