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Culture influences conscious appraisal of, but not automatic aversion to, acoustically rough musical intervals

Armitage, James; Lahdelma, Imre; Eerola, Tuomas; Ambrazevičius, Rytis

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Authors

James Armitage james.e.armitage@durham.ac.uk
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Rytis Ambrazevičius



Contributors

Nobuyuki Sakai
Editor

Abstract

There is debate whether the foundations of consonance and dissonance are rooted in culture or in psychoacoustics. In order to disentangle the contribution of culture and psychoacoustics, we considered automatic responses to the perfect fifth and the major second (flattened by 25 cents) intervals alongside conscious evaluations of the same intervals across two cultures and two levels of musical expertise. Four groups of participants completed the tasks: expert performers of Lithuanian Sutartinės, English speaking musicians in Western diatonic genres, Lithuanian non-musicians and English-speaking non-musicians. Sutartinės singers were chosen as this style of singing is an example of ‘beat diaphony’ where intervals of parts form predominantly rough sonorities and audible beats. There was no difference in automatic responses to intervals, suggesting that an aversion to acoustically rough intervals is not governed by cultural familiarity but may have a physical basis in how the human auditory system works. However, conscious evaluations resulted in group differences with Sutartinės singers rating both the flattened major as more positive than did other groups. The results are discussed in the context of recent developments in consonance and dissonance research.

Citation

Armitage, J., Lahdelma, I., Eerola, T., & Ambrazevičius, R. (2023). Culture influences conscious appraisal of, but not automatic aversion to, acoustically rough musical intervals. PLoS ONE, 18(12), Article e0294645. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0294645

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2023
Online Publication Date Dec 5, 2023
Publication Date Dec 5, 2023
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2023
Journal PLOS ONE
Publisher Public Library of Science
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 12
Article Number e0294645
DOI https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0294645
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1987846

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