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