Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Harmony and the Brain

Here's a story on a new study on music and the brain.

>>  In a study on monkeys, she and her team identified a group of neurons that fire in response to harmony. . . The finding might also explain why perfectly blended harmonies can stir up deep feelings of melancholy or joy. The neurons are located in a region of the auditory cortex that is directly linked up with areas of the brain believed to be responsible for generating emotions.

. . . The latest study reveals that certain neurons also respond to notes that harmonise with their tuned frequency. These neurons fired when notes an octave, a fifth and a third higher than the ideal frequency were played, corresponding to the combination of notes in the most basic chord. 

. . . the evolutionary basis for the neurons may lie in animal communication calls, which often contain components of a fundamental frequency and higher harmonics. <<

This pretty much confirms my long held belief that 12 tone stuff is just for a very small demographic of highly trained "theory mind" types and that trying to get the public at large to go for it just wasn't going to work.

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