(Empirical Musicology Review, 2006-04) Cook, Norman D.; Fujisawa, Takashi X.
In line with musical “common sense” (but contrary to the century-old tradition of musical psychophysics), we show that harmony is an inherently three-tone phenomenon. Previous attempts at explaining the affective response to major/minor chords and resolved/unresolved chords on the basis of the summation of interval dissonance have been notably unsuccessful, but consideration of the relative size of the intervals contained in triads leads directly to solutions to these historical problems. At the heart of our model is Leonard Meyer’s idea from 1956 concerning “intervallic equidistance” – i.e., the perception of “tension” inherent to any three-tone combination that has two intervals of equivalent size (e.g., the augmented chord). By including the effects of the upper partials, a psychophysical explanation of the perceived sonority of the triads (major>minor>diminished>augmented) and the affective valence of major and minor chords is easily achieved. We conclude that the perceptual regularities of traditional diatonic harmony are neither due to the summation of interval effects nor simply arbitrary, learned cultural artifacts, but rather that harmony has a psychophysical basis dependent on three-tone combinations.
(Empirical Musicology Review, 2006-04) Temperley, David
While the concept of the perceptual “pitch frame” resembles leading theories of pitch structure in music in some respects, it contains some innovative elements that are discussed in this commentary. Additionally, the commentary focuses on the question of whether the “pitch frame” is a temporal or atemporal construct.
(Empirical Musicology Review, 2006-04) Thomson, William
In our history we have recognized scales of some variety as keystones to music’s pitch structure. And yet, empirical studies of perception and archeological appraisals of human evolution confirm an unchanging cognitive/perceptual ground for the musical experience; they render the ragas and modes and tonoi and scales of the past to be understood only as "local" explanations for things better understood by the space/time kinetics of limited elements rather than by frozen note paradigms. This paper concludes that an empirical study of music from a broad variety of times and cultures argues for a more elemental basis: thus coinage of the tonality frame. This conceptualization reunites harmonic nucleus with temporal span, meshing as well with ancient and exotic conceptualizations of hierarchical patterning.
(Empirical Musicology Review, 2006-04) Mashinter, Keith
The phenomena of consonance and dissonance are thought to involve both learned and innate components. Work by Greenwood (1961) and Plomp and Levelt (1965) established that an aspect of dissonance perception can be traced to unique physiological properties of the hearing organ. This aspect of dissonance is commonly referred to as sensory dissonance. Two computable models of sensory dissonance are described and discussed—those of Kameoka and Kuriyagawa (1969a; 1969b) and Hutchinson and Knopoff (1978). Software implementations of both models are provided, and their behaviors explored. Both models exhibit a number of conceptual and technical problems.