Comparison of recent psychoacoustic data on consonance with those on roughness reveals that “psychoacoustic consonance” merely corresponds to the absence of roughness and is only slightly and indirectly correlated with musical intervals. Thus, psychoacoustic consonance cannot be considered as the basis of the sense of musical intervals. The basis of that sense seems to be provided by the concept of virtual pitch. This concept is introduced with a model. The concept accounts for many psychoacoustic and musical phenomena as, e.g., the ambiguity of pitch of complex tones, the “residue,” the pitch of inharmonic signals, the dominance of certain harmonics, pitch shifts, the sense for musical intervals, octave periodicity, octave enlargement, “stretching” of musical scales, and the “tonal meaning” of chords in music.

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