MARCO, David John-Tom

PhD University of Melbourne 2014 Pages:

Familiarity and the perception of dissonance in musical intervals and chords

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Complex relationships exist between the physical world and the perceptual world. In the auditory domain, the impact of stimulus characteristics on the perception of sound has received a wealth of attention in the literature over the last 60 years. This thesis examined differences in stimulus familiarity, the discrimination of concurrent pitch information and the experience of sensory dissonance...

...The first key finding from this thesis was that the amount and type of musical training listeners had affected their familiarity with complex pitch structures including musical intervals and chords and inharmonic instrumental sounds. The second key finding was that the ability to match pitches to these stimuli was strongly associated with listeners’ familiarity, and not the physical properties of the sounds. The third key finding was that the level of dissonance reported was associated with listeners’ ability to accurately perceive and process pitches within stimuli.

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