Part of the Springer Series in Information Sciences book series (SSINF, volume 19)


The perception of music, and hence its performance, composition and historical development, is conditioned by the repeated exposure of musicians and audiences to auditory patterns and regularities. Such patterns occur in music itself, in everyday social and physical environments, and before birth. Musical consonance depends on the smoothness and tonalness of tone simultaneities, the pitch commonality and pitch proximity of sequences, and cultural conditioning. Pitch in tonal music is specified relative to diatonic and chromatic scales, in which notes an octave apart are harmonically equivalent; intonation within chromatic pitch categories involves a compromise between minimum roughness and maximum pitch commonality. Diatonic (major/minor) tonality depends on various aspects of consonance and musical pitch, but especially on the roots of chords and broken chords.


Complex Tone Chromatic Scale Western Music Pitch Class Pitch Distance 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Music and PsychologyUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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