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Mike Mewborne

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How Do Our Brains Process Music? - David Byrne →


In this excerpt from his new book, How Music Works, musician David Byrne explores some of the latest neuroscience regarding how it is, exactly, certain patterns of sound that fall within particular ranges of frequencies can affect our brains so greatly:

“…the sonic range that matters and interests us the most is identical to the range of sounds we ourselves produce. Our ears and our brains have evolved to catch subtle nuances mainly within that range, and we hear less, or often nothing at all, outside of it. We can’t hear what bats hear, or the subharmonic sound that whales use. For the most part, music also falls into the range of what we can hear. Though some of the harmonics that give voices and instruments their characteristic sounds are beyond our hearing range, the effects they produce are not. The part of our brain that analyzes sounds in those musical frequencies that overlap with the sounds we ourselves make is larger and more developed—just as the visual analysis of faces is a specialty of another highly developed part of the brain.”

Do yourself a favor and go read the whole fascinating piece over at Smithsonian. Some recommended listening to accompany it.

— 2 years ago with 483 notes
#brains  #music  #byrne