Command: diss

diss – calculate the degree of sensory dissonance for successive spectra


`` diss [inputfile.spt ...] [> outputfile.dis]``


The diss command measures the degree of sensory dissonance for successive acoustic moments. It outputs a single **diss spine containing numerical values – where higher values indicate greater amounts of sensory dissonance. The input must consist of one or more **spect spines. Each data record in the **spect input represents a concurrent set of discrete frequencies (spectrum). Spectral data consist of sets of paired frequency/amplitude values for each pure tone component present. Typical musical sonorities contain dozens of spectral components.

The diss command implements an algorithm arising from the work of Kameoka and Kuriyagawa (see REFERENCES.) Sensory dissonance is a low-level auditory phenomenon that is considered distinct from culturally-mediated and contextual experiences of consonance or dissonance (Greenwood, 1961; Plomp and Levelt, 1965). It is therefore inappropriate to equate sensory dissonance with “musical dissonance” broadly construed. Sensory dissonance values are known to be influenced by the loudness, overall pitch-height, interval-relationship, and timbre of any participating tones.

For a description of the input **spect representation, refer to Section 2 (Representation Reference) of this reference manual.

The output file format is dubbed `.dis’


The diss command provides only a help option:

-h displays a help screen summarizing the command syntax

Options are specified in the command line.

The -k option pertains to **kern inputs only. This option adds **kern-related information to the output.


The following example illustrates an input and a corresponding output from the diss command. The first and second spines (**spect) encode a simple input spectrum consisting of six pure tone components. The first component has a frequency of 261 Hz at a sound pressure level of 47 decibels. The six components represent the pitches C4 and E4 played with 3 harmonics each. The third spine (**diss) displays the corresponding sensory dissonance value as calculated by diss. An output value of about 65 is typical for a single pure tone at about 60 dB SPL. An output value near zero results for silence.

**spect **spect **diss 261;47 523;57 785;35 330;57 659;35 989;27 173 *- *- *-


DOS 2.0 and up, with the MKS Toolkit. OS/2 with the MKS Toolkit. UNIX systems supporting the Korn shell or Bourne shell command interpreters, and revised awk (1985).


`` **diss, hint, **spect, spect``


Kameoka, A. & Kuriyagawa, M. “Consonance theory, part I: Consonance of dyads.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 45, No. 6 (1969a) pp.1451-1459.

Kameoka, A. & Kuriyagawa, M. “Consonance theory, part II: Consonance of complex tones and its calculation method.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 45, No. 6 (1969b) pp.1460-1469.