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PIE # 62 - Piękno muzyki - zjawisko konsonansu i dysonansu

(14.08.2011) Rafał Sarnecki


From ancient Greek times, music has been seen as a mathematical art. This fact might seem strange to most contemporary people, however relationships between sounds and numbers have been known for more than 2,500 years.

Tonal harmony, scales and chords are all based on mathematical and physical concepts which relate to the psychoacoustic phenomenon of dissonance. Scientists had very little knowledge about how our ears perceive dissonance and auditory roughness until in 19th century. Hermann von Helmholtz created the first theory which explains why we hear some combinations of tones as pleasant and others as unpleasant. This lecture will explain in scientific terms what sound is and how our inner ear and brain perceive it and analyze it. It will explain why musical instruments produce sounds that are pleasant to our ears, as opposed to random noises which we hear in everyday life. The lecture will also give answers to such questions as, why some musical intervals are more consonant than the others and how the tonal harmony (scales, chords, harmonic tensions) are derived from our perception of dissonance.

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