Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value or between two or more different states. Familiar examples include a swinging pendulum and AC power. The term vibration is sometimes used more narrowly to mean a mechanical oscillation but sometimes...
is a pattern of motion in which all parts of the system move sinusoidally with the same frequency and with a fixed phase relation. The frequencies of the normal modes of a system are known as its natural frequencies or resonant frequencies. A physical object, such as a building, bridge or molecule, has a set of normal modes that depend on its structure, materials and boundary conditions.
When relating to music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...
, normal modes of vibrating instruments (strings, air pipes, drums, etc.) are called "harmonics" or "overtones".
The most general motion of a system is a superposition
In physics and systems theory, the superposition principle , also known as superposition property, states that, for all linear systems, the net response at a given place and time caused by two or more stimuli is the sum of the responses which would have been caused by each stimulus individually...
of its normal modes.