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Back to Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why by Duke University

4.3
stars
626 ratings
163 reviews

About the Course

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....

Top reviews

TT
May 16, 2020

This course helped me to see music from a different angle i.e through history and biology. Prof. Dales is a wonderful human being and has a beautiful gift of explaining things in a much simpler way.

MM
Sep 21, 2016

This course has helped me to understand biological psychology of humans towards music. Based on this knowledge i am confident to create music which will seem good to the ears of humans.

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151 - 160 of 160 Reviews for Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why

By Sara A

Nov 16, 2017

I found that this course requires at least a basic knowledge of music and sound, which i did not have , making the classes a bit tedious. I would recommend it to musicians though, who might find it more interesting than I did.

By Richard G

Dec 1, 2019

Very dull lecturers. Most material is poorly presented

By Joao P R d S

May 12, 2017

too boring

By Jon B

Sep 29, 2018

.

By Charles R

Feb 3, 2018

This course wasn't that good. The class seems like a freshman introduction course. First week covers anatomy and physiology of the hearing system, which does not come up again later in the course. Then there's a section that covers very basic music theory. Plus the course almost exclusively talks about tonal and harmonic information and does not discuss rhythm or tempo in any meaningful manner. Given that the course instructor is a neurologist, I was expecting more research regarding neuroscience, which is minimal at best.

By Jennifer E

Jun 17, 2016

I felt more like I was part of some experiment to see how long I could tolerate boredom than that I was in class where someone was trying to share knowledge with me. Needless to say I did not make it to the end which is sad because I was genuinely interested in the content. The instructor's delivery was absolutely monotone and he did not seem to emphasize the key points in any way so I found it very difficult to retain any information or to even stay awake at times.

By Ken B

Jun 21, 2016

I slogged through it and got an 89, but the videos were boring and the quizzes were poorly worded and should have had greater correlation with the course content.

By Ronald J B

Apr 23, 2016

I am dropping this course as it is too elementary. I had hoped for something at a more advanced university level.

By Ionko N

Jul 5, 2016

Arguments that sound very unconvincing and unscientific.

By Jacobo M P

Sep 30, 2020

Boring