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Kendall, R.A. and Vassilakis, P.N. (2006).  Perceptual acoustics of consonance and dissonance in multitimbral triads.  J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 120(5/2): 3676 (presented at the 152nd meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - 4th joint meeting of the Acoustical Societies of America and Japan, Honolulu, HI).

Most studies of consonance and dissonance assume a singular spectrum for the constituent intervals of a dyad. Recently, the principal author conducted experiments evaluating triads consisting of digitally mixed combinations drawn from the MUMS single-note natural-instrument recordings. Results indicated that the main effect of ratings for consonance and dissonance correlated well with studies using artificial signals. However, interaction effects suggested perceptual differences related to the timbral differences across combinations. The present experiment evaluates perceptual and acoustical variables of the ten possible triadic combinations created with C4 as the lower and the ten with C5 as the upper notes. UCLA wind ensemble performers on oboe, flute, and clarinet, combinations designed to span timbral space, were digitally recorded. Analyses include perceptual ratings of consonance and dissonance, similarity, as well as acoustical analysis of roughness using a recently developed model. Since natural performances of any type vary in fundamental frequency, additional experiments will employ emulated oboe, flute, and clarinet (using the Kontakt Silver synthesizer in Sibelius 4) as well as purely synthetic stimuli, in order to ascertain the relationship of time-variant spectral properties to consonance, dissonance, and perceived similarity.