The fundamental aspects of audio and musical signals are discussed in this chapter, as a preamble to exploring how computer instruments can be created. A mostly non-mathematical, very intuitive notion of signals, waves, spectra and their principal characteristics is first developed, introducing the reader to these concepts. This is followed by a clear delineation of the case of musical signals, with their specific conditions. A more formal look at signals is then attempted, looking at these from the perspective of computer-based representations.
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