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From ScratchWritings in Music Theory$
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James Tenney, Larry Polansky, and Lauren Pratt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038723

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038723.001.0001

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The Several Dimensions of Pitch

The Several Dimensions of Pitch

(1993/2003)

Chapter:
(p.368) Chapter 17 The Several Dimensions of Pitch
Source:
From Scratch
Author(s):

James Tenney

, Larry Polansky, Lauren Pratt, Robert Wannamaker, Michael Winter
Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038723.003.0017

James Tenney explains the different mechanisms behind the simultaneous and consecutive relationships between pitches using ideas from evolution and neurocognition. He suggests that there are two different aspects of pitch perception and that one of those aspects can also be thought of as multidimensional. In considering such fundamental questions regarding the nature of auditory perception, Tenney refers to the evolution of hearing and considers two complementary if not contradictory things: distinguish between or among sounds issuing from different sound sources, and recognize when two or more sounds—though different—actually arise from a single sound source. The first mechanism is the basis for what Tenney calls the contour aspect of contour aspect of contour pitch perception. The other aspect of pitch perception has to do with the temporal ordering of the neural information. Tenney concludes by proposing a psychoacoustic explanation for contour formation based on the ear's temporal processing.

Keywords:   pitch, evolution, neurocognition, pitch perception, auditory perception, hearing, sound, contour, temporal ordering, neural information

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