Psycho-acoustic experiments on the sensory consonance of musical two-tones


  • Reinhart Frosch Sommerhaldenstrasse 5B, CH-5200 Brugg, Switzerland


Biological membranes, Sensory perception, Basilar membrane, Consonance curves, Helmholtz theory


The sensory consonance of two-tones composed of two harmonic complex tones similar to vibrato-less bowedstring tones are studied. In previous sensory-consonance experiments with bowed-string-like tones, it was found that the consonance curve forms narrow peaks at small-integer ratios. The ranking order of the seven two-tones obtained by an attitude scale construction was equal to that of the seven mean point numbers. The consonance curves for two simultaneous bowed-string-like harmonic complex tones form narrow peaks. The R-values of the peaks agree with the Helmholtz consonance theory that is considered to be rates of partial tones in a certain range. The relative heights of the consonance peaks become more understandable by considering Helmholtz theory if there are no or few wide gaps in the excitation pattern caused by the partial tones on the basilar membrane in the inner ear.

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How to Cite

Frosch R. Psycho-acoustic experiments on the sensory consonance of musical two-tones. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2007 Sep. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 25];35(3):38-45. Available from:



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada