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Music as Biology

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.

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Rating 3.7 based on 112 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Starts Nov 21 (last week)
Cost $49
From Duke University via Coursera
Instructor Dale Purves
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Science Art & Design Humanities
Tags Life Sciences Biology Arts And Humanities Music And Art Basic Science

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What people are saying

human auditory system

Good course, and a very interesting overview of the human auditory system, the significance of the harmonic series, and a biological perspective on what attracts us to music and how we have developed a musical language.

Good course, and a very interesting overview of the human auditory system, the significance of the harmonic series, and a biological perspective on what attracts us to music and how we have developed a musical language.

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music we like

This is an exceptional course, with very intriguing information about why we like the music we like.

The underlying idea is that music we like is similar to human vocalization patterns, and you'll get a nice idea of how we process different scales, which physical attributes are the most important ones, and how do animals do as well.

excelente curso

¡Excelente curso, gracias por la oportunidad de aprendizaje!

Excelente curso.

Excelente curso, entusiasmada para aprender más.

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along with

The instructor is very narrative in his lecture style, so I found it helpful to follow along with the transcriptions - he tends to talk on about a point, and it is easy to miss the main point in all of his clarification.

Instructor gives clear lectures, and slides are useful, along with additional reading.

la música

Como y porque nos afecta la música y como podemos utilizarla para sonoterapia.

Muy completo e interesante, didáctico y muy intuitivo, aprendí demasiado... definitivamente lo recomiendo para aquellos que apenas inician en el mundo de la música!

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also think

I also think the course would benefit by the inclusion of a Music Theorist to explain the musical concepts, as the Instructor is a Neuroscientist, and misspoke on music theory a few times; it also would have broken up the uniformity of mostly one speaker throughout a 6-week course.

I think it was done in a way to allow people with no music knowledge to take the course, but i also think that is ambitious to pretend that these people follow up from ground up until modes and scales in a 6 week course, and for those who already know the music theory, it gets slow and cumbersome.

most important

And the most important is that it let me see that not everything is said in music.

scientific background

He did a great job explaining difficult concepts until you GOT it, even without a scientific background.

Not having a scientific background, I found some concepts a bit challenging and took some effort to get.

even though

I did stick it through to the end of the course, and even though I personally thought it would get better every time I progressed through one lesson to the next, I was always disappointed.

However, week 1 is persistently listed as "overdue" even though it was actually completed ahead of time.

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no mention

For example, in one quiz, there was a question about Galileo, but there was no mention of Galileo in the lecture for that week, and, a lot of the PDF'S were repetitive and not diverse in the material being taught.

There was nearly no mention of rhythm and its importance in music, as relates to biology and/or emotion, and no mention of how those rhythms relate to heartbeat.

de la

more discussion

I would have enjoyed more discussion of the history of modes and tuning systems, including more discussion of the Pythagorean comma (and how adjusted need to be made to intervals, especially in a chorus) and Kepler's work.

I also would have enjoyed more discussion of rhythmic entrainment, the social cohesion hypothesis of the evolution of music, the roles music plays in human life, the way that bodies synchronize, and more about the relationship of music to emotional regulation, meaning, and personality.

Careers

An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

book & Music seller/Trainer $30k

Music Teacher K - 12 Educator $55k

Author and Instructor IT-205 Digital Music $57k

Music Producer/DJ $60k

Amazon Music Voice Software Development... $66k

Educational Technologist/Music Teacher/Librarian $70k

National Music Department Chair $72k

Assistant Professor, Music $85k

Professor of Music Manager $88k

Crushable.com Music and Television Writer $96k

Music Teacher Consultant Lead $106k

Assistant Professor of Music Composition and Theory $138k

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Rating 3.7 based on 112 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Starts Nov 21 (last week)
Cost $49
From Duke University via Coursera
Instructor Dale Purves
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Science Art & Design Humanities
Tags Life Sciences Biology Arts And Humanities Music And Art Basic Science

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