Modes of Vibration - Animation

A guitar string, plucked at the centre, will be stretched into a triangular shape before you let it go. Once you let it go it will vibrate in a "triangular sort of way". The thing about its motion is that it can be thought of as a superposition of simple harmonic motions, with harmonically related frequencies, as shown here. The "more or less triangular" vibration in the lowest panel arises as a weighted sum of the three modes of vibration shown above it. 

This animation complements Figure 1-3 of "Auditory Neuroscience"