The attribute of auditory sensation in terms of which a listener can judge the dissimilarity between sounds of otherwise identical pitch, loudness and length; sometimes spelled tambre or tamber. Acoustically, the sensation of timbre derives from the set of harmonics involved in the production of a tone. The best examples can be found in the characteristic timbres, or ‘tonal qualities’, of different instruments of the orchestra; but a similar set of timbres can be established to distinguish between the frequency characteristics of individual sounds (such as vowels, fricatives) or individual speakers (as one of the features of voice quality). An alternative term, more widely used in the context of segmental studies, is quality, as in vowel quality.