# partial

A partial is any of the sine waves – simple periodic waves – of which a complex tone is made up. There is an important distinction between partial, harmonic, and overtone. An overtone is any partial except the fundamental. A harmonic is a partial that is a partial that is an integral multiple of the fundamental.

**Inharmonicity** is a measure of how far a partial deviates
from the closest ideal harmonic, typically measured in cents (a logarithmic
unit used for musical intervals) for each partial.