Grouping Mechanisms in Music

Diana Deutsch
Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California

In D. Deutsch (Ed.). The Psychology of Music, 3rd Edition, 2013, 183-248, San Diego: Elsevier. 
In this chapter, we explore the grouping of musical tones at various levels. We first consider the relationships between the components of a sound spectrum that lead to the perception of a single sound image and those that lead to the perception of multiple sound images. We next examine how the listener groups tones into separate and parallel streams in a polyphonic texture. We also examine the principles whereby the listener divides a sequence of tones into coherent segments that are separated by temporal boundaries. In another section, we examine pitch circularity—the perception of certain sequences of tones as eternally ascending or descending. We also explore the perception of multiple sequences of tones that arise in parallel from different regions of space. Striking illusions occur in this situation, which differ strongly between listeners, showing that there can be substantial individual differences in how even simple musical patterns are perceived.
perception, illusion, auditory stream, scale, melody, circularity, pitch, timbre, harmonic, mistuning, proximity, tempo, continuity, attention, neural substrate, scale illusion, octave illusion, glissando illusion, illusory conjunction, tritone paradox

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