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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 0:02 EDT

Latest Dale Purves Stories

2009-12-03 14:04:35

A pair of studies by Duke University neuroscientists shows powerful new evidence of a deep biological link between human music and speech. The two new studies found that the musical scales most commonly used over the centuries are those that come closest to mimicking the physics of the human voice, and that we understand emotions expressed through music because the music mimics the way emotions are expressed in speech. Composers have long exploited the perception of minor chord music as sad...

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2007-05-24 14:25:00

DURHAM, N.C. -- The use of 12 tone intervals in the music of many human cultures is rooted in the physics of how our vocal anatomy produces speech, according to researchers at the Duke University Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. The particular notes used in music sound right to our ears because of the way our vocal apparatus makes the sounds used in all human languages, said Dale Purves, the George Barth Geller Professor for Research in Neurobiology. It's not something one can hear...