Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Is Your Brain on Music - Daniel J. Levitin

I am in the middle of reading this book right now. It is one of the most insightful reads I have ever read about music and how the brain comprehends it. A definite recommend to anyone studying music. Here is a link to it on Amazon if anyone wants it.

This passage was so great, I had to re-write it. This is referring to the process as music enters our brains.

The picture about neural organization for music was becoming clearer. All sound begins at the eardrum. Right away, sounds get segregated by pitch. Not much later, speech and music probably diverge into separate processing circuits. The speech circuits decompose the signal in order to identify the individual phonemes- the consonants and the vowels that make up our alphabet and our phonetic system. The music circuits start to decompose the signal and separately analyze pitch, timbre, contour, and rhythm. The output of the neurons performing these tasks connects to the regions in the frontal lobe that put all of it together and try to figure out if there is any structure or order to the temporal patterning of it all. The frontal lobes access our hippocampus and regions in the interior of the temporal lobe and ask if there is anything in our memory banks that can help to understand this signal.

No comments:

Post a Comment