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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.