The course will explore the tone combinations that humans consider consonant or dissonant, the scales we use, and the emotions music elicits, all of which provide a rich set of data for exploring music and auditory aesthetics in a biological framework. Analyses of speech and musical databases are consistent with the idea that the chromatic scale (the set of tones used by humans to create music), consonance and dissonance, worldwide preferences for a few dozen scales from the billions that are possible, and the emotions elicited by music in different cultures all stem from the relative similarity of musical tonalities and the characteristics of voiced (tonal) speech. Like the phenomenology of visual perception, these aspects of auditory perception appear to have arisen from the need to contend with sensory stimuli that are inherently unable to specify their physical sources, leading to the evolution of a common strategy to deal with this fundamental challenge.
Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and WhyDuke University
About this Course
Skills you will gain
Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world.
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TOP REVIEWS FROM MUSIC AS BIOLOGY: WHAT WE LIKE TO HEAR AND WHY
I have really enjoyed learning through this course and I wish to take my PHD about the course's topic
Great course. Obtained a vivid idea of the biological perspective of looking at, and understanding music.
Very clearly laid out in lecture and slides. Was able to learn a great deal, even though I have little previous knowledge of this area.
Great course, very informative for anyone who wishes to explore deeper aspects of music that have to do with biology and psychology.
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