In the article “Consonance preferences within an unconventional tuning system,” Friedman and colleagues (2021) examine consonance ratings of a large range of dyads and triads from the Bohlen-Pierce chromatic just (BPCJ) scale. The study is designed as a replication of a recent paper by Bowling, Purves, and Gill (2018), which proposes that perception of consonance in dyads, triads, and tetrads can be predicted by their harmonic similarity to human vocalisations.

In this commentary, we would like to correct some interpretations regarding Friedman et al.’s (2021) discussion of our paper (Smit, Milne, Dean, & Weidemann, 2019), as well as express some concerns regarding the statistical methods used. We also propose a stronger emphasis on the use of, as named by Friedman et al., composite models as a range of recent evidence strongly suggests that no single acoustic measure can fully predict the complex experience of consonance.

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