• The science behind the sweet sound of music

    Have you ever wondered why we like some sounds and don't others? That is one of the biggest mysteries if the musical perception.

    Scientists and musicians searched for the causes of this mystery for more than 2500 years - the ancient philosopher Pythagoras was among of the first we know about. He played with strings of the musical instrument lyre. He noticed that when the lengths of these strings form ratios of small numbers (1:1, 1:2, 2:3, 1:3), their sounds were pleasant when listening them together. He called them Consonant sounds. Other sounds didn't sound well together, so he called them dissonant. Hi named the pairs of two tones sounding together as Interval.

    In time, musicians and scientists built a list of intervals ordered by their pleasantness – this is how we get the Consonance List (Consonance Pattern). Naturally, this was the main measure for the hypotheses and models scientists built, trying to explain what is causing Consonance.
    Until October 2017, no one's explanation was able to explain this phenomenon and to correctly and completely reproduce the Consonance List.

    Our paper, published October 3rd, 2017, offers a hypothesis that explains how the Consonance emerges in our brains, why we have the known emotional reactions to it, and finally how that fits in the evolutionary picture. Based on our hypothesis, we built a model that reproduced the Consonance List, both, correctly and completely, for the first time in the history of scientific research of this phenomenon. You can read the hard-core scientific details directly from the paper ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212683X17300415 - purchase required) or watch (for free) the non-technical popular video that explains it in an easy language - you can watch it after participating in the experiment: [Learn how and why to participate].

    Today, our team is working on a new study, trying to collect a massive amount of data that should dramatically increase the precision of the experimental evidence related to Consonance. This data will be used by other scientists and us to test existing models additionally. This experiment requires thousands of listening experiments, and the only way to perform them is online – on Internet.
    You may take part in this experiment – it is easy and somewhat fun: if you participate, you will compare two sounds on each turn and click on the one that sounds more pleasant to you. Completely anonymous and safe.
    The collected data should bring new evidence not only to the science of hearing but also to the science of brain.

    Please, help the advancement of science by participating in this experiment!

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