Consonance and the carillon


This experiment is part of a series of studies on the interaction between timbre and consonance. This particular experiment studies the carillon, a kind of pitched bell often found in churches. In the experiment participants are played different pairs of tones synthesized using a carillon timbre, and are asked to rate them for ‘pleasantness’ on a numeric scale. The tones are synthesized by taking a library of audio samples recorded from a real carillon and pitch-shifting them to reach a desired pitch.

This experiment illustrates a particularly important feature of PsyNet: the real-time generation of stimuli using Python functions. This experiment involves sampling stimuli densely from a continuous range of pitch intervals, so it is much more efficient to generate stimuli on-demand than to try and generate all possibilities in advance. The code to generate the stimuli takes advantage of the powerful Python package librosa, which contains a sophisticated pitch shift algorithm that is used to generate the stimuli.