Consonance/dissonance affects human perception of chords from early stages of development [e.g., Schellenberg and Trainor, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 100, 3321–3328 (1996)]. To examine whether consonance has some role in audition of nonhumans, three Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) were trained to discriminate simultaneous two-tone complexes (chords). The task was serial discrimination (AX procedure) with repetitive presentation of background stimuli. Each tone in a chord was comprised of six harmonics, and chords with complex ratios of fundamental frequency (e.g., frequency ratio of 8:15 in major seventh) resulted in dissonance. The chords were transposed for each presentation to make monkeys attend to cues other than the absolute frequency of a component tone. Monkeys were initially trained to detect changes from consonant (octave) to dissonant (major seventh). Following the successful acquisition of the task, transfer tests with novel chords were conducted. In these transfer tests, the performances with detecting changes from consonant to dissonant chords (perfect fifth to major seventh; perfect fourth to major seventh) were better than those with detecting reverse changes. These results suggested that the consonance of chords affected the performances of monkeys.

1.
Blackwell
,
H. R.
, and
Schlosberg
,
H.
(
1943
). “
Octave generalization, pitch discrimination, and loudness thresholds in the white rat
,”
J. Exp. Psychol.
33
,
407
419
.
2.
Bregman
,
A. S.
, and
Doehring
,
P.
(
1984
). “
Fusion of simultaneous tonal glides: The role of parallelness and simple frequency relations
,”
Percept. Psychophys.
36
,
251
256
.
3.
Cohen
,
A. J.
,
Thorpe
,
L. A.
, and
Trehub
,
S. E.
(
1987
). “
Infants’ perception of musical relations in short transposed tone sequences
,”
Can. J. Psychol.
41
,
33
47
.
4.
Cynx
,
J.
(
1993
). “
Auditory frequency generalization and a failure to find octave generalization in a songbird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
,”
J. Comp. Psych.
107
,
140
146
.
5.
Demany
,
L.
, and
Armand
,
F.
(
1984
). “
The perceptual reality of tone chroma in early infancy
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
76
,
57
66
.
6.
Demany
,
L.
, and
Semal
,
C.
(
1990
). “
Harmonic and melodic octave templates
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
88
,
2126
2135
.
7.
Deutsch
,
D.
(
1973
). “
Octave generalization of specific interference effects in memory for tonal pitch
,”
Percept. Psychophys.
13
,
271
275
.
8.
Green, S. (1975). “Variation of vocal pattern with social situation in the Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata): A field study,” in Primate Behavior, edited by L. A. Rosenblum (Academic, New York), Vol. 4, pp. 1–102.
9.
Hulse
,
S. H.
,
Bernard
,
D. J.
, and
Braaten
,
R. F.
(
1995
). “
Auditory discrimination of chord-based spectral structures by European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
,”
J. Exp. Psychol.
124
,
409
423
.
10.
Hulse
,
S. H.
,
MacDougall-Shackleton
,
S. A.
, and
Wisniewski
,
A. B.
(
1997
). “
Auditory scene analysis by songbirds: Stream segregation of birdsong by European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
,”
J. Comp. Psych.
111
,
3
13
.
11.
Izumi
,
A.
(
1999
). “
The effect of marker frequency disparity on the discrimination of gap duration in monkeys
,”
Perception
28
,
437
444
.
12.
Kameoka
,
A.
, and
Kuriyagawa
,
M.
(
1969a
). “
Consonance theory: Part I. Consonance of dyads
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
45
,
1451
1459
.
13.
Kameoka
,
A.
, and
Kuriyagawa
,
M.
(
1969b
). “
Consonance theory: Part II. Consonance of complex tones and its calculation method
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
45
,
1460
1469
.
14.
Ohgushi
,
K.
(
1978
). “
On the role of spatial and temporal cues in the perception of the pitch of complex tones
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
64
,
764
771
.
15.
Ohgushi
,
K.
(
1983
). “
The origin of tonality and a possible explanation of the octave enlargement phenomenon
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
73
,
1694
1700
.
16.
Plomp
,
R.
, and
Levelt
,
J. M.
(
1965
). “
Tonal consonance and critical bandwidth
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
38
,
548
560
.
17.
Richards
,
D. G.
,
Wolz
,
J. P.
, and
Herman
,
L. M.
(
1984
). “
Vocal mimicry of computer-generated sounds and vocal labeling of objects by a bottlenosed dolphin, Tursiops truncates
,”
J. Comp. Psych.
98
,
10
28
.
18.
Schellenberg
,
E. G.
, and
Trainor
,
L. J.
(
1996
). “
Sensory consonance and the perceptual similarity of complex-tone harmonic intervals: Tests of adult and infant listeners
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
100
,
3321
3328
.
19.
Schellenberg
,
E. G.
, and
Trehub
,
S. E.
(
1994a
). “
Frequency ratios and the discrimination of pure tone sequences
,”
Percept. Psychophys.
56
,
472
478
.
20.
Schellenberg
,
E. G.
, and
Trehub
,
S. E.
(
1994b
). “
Frequency ratios and the perception of tone patterns
,”
Psychonom. Bull. Rev.
1
,
191
201
.
21.
Schellenberg
,
E. G.
, and
Trehub
,
S. E.
(
1996
). “
Children’s discrimination of melodic intervals
,”
Dev. Psychol.
32
,
1039
1050
.
22.
Sinnott
,
J. M.
, and
Brown
,
C. H.
(
1993a
). “
Effects of varying signal and noise levels on pure-tone frequency discrimination in humans and monkeys
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
93
,
1535
1540
.
23.
Sinnott
,
J. M.
, and
Brown
,
C. H.
(
1993b
). “
Effects of varying signal duration on pure-tone frequency discrimination in humans and monkeys
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
93
,
1541
1546
.
24.
Terhardt
,
E.
(
1974
). “
Pitch, consonance, and harmony
,”
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
55
,
1061
1069
.
25.
Terhardt
,
E.
(
1984
). “
The concept of musical consonance: A link between music and psychoacoustics
,”
Music Percept.
1
,
276
295
.
26.
Trainor
,
L. J.
(
1997
). “
Effect of frequency ratio on infants’ and adults’ discrimination of simultaneous intervals
,”
J. Exp. Psychol.
23
,
1427
1438
.
27.
Trainor
,
L. J.
, and
Heinmiller
,
B. M.
(
1998
). “
The development of evaluative responses to music: Infants prefer to listen to consonance over dissonance
,”
Infant Behav. Dev.
21
,
77
88
.
28.
Wisniewski
,
A. B.
, and
Hulse
,
S. H.
(
1997
). “
Auditory scene analysis in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris): Discrimination of song segments, their segmentation from multiple and reversed conspecific songs, and evidence for conspecific song categorization
,”
J. Comp. Psych.
111
,
337
350
.
29.
Zentner
,
M. R.
, and
Kagan
,
J.
(
1996
). “
Perception of music by infants
,”
Nature (London)
383
,
29
.
30.
Zentner
,
M. R.
, and
Kagan
,
J.
(
1998
). “
Infants’ perception of consonance and dissonance in music
,”
Infant Behav. Dev.
21
,
483
492
.
This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.