Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Love of Musical Harmony Is Not Nature but Nurture

Our love of music and appreciation of musical harmony is learnt and not based on natural ability, a new study by University of Melbourne researchers has found.Associate Professor Neil McLachlan from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences said previous theories about how we appreciate music were based on the physical properties of sound, the ear itself and an innate ability to hear harmony. "Our study shows that musical harmony can be learnt and it is a matter of training the brain to hear the sounds," Associate Professor McLachlan said. "What we found was that people needed to be familiar with sounds created by combinations of notes before they could hear the individual notes. If they couldn't find the notes they found the sound dissonant or unpleasant," he said. more

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