Functional anatomy of musical processing in listeners with absolute pitch and relative pitch

Abstract We used both structural and functional brain imaging techniques to investigate the neural basis of absolute pitch (AP), a specialized skill present in some musicians. By using positron emission tomography, we measured cerebral blood flow during the presentation of musical tones to AP possessors and to control musicians without AP. Listening to musical tones … Read more

Human Acoustics and the Telephone Network

Abstract   By classifying according to their mode of excitation, speechsounds can be broken into three distinct classes of phonemes, where a phoneme is defined as the smallest unit of speech that distinguishes one utterance from another. The three classes of phonemes are voiced, unvoiced, and plosives. Voiced phonemes are considered deterministic in nature. They … Read more

On the Fallacy of “Limited Bandwidth” in Guitar Amplification

Content Malcolm Moore explains why limitations are not preferable “For a guitar, the audio spectrum needs are wide. …The lower open E string has a fundamental of about 128 Hz, and significant harmonics are the second, fourth, sixth and eighth meaning the spectrum here extends to 1024 Hz. On the twelfth fret on the upper … Read more

Fear across the senses: brain responses to music, vocalizations and facial expressions

Abstract   “…subject-specific amygdala responses to fearful music and vocalizations were correlated, consistent with the proposal that the brain circuitry involved in the processing of musical emotions might be shared with the one that have evolved for vocalizations. Overall, our results show that processing of fear expressed through music, engages some of the same brain … Read more

Musical rhythm spectra from Bach to Joplin obey a 1/f power law

Much of our enjoyment of music comes from its balance of predictability and surprise. Musical pitch fluctuations follow a 1/f power law that precisely achieves this balance. Musical rhythms, especially those of Western classical music, are considered highly regular and predictable, and this predictability has been hypothesized to underlie rhythm’s contribution to our enjoyment of … Read more

Contribution of active hair-bundle motility to nonlinear amplification in the mammalian cochlea

Abstract   The cochlea’s high sensitivity stems from the active process of outer hair cells, which possess two force-generating mechanisms: active hair-bundle motility elicited by Ca2+ influx and somatic motility mediated by the voltage-sensitive protein prestin. Although interference with prestin has demonstrated a role for somatic motility in the active process, it remains unclear whether … Read more

Simplified Model to Demonstrate the Energy Flow and Formation of Traveling Waves similar to those found in Cochlea

The hearing nerves of vertebrates have their endings on the basilar membrane. The total length of this membrane in man is 35 mm. Its width varies continuously from 0.04 to 0.5 mm., and accordingly the stiffness of the membrane decreases over its length one hundred fold. The whole membrane is imbedded in fluid, and, when … Read more

The basis of musical consonance as revealed by congenital amusia

Some combinations of musical notes sound pleasing and are termed “consonant,” but others sound unpleasant and are termed “dissonant.” The distinction between consonance and dissonance plays a central role in Western music, and its origins have posed one of the oldest and most debated problems in perception. In modern times, dissonance has been widely believed … Read more

Sight over sound in the judgment of music performance

Abstract   Social judgments are made on the basis of both visual and auditory information, with consequential implications for our decisions. To examine the impact of visual information on expert judgment and its predictive validity for performance outcomes, this set of seven experiments in the domain of music offers a conservative test of the relative … Read more