OSPoM: Dr Peter Harrison, University of Cambridge

Watch live on YouTube.

The phenomenon of ‘consonance’ in Western tonal music is traditionally considered to be a function of the underlying frequency ratios between chord tones. Here we explore the sense in which consonance also depends on the spectral properties of the chord tones themselves. Through large-scale behavioural experiments combined with computer modelling we show that this relationship between tone spectra and chordal consonance runs deep, and provides valuable new perspectives on the psychoacoustic and cognitive mechanisms underlying consonance perception.

Peter Harrison is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Music and Director of the Centre for Music and Science at the University of Cambridge. He specialises in computational approaches to music psychology, including cognitive modelling, massive online experiments, and corpus studies. He is particularly interested in understanding the psychological mechanisms that underlie listeners' appreciation and enjoyment of music, and how musical styles have developed to exploit these mechanisms. His published works cover a variety of topics, including statistical learning, creativity, musical pleasure, consonance, voice leading, harmonic syntax, and individual differences in musical abilities.

About the Series:

The Faculty of Music at the University of Oxford is pleased to announce the continuation of the Oxford Seminar in the Psychology of Music (OSPoM), now in hybrid format, and co-run by Eric Clarke and Manuel Anglada-Tort. Where possible, speakers will present in-person in the Committee Room of the Faculty of Music, and anyone in Oxford or the surroundings is warmly encouraged to join in-person. The seminars will also be available via YouTube so as to allow continued participation from near and far. Enjoying a position at a neglected part of the clock, seminars will start at 4.56pm GMT, and will last for 90 minutes - 45 minutes presentation followed by 45 minutes of discussion. The seminars are open to all. For any further queries about OSPoM, please email: eric.clarke@music.ox.ac.uk or manuel.anglada-tort@music.ox.ac.uk