Absolute (perfect) pitch is inherited, but needs early musical training to develop

Title of paper under discussion Absolute Pitch: An Approach for Identification of Genetic and Nongenetic Components Authors Siamak Baharloo, Paul A. Johnston, Susan K. Service, Jane Gitschier and Nelson B. Freimer Journal American Journal of Human Genetics, vol 62, pp 224–231, 1998 Link to paper (free access) (with thanks to The Institute for Music and Brain Science for …

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Background music helps you think – but only if it’s familiar

Title of paper under discussion Music effects on event-related potentials of humans on the basis of cultural environment Authors Mehmet Kemal Arikan, Müge Devrim, Öznur Oran, Seniha Inan, Meyselon Elhih, Tamer Demiralp Journal Neuroscience Letters, 268 (1999) pp 21-24 Link to paper (free access) (with thanks to The Institute for Music and Brain Science for …

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No musical ‘shivers’ without the left insula

Title of paper under discussion ‘‘When the feeling’s gone’’: a selective loss of musical emotion Authors T D Griffiths, J D Warren, J L Dean, D Howard Journal J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2004; 75:341–345 Link to paper (free access – scroll down to last two pages) Overview Are different brain areas responsible for handling music perception …

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A singing brain has a busier right hemisphere than a speaking one

Title of paper under discussion Shared and distinct neural correlates of singing and speaking Authors Elif Özdemir, Andrea Norton and Gottfried Schlaug Journal NeuroImage, vol 33 (2006), pp 628–635 Link to paper (free access) Overview Scan the brain of someone tackling a musical task and then take a further scan as they tackle a language …

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Sleep consolidates musical learning

Title of paper under discussion The influence of sleep on auditory learning: a behavioral study Authors Nadine Gaab, Miriam Paetzold, Markus Becker, Matthew P. Walker and Gottfried Schlaug Journal Neuroreport, 2004; vol 15 no4 pp 731-4 Link to paper (free access) Overview Improvement due to practising a skill is known to continue – without further practice – following …

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The brain has a tonality map – and it’s dynamic, not static

Title of paper under discussion The Cortical Topography of Tonal Structures Underlying Western Music Authors Petr Janata, Jeffrey L. Birk, John D. Van Horn, Marc Leman, Barbara Tillmann, Jamshed J. Bharucha Journal Science, vol 298, pp 2167-2170 (2002) Link to paper (free access) Overview Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) Janata and his colleagues identified …

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Images of brain attending to alto line of a Bruckner motet

Title of paper under discussion Activated brain regions in musicians during an ensemble: a PET study Authors Masayuki Satoh, Katsuhiko Takeda, Ken Nagata, Jun Hatazawa, Shigeki Kuzuhara Journal Cognitive Brain Research, 12 (2001), pp101–108 Link to paper (free access) Overview There are many different ways of listening to music, for instance with attention directed toward …

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Violinists spontaneously change phrase length and ‘shut out’ colleagues to maintain ensemble

Title of paper under discussion Synchronization of complex human networks Authors Shir Shahal, Ateret Wurzberg, Inbar Sibony, Hamootal Duadi, Elad Shniderman, Daniel Weymouth, Nir Davidson & Moti Fridman Journal NATURE COMMUNICATIONS (2020) 11:3854 Link to paper (free access) Overview Eager to investigate how humans synchronise activity in a group, these researchers (led by Shir Shahal …

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A German cellist who can’t remember a single river or chancellor still recognises music

Title of paper under discussion Preservation of musical memory in an amnesic professional cellist Authors Carsten Finke, Nazli E. Esfahani and Christoph J. Ploner Journal Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 15, 7 August 2012, Pages R591-R592 Link to paper (free access) Overview Is musical memory housed in the same brain region(s) as other types of memory? …

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Pit or stage – how a musician’s environment affects their wellbeing

Title of paper under discussion Is Playing in the Pit Really the Pits?: Pain, Strength, Music Performance Anxiety, and Workplace Satisfaction in Professional Musicians in Stage, Pit, and Combined Stage/Pit Orchestras Authors Dianna T. Kenny, Timothy R. Driscoll, Bronwen J. Ackermann Journal Medical Problems of Performing Artists 31(1):1-7, March 2016 Link to paper (free access) Overview …

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