Martin Braun wrote:
"It's timbre learning. Automatic association of timbre and chroma, the latter
being derived from the summation of octave-spaced partials, results in a
secure "secondary" pitch perception.
An analogy is chord identification. Highly trained musicians can identify
chord categories from the timbre of a chord."
I find this idea very interesting, and believe it to be true as I have long suspected it to be the case that chord learning is actually timbre learning. If there is any empirical evidence for this I would be most grateful for the particulars.
Incidentally, this seems to be not only a higher order function, but also an example of what in the lingo of cognitive semantics would be called conceptual integration or "blending". We could say that we conceptualize a pitch through the integration of information from two different domains: a perceived timbre domain and a learned schema for partials.