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The Neuroscience of Music

Quick link to one of my favorite bloggers / writers of all time Jonah Lehrer talking about how the brain predicts musical structure. (Part 1) (Part 2)

The point I wanna call out is this: "The second takeaway is that music requires surprise, the dissonance of "low-probability notes". While most people think about music in terms of aesthetic beauty - we like pretty consonant pitches arranged in pretty patterns - that's exactly backwards. The point of the prettiness is to set up the surprise, to frame the deviance. (That's why the unexpected pitches triggered the most brain activity, synchronizing the activity of brain regions involved in motor movement and emotion.)"
This leads me to some interesting ideas. Could musical tastes for avant-garde musical be genetically predisposed based on how good people's inherit ability to predict musical structure? In essence, are people who are not able to predict patterns able to be more satisfied with simpler music while people with better capabilities at prediction require more complex music to get the same "high"? It seems plausible that people with more musical education are more likely to appreciate more challenging music such as Frank Zappa or Necrophagist.

What do you think?

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