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A Consonance-Maximization Tuning Algorithm in Equal-Temperament Synthesized Tones

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There are many different temperament tuning theories such as "Pythagorean tuning," "Just intonation," and "Equal temperament." Among them, the equal temperament is the most popular one for its key compatibility in spite of the general dissonance from its harmonic structure. And that dissonance is the reason that no other chords except octaves sound perfectly harmonically in equal temperament tuning. We propose a tuning system for sound synthesis using equal temperament that maximizes the consonance of the chords. By removing dissonance (such as in beating and roughness) and rearranging the harmonic structure, it is possible to achieve more consonant sound, which is only possible in computer based sound synthesis. To verify the performance of the proposed algorithm, listening tests were carried out with the most popular chords, i.e. perfect 5th, major 3rd and major 6th, on virtual instruments of piano, violin, flute, and synthesized electric piano sounds. They confirmed that the all the modified chords, especially major 3rd and major 6th , using the proposed algorithm sounded more harmonic than the original ones. We believe that the harmonicity and consonance can be improved in commercial applications such as ring tone synthesis.

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