Month: September 2013

  • Most complex cognitive activity

    In my first post, I wrote that many neuroscientists believe that “making music is the most complex cognitive activity that a human being engages in.”  Some readers wondered why, so let’s talk about it.    After the research that’s been done in the past two or three decades, neuroscientists believe that the processing of music in […]

  • Your brain on improv

      While many brain scans of musicians have been done in the research lab, it is virtually impossible to scan the brain of a musician on stage during performance.   But Charles Limb has come closer than anyone else to replicating an actual performance situation in the lab.

  • More than you may want to know about absolute pitch

    Why do some people develop AP and others do not?  Well, it’s definitely not due to practice.  Various claims aside, there is no scientific evidence of any adult being able to acquire AP through intensive practice.  There seems to be a critical period in early childhood when AP is most likely to be acquired, and […]

  • Perfect pitch may not be perfect after all

    If you can name a pitch, either real or imagined, without any kind of comparison to a reference pitch, you have perfect pitch, or in the terminology of scientists – absolute pitch.  Non-musicians tend to think that perfect pitch is a kind of ultimate credential for musicians; if you have perfect pitch, you must be […]

  • Just sleep on it!

    My last semester of college was difficult.  My senior recital was scheduled for late March, I had grad school auditions, a tough course load, was teaching quite a few students in the school’s prep division, and of course was practicing a lot of hours for my senior recital.  One evening as I was trying to […]