In the tritone paradox, listeners perceive octave-related complexes separated by tritones such that tones from one half of the pitch class circle are heard as higher in pitch and tones from the opposite half are heard as lower. It is theorized that listeners compare these tones to a pitch class template, which has an orientation with respect to height that differs among listeners, in making these relative height judgments. In the present experiment, listeners heard octave-related complexes presented one at a time (rather than in pairs), in addition to tone complexes separated by tritones. On the basis of the pitch-class-template theory, it was hypothesized that pitch class would have a similar influence on perceived height for both sets of stimuli and that perception of the single tones would correspond to perception of the tritone paradox. The results supported these hypotheses.

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