About this Course
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100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Skills you will gain

BiologyMusicEvolutionNeurobiology

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Learners taking this Course are

  • Musicians
  • Biologists
  • Artists
  • Pharmacists
  • Scientists

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
19 minutes to complete

Course Introduction

1 video (Total 4 min), 1 reading
1 reading
A Word About the Course10m
2 hours to complete

Sound Signals, Sound Stimuli, and the Human Auditory System

4 videos (Total 36 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
4 videos
Sound Signals and Sound Stimuli5m
Tones versus Noise11m
Determining the Sources of Sound Stimuli9m
2 readings
Module Resources10m
An Overview of the Human Auditory System10m
1 practice exercise
Sound Signals, Sound Stimuli, and the Human Auditory System20m
Week
2
1 hour to complete

The Perception of Sound Stimuli

5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
5 videos
Pitch and Frequency13m
Timbre and its Causes5m
Observation and Linguistics5m
Auditory Objects and Scenes5m
1 reading
Module Resources10m
1 practice exercise
The Perception of Sound Stimuli20m
Week
3
1 hour to complete

Vocalization and Vocal Tones

5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
5 videos
The Perception of Vocal Sound Signals9m
The Perception of Intensity (Loudness) in Empirical Terms10m
The Perception of Frequency (Pitch) in Empirical Terms4m
Relationship of Vocalization to Music7m
1 reading
Module Resources10m
1 practice exercise
Vocalization and Vocal Tones20m
Week
4
2 hours to complete

Defining Music and Exploring Why We Like It

9 videos (Total 72 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
9 videos
The Chromatic Scale and Some More Musical Terminology6m
Consonance and Dissonance6m
Tonality vs. Atonality: Frequency of Consonant vs. Dissonant Intervals4m
Tension and Resolution5m
Cadences8m
Mathematical Explanations of Consonance5m
A Physical Explanation of Consonance7m
A Biological Explanation of Consonance16m
1 reading
Module Resources10m
1 practice exercise
Defining Music and Exploring Why We Like It20m
4.2
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22%

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Top reviews from Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why

By GSJun 11th 2017

Great course, very informative for anyone who wishes to explore deeper aspects of music that have to do with biology and psychology.

By AWMar 14th 2017

Natural scientific approach to music; this is definitely a new perspective on music and acoustics in general.

Instructor

Avatar

Dale Purves

M.D.
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

About Duke University

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....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • No. Completion of a Coursera course does not earn you academic credit from Duke; therefore, Duke is not able to provide you with a university transcript. However, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.