30
Aug
09

What is Notes & Neurons!

Ever wonder how you can hear a song for the first time and half way through the first stanza you find that you can just about complete the melodic phrase.  Well it’s simple ( well, really not that simple, it’s actually kinda deep).  Here in the Western hemisphere our music theory is built on a certain type of scale  (… but i’ll try and keep this as basic as possible) and our brains have become pretty conditioned and recognize the scale in all of the music we here.  Check out this demonstration by Bobby McFerrin that shows the power of the penatonic scale.

Now that was really dope, but if what you’ve seen so far has piqued your interest, watch further and we might find out that the language of music might not be so universal.  The following clips are from the World Science Festival in New York and was filmed on june 12, 2009.  This particular session was titled “Notes & Neurons: In Search of a Common Chorus” as it addresses the questions of “is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined?”  “Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment?”  as well as illustrate music’s noteworthy interaction with the brain and our emotions.

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2 Responses to “What is Notes & Neurons!”


  1. August 31, 2009 at 8:33 AM

    Dope stuff…thanks for the vids. Did you catch the PBS specials on music and the brain? If not, they’re must sees

  2. September 1, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    So this is the absolute 100% reason why I love music. It is so universal! Mind you, this would mainly only work in the Western hempishpere, but still, the fact that it’s possible to take a crowd full of all different types of people probably with different tastes in music and who knows what their musical background/education is…but the fact that our ears all [work] together, it’s simply a beautiful thing.

    Joe, I can’t remember what your major is but you know how we’re technically “not supposed to write parallel 5ths or 8vs”. Apparently that’s totally irrelavent now b/c so much popular music uses it and it totally explains why it never registered w/ me in ear training b/c I’m used to hearing it. (Fun fact haha)

    Great post Tony


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