Interesting article from the NY Times, in which musician/scientist Daniel Levitin offers a number of insights into the reasons why music has the powerful effect on us that we all know and love.

Some quotes to whet your appetite, full article here.

“For his first experiment he came up with an elegant concept: He stopped people on the street and asked them to sing, entirely from memory, one of their favorite hit songs. The results were astonishingly accurate. Most people could hit the tempo of the original song within a four-percent margin of error, and two-thirds sang within a semitone of the original pitch, a level of accuracy that wouldn’t embarrass a pro.”

“Observing 13 subjects who listened to classical music while in an M.R.I. machine, the scientists found a cascade of brain-chemical activity.”

“Does the brain experience a live performance differently from a recorded one?”

With thanks to Laura from the Wheel.


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