We have explored some of the effects of tuning intervals with inharmonic partials. The tones that composed the intervals had partials whose spacing is given by f$f_n = KA^{\log 2n/1} $where$f_n $ is the frequency of the wth partial and K = 2ɸ/Aɸ. We suggest that subjects can successfully (internally) assign a pitch to tones with a structured departure from harmonicity. We find that subjects appear to process intervals with nearly harmonic stimuli (A = 1.9-2.1) in a manner that supports the "best fit" pattern recognition theories of pitch perception. Subject perception of intervals whose component tones were stretched (A > 2.1) is best accounted for by noting the nature of auditory spectral resolution and by interval memory mechanisms. The results imply that temporal synchrony of harmonics becomes increasingly important to interval integrity after A= 2.1 and that the strength of the impression of conventional intervals is dependent on temporal synchrony.

References

References
Balzano, G. Studies of the musical interval. Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1971.
Charbonneau, G. CCRMA Communication, 1979.
Cohen, E. Fusion and consonance relations for tones with inharmonic partials. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1979a, 65, S 123.
Cohen, E. Stretched tones with only octave partials: The unsanctified octave. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1979b, 65, S123-4.
Cohen, E. The effect of envelope on fusion of tones with inharmonic partials. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1979c, 65, S30.
Cohen, E. The influence of nonharmonic partials on tone perception. Doctoral dissertation, Stanford University, 1980.
Green, D. M. An Introduction to Hearing. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1976.
Grout, D. J. A History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1973.
Helmholtz, H. L. F. von. On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music. New York: Dover, 1954. (Originally published, 1863.)
Lindqvist, J., & Sundberg, J. Perception of the octave interval. Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on Acoustics, Budapest, 1971.
Mathews, M. V., & Pierce, J. R. Harmony and nonharmonic partials. Journal of the Acous- tical Society of America, 1980,68, 1252-1257.
McAdams, S. Spectral fusion and the creation of auditory images. In M. Clynes (Ed.), Music, Mind and Brain. New York: Plenum, 1982.
Nickerson, J. F. Intonation of solo and ensemble performance of the same melody. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1949, 21, 593-595.
Nordmark, J. Frequency and periodicity analysis in hearing. In E. P. Carterette & M. R. Friedman (Eds.), Handbook of Perception. New York: Academic Press, 1978.
Pierce, J. R. Attaining consonance in arbitrary scales. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,1966,40,L249.
Plomp, R. Beats of mistuned consonances. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1967,42,462-474.
Plomp, R., & Levelt, W. J. M. Tonal consonance and critical bandwidth. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1966, 38, 548-560.
Schackford, C. Some aspects of perception, part 1. Journal of Music Theory, 1961, 5, 162- 202.
Scholes, Oxford Companion to Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1970.
Siegal, J. A., & Siegel, W. Categorical perception of tonal intervals: Musicians can't tell sharp from flat. Perception and Psychophysics, 1977,21, 399-407.
Slaymaker, F. H. Chords from tones having stretched partials. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1970,47, 1569-1571.
Sundberg, J., & Lindqvist, J. Octaves and Pitch. Speech Transmission Lab, 1971, 1.
Terhardt, E. Die tonhohenwahrnehmung von Klangen. Acustica, 1972, 26, 187-199.
Ward, W. D. Musical perception. In J. V. Tobias (Ed.), Foundations of Modern Auditory Theory. New York: Academic Press, 1970.
This content is only available via PDF.