The origins of tonal consonance—the tendency to perceive some simultaneously sounded combinations of musical tones as more pleasant than others—is arguably among the most fundamental questions in music perception. For more than a century, the issue has been the subject of vigorous debate, undoubtedly fueled by the formidable complexities involved in investigating music-induced affective qualia that are not directly observable and often ineffable. The challenge of drawing definitive conclusions in this area of inquiry is well exemplified by the markedly divergent, yet equally thoughtful, responses offered in these commentaries.

According to Bowling, our findings are an important source of converging evidence for his Vocal Similarity Hypothesis (VSH), the notion that consonance derives from an evolved preference for harmonic vocal sounds (Bowling, Purves, & Gill, 2018). However, he suggests that our interpretation of the results may cast a less favorable light on the VSH than is warranted. For example,...

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