Terhardt, E. (1989). Psychophysical principles of musical sound evaluation. In: Proc. 28th Conf. Acoust., Bratislava, 42-50

Evaluation of musical sound is essentially dependent on the acoustical conditions of transmitting information from sources (e.g. musical instruments) to the listener`s eardrums. Although the sound signal that is emitted from a source, is in several ways corrupted through transmission, the auditory system to a high extent is capable of discerning cues that are typical of acoustic objects, i.e., sources. It is in particular the spectral frequencies (i.e. the frequencies of part tones) that are invariant parameters of the source signals. The auditory correlate of spectral frequency is spectral pitch, and in hearing spectral pitches provide to the central auditory system primary contour information that serves as an essential basis for recognizing, discerning, and evaluating environmental acoustical objects. Basic principles and auditory system functions that are typical of that process are outlined.

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