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Capture the Chord: The Harmony Perception Test

Capture the Chord: The Harmony Perception Test

Presenter Name:Matthew Eitel

School/Affiliation:Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

Co-Authors:Daniel Müllensiefen, Peter Harrison, Nicolas Ruth



Capture the Chord: The Harmony Perception Test

Matthew Eitel1, Daniel Müllensiefen1, Nicolas Ruth1 and Peter Harrison2

  1. Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
  2. Max-Planck-Institute, Frankfurt, Germany


In a task to select which chord differed between two four-chord sequences, participants relied on harmonic distance, simultaneous consonance, and familiarity cues. Participants (n = 357) were more likely to correctly choose target chords when harmonic distance was greater between the target chord and preceding chord, target chords were less consonant, and the original sequence more familiar. Individual differences in participant performance were correlated to Goldsmiths Musical Sophistication Index musical training scores, with higher scores being associated with a greater chance of correctly responding to a given trial. Results support Bharucha’s connectionist theory of harmonic perception.


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