The Psychoacoustics of Harmony Perception
The content you've requested is available without charge only to active Sigma Xi members and American Scientist subscribers.
If you are an active member or an individual subscriber, please log in now in order to access this article.
If you are not a member or individual subscriber, you can:
The perception of harmony and dissonance is universal to all cultures. Stable or unstable combinations of tones evoke the very same feelings in people who have never heard "western" music as they do for those of us who grew up on a diet of Mozart, Sondheim or The Beatles. The reason for this common perception, according to Cook, is that the major or minor modality of musical chords is a direct consequence of the complex waveform of these pitch combinations. A recently clarified understanding of the factors that contribute to the sense of harmony makes it possible to describe the relation between acoustics and evoked emotions without using the arcane vocabulary of traditional music theory.
Connect With Us:
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.
JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.
Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.