Music perception, pitch, and the auditory system

Josh H. McDermott, Andrew J Oxenham

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    141 Scopus citations


    The perception of music depends on many culture-specific factors, but is also constrained by properties of the auditory system. This has been best characterized for those aspects of music that involve pitch. Pitch sequences are heard in terms of relative as well as absolute pitch. Pitch combinations give rise to emergent properties not present in the component notes. In this review we discuss the basic auditory mechanisms contributing to these and other perceptual effects in music.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)452-463
    Number of pages12
    JournalCurrent opinion in neurobiology
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Aug 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors thank Matt Woolhouse for supplying Figure 3 c, and Laurent Demany and Lauren Stewart for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by NIH grant R01 DC 05216.


    Dive into the research topics of 'Music perception, pitch, and the auditory system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this