Separating the Cultural from the Universal in Harmony PerceptionĀ 

Some two years ago, I asked the question in the Music & Science blog series whether the perception of consonance and dissonance is universal. While the world has well and truly changed since then, pandemics aside these past two years have been fruitful for the Music & Science Lab in terms of new research into … Continue reading Separating the Cultural from the Universal in Harmony PerceptionĀ 

Is the Perception of Consonance and Dissonance Universal?

In 1996 the prestigious Nature journal published an intriguing report by Marcel Zentner and Jerome Kagan entitled Perception of Music by Infants. The results suggested that infants prefer consonance (the relative attractiveness of different pitch combinations) over dissonance (the relative unattractiveness of different pitch combinations). The findings brought some much-needed light on the age-old debate regarding the role of … Continue reading Is the Perception of Consonance and Dissonance Universal?