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implicit AP and the tritone paradox

Dear all,

The tritone paradox is a particularly convincing example of implicit AP, and of the interaction between pitch class and pitch height that Leon had mentioned. See, for example: 

Deutsch, D., Henthorn T. and Dolson, M. Speech patterns heard early in life influence later perception of the tritone paradox. Music Perception, 2004, 21, 357-372.[PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. The tritone paradox: A link between music and speech. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1997, 174-180. [PDF Document]

Deutsch, D. The tritone paradox: An influence of language on music perception. Music Perception, 1991, 8, 335-347. [PDF Document]


You can plot the way your pitch class circle is oriented with respect to height by carrying out the full experiment on my CD 'Musical illusions and paradoxes'. I'd be happy to send this CD (which includes a booklet containing the answers) to anyone who is interested, if you let me know where to send it.

Best wishes,


Dear Eliot and list,


I can only understand you here to be suggesting that pitches have intrinsic, specific  & perceptible  qualities that are part of the
makeup of, say, a tune that works.

Yes, that's what I did. Each person has an internal chroma map that has developed under the exposure to the pitch characteristics of ambient speech and music. Some of these characteristics are more personal, such as pitch ranges of familiar voices. Others are more general, such as the pitch range of voices in a geographical region, or a pitch norm in music. The specific imprinting on a person's chroma map is likely to have effects during hearing, speaking, and making music.

So, since melody is based partly on intrinsic pitch properties, people who enjoy music
necessarily must have some sort of AP. Have I misunderstood?

Here you have misunderstood. Production and perception of a melody is influenced by "intrinsic pitch properties", yes. But these properties are not the only reason that people enjoy music. For example, we can still enjoy a known melody after transposition, though usually somewhat less so.