revolutions per unit
Just as short-term learning increases the number of neurons that respond to sound, prolonged learning enhances the response of nerve cells and even causes physical changes in the brain. The reactions of the brain of professional musicians are significantly different from the reactions of non-musicians, and some areas of their brain are overdeveloped.
In 1998, Christo Pantev of the University of Münster in Germany showed that when musicians listen to the piano, the area of the auditory zones reacting to music is 25% more than non-musicians. Children’s studies also confirm the suggestion that early musical experience facilitates “musical” brain development. In 2004, Antoine Shahin, Larry E. Roberts and Laurel J. Trainor from McMaster University in Ontario recorded the reactions of 4-5-year-old children to the sounds of pianos, violins and pure tones. Continue reading
Before modern neuroimaging techniques were developed, researchers studied the musical abilities of the brain, observing patients (including famous composers) with various disruptions in their activity due to injury or stroke. So, in 1933, the French composer Maurice Ravel developed symptoms of local brain degeneration – a disease accompanied by atrophy of certain sections of brain tissue. The composer’s mental abilities did not suffer: he remembered his old works and played scales well. But he could not compose music. Speaking about his alleged opera “Joan of Arc”, Ravel confessed: “The opera is in my head, I hear it, but I will never write it. It’s all over. I am no longer able to compose music.” He died four years after an unsuccessful neurosurgical operation. Continue reading
Music surrounds us everywhere. At the sound of a powerful orchestral crescendo, tears come to my eyes and goosebumps run down my back. The musical accompaniment enhances the artistic expressiveness of films and performances. Rock musicians make us jump on our feet and dance, while parents lull the kids with quiet lullabies.
The love of music has deep roots: people have been composing and listening to it since culture originated. More than 30 thousand years ago, our ancestors already played stone flutes and bone harps. It seems that this hobby has a congenital nature. Infants turn to the source of pleasant sounds (consonances) and turn away from unpleasant (dissonances). And when we are in awe of the final sounds of a symphony, the same pleasure centers are activated in the brain as during a tasty meal, having sex or taking drugs. Continue reading