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.
About this Course
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Learner Career Outcomes
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.
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TOP REVIEWS FROM MUSIC AS BIOLOGY: WHAT WE LIKE TO HEAR AND WHY
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.
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.
This course really helped me to understand how music works. In my opinion this course is an excellent tool if you want to start into sound effects and soundtracks, etc.
I enjoyed this course. It made me appreciate music more as it relates to our emotions etc. Thank you to all the lecturers who were instrumental in putting this course.
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