In the notation of vertical sonorities, it is well-known that composers space chordal tones using wider interval sizes in the bass region. A classic study by Plomp and Levelt (1965) argued that the organization of vertical sonorities in music is related to the phenomenon of critical bands. A replication of Plomp and Levelt's work shows that their demonstration was confounded by an unfortunate artifact and that their results did not support the conclusions drawn. Using a different method, a comparison of actual music with a control sample of "random" music shows that musical practice is consistent with the compositional pursuit of a greater uniformity of spelling with respect to critical bands. Although these results are consistent with conclusions given in Plomp and Levelt, the methods used here avoid the difficulties evident in the earlier study.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| December 01 1992
Critical Bands and the Spelling of Vertical Sonorities
Music Perception (1992) 10 (2): 129–149.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
David Huron, Peter Sellmer; Critical Bands and the Spelling of Vertical Sonorities. Music Perception 1 December 1992; 10 (2): 129–149. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285604
Download citation file: