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Re: Generating a continuum of consonant to dissonant sounds

Hi Mike

In my experience, you may need to clarify your question as in "musical" terms, "dissonance" means 'requiring resolution to consonance' -- that is, void of context, there are no 'dissonant' sounds. You may not "like" it, but that doesn't produce [musical] dissonance. The perfect fourth was a musical consonance and the third was a dissonance in western music 900 years ago. Now these roles have reversed. It strikes me that "harmonious" is not on the same continuum with dissonant in general.

I've not done the studies, but have worked through these ideas with many hundreds of people. They wouldn't be controled studies, for what classrooms and studios are controled?

Bells and stable fm complexes may be 'complex' in their spectra, but not 'dissonant'. You may be looking for aspects of time variance (with both instantaneous and time-based integration). Consider the sound of a large sheet of glass being smashed. It lasts 1500 milliseconds and may be associated with "jagged" visuals. Stretch it out to four minutes. Take the sound of a breaking wave (eight seconds), stretch it out to four minutes. Compare them. Time compress the wave to 750 milliseconds and compare it to the lowpass filtered breaking glass.



Date:    Tue, 14 Aug 2007 18:56:42 -0500
From:    "Michael H. Coen" <mhcoen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Generating a continuum of consonant to dissonant sounds

Hello list,

As part of a machine learning research project investigating audio/visual cross-modal perception, I'm looking at the relationship in perceived correspondences between "simple" sounds and visual inputs to "complex" sounds and visual inputs.

Most importantly, I'm interested in _lack_ of correspondence between the two, e.g, simple shapes with complex sounds and vice-versa, and the impact of these "disagreements" on classifications and reaction times.

I'm curious what principled studies (or perchance code?) might have been written for generating sounds ranging continuously from harmonious to dissonant. I can easily think of ways of doing this mathematically, e.g., randomly phase shift the harmonics, but I'm curious what the psychoacoustics community has to say regarding this issue.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. And of course, if you're aware of anything more directly addressing the problem I described, that would be most welcome as well.

Best regards,
Mike Coen