Capturing And Ranking Perspectives On The Consonance And Dissonance Of Dyads

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


The 12th Sound and Music Computing Conference, Music Technology Research Group, Dept. of Computer Science, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland (2015)





Consonance, Digraph Ranking, Dissonance, Partial Ranking, Subjective Preferences


In many domains we wish to gain further insight into the subjective preferences of an individual. The problem with subjective preferences is that individuals are not necessarily coherent in their responses. Often, a simple linear ranking is either not possible, or may not accurately reflect the true preferences or behaviour of the individual. The phenomenon of consonance is heavily subjective and individuals often report to perceive different levels on consonance, or indeed dissonance. In this paper we present a thorough analysis of previous studies on the perception of consonance and dissonance of dyads. We outline a system which ranks musical intervals in terms of consonance based on pairwise comparison and we compare results obtained using the proposed system with the results of previous studies. Finally we propose future work to improve the implementation and design of the system. Our proposed approach is robust enough to handle incoherences in subjects’ responses; preventing the formation of circular rankings while maintaining the ability to express these rankings—an important factor for future work.
We achieve this by representing the data gathered on a directed graph. Abstract objects are represented as nodes, and a subject’s preference across any two objects is representeds a directed edge between the two corresponding nodes. We can then make use of the transitive nature of human preferences to build a ranking—or partial ranking — of objects with a minimum of pairwise comparisons.
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