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An auditory illusion is an illusion of hearing, the aural equivalent of an optical illusion: the listener hears either sounds which are not present in the stimulus, or "impossible" sounds. In short, auditory illusions highlight areas where the human ear and brain, as organic, makeshift tools, differ from perfect audio receptors (for better or for worse).
Examples of auditory illusions:
- Binaural beats
- the constant spectrum melody
- Deutsch's scale illusion
- Franssen effect
- Glissando illusion
- Illusory continuity of tones
- Illusory discontinuity
- hearing a missing fundamental frequency, given other parts of the harmonic series
- Various psychoacoustic tricks of lossy audio compression
- McGurk effect
- Octave illusion/Deutsch's High-Low Illusion
- the Shepard-Risset tone or scale, and the Deutsch tritone paradox
- File:Risset accelerando beat1 MCLD.ogg: Forever accelerating beat.
According to Purwins, p. 110-120, auditory illusions have been used effectively by various composers, e.g. Beethoven (Leonore), Berg (Wozzek), Krenek (Spiritus Intelligentiae Sanctus), Ligeti (Piano etudes, Violin Concerto, Doppelkonzert für Flöte, Oboe und Orchester), Honegger (Pazific), Stahnke (Partota), Reutter (The Shephard’s Flute from Orchestral Set No. 1).
- Musical acoustics
- Jean-Claude Risset
- Auditory system
- Barber pole – auditory illusions compared to visual illusions
- Doppler effect – not an illusion, but real physical phenomenon
- Phantom rings
- Pitch circularity
- Massaro, Dominic W., ed. (2007). "What Are Musical Paradox and Illusion?". American Journal of Psychology (University of California, Santa Cruz) 120 (1): 124, 132. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- Purwins, Hendrik (2005). Profiles of pitch classes circularity of relative pitch and key-experiments, models, computational music analysis, and perspectives.