A pattern of tones is explored that possesses some remarkable properties. It is heard as ascending when played in one key, yet as descending when played in another key. When the pattern is recorded on tape and then played back at different speeds, it is heard either as ascending or as descending depending on the speed of playback. As a further paradox, the pattern in any given key is heard as ascending by some listeners but as descending by others. Theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
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Diana Deutsch; A Musical Paradox. Music Perception 1 April 1986; 3 (3): 275–280. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/40285337
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