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Research Article

The Science of Harmony: A Psychophysical Basis for Perceptual Tensions and Resolutions in Music

Figure 10

Subharmonic plot of the opening stanza of Pachelbel’s Cannon in D with period in milliseconds on the vertical axis and time in bars on the horizontal axis. Subharmonics are colored to match the color of their corresponding notes on the music score below. The subharmonic tensions of each chord, , are marked out on the plot with white arrows. Significant wave periods, along with common subharmonic periods, , are marked against the vertical axis on the right. In the interest of visiting all common chords of the key, Em is used in the 7th bar instead of G, which already occurs in the 5th bar. Considering the fact that this example is not used for transitional harmony, all chords are presented in its root position at the expense of introducing parallel 5ths in the interest of normalization for fairer comparison.

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