The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Harrop: Dissonance and the Bohlen-Pierce Clarinet


The clarinet is especially suited to play music in the Bohlen-Pierce scale due to its physical and acoustic properties. It is simpler to construct and play than the conventional clarinet, and the attentuation of even harmonics adds little to the perception of dissonance for intervals based on odd number ratios. This paper will introduce the B-P scale and clarinet, then compare the dissonance curves of various intervals and timbres by examining regions of partials in relation to the ear’s critical bandwidth.