Perception of Musical Intervals: Evidence for the Central Origin of the Pitch of Complex Tones.
MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE RESEARCH LAB OF ELECTRONICS
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Melodies can be recognized in music, regardless of the instrument on which they are played. This is true even when the musical sounds have no acoustical energy at the fundamental frequency. This phenomenon was investigated qualitatively and quantitatively through a series of experiments in which subjects were asked to identify melodies and simple musical intervals. The findings suggest that sensations of musical pitch of the fundamental in complex tones are mediated centrally by neural signals derived from those stimulus partials that are tonotopically resolved, rather than being mediated by neural transformations of those upper partials which the peripheral auditory system fails to resolve. Author