Perception of sound



Sound is a psychological experience as well as a physical wave.

Psychoacoustics is the psychological study of the perception of sound from the perspective of a listener. It investigates how sound impacts on a listener and what sort of experience it produces. It is a huge and varied field and includes music psychology, which studies how music is perceived, and the cognitive neuroscience of music which studies how the brain interprets music.

This section looks at two fascinating aspects of music perception, consonance and tonality. Both topics straddle the scientific and psychological boundaries of music and neatly illustrate the issues involved in trying to make music understandable and meaningful.