Sunday, March 9, 2008


New Scientist had this really interesting feature on music, but it's only available to subscribers. They do have samples of auditory illusions that are pretty cool. I found some quotes from the articles elsewhere:

"Carp can distinguish between baroque and John Lee Hooker and Java sparrows not only distinguish between Bach and Schoenberg but can apply what they've learned about these styles to distinguish between Vivaldi and Elliott Carter; they prefer to listen to the "prettier, more harmonious excerpts" than to silence. Songbirds and humpbacked whales apply sets of notes into phrases and larger themes and rearrange these as humans do; the longest recorded whale cycle lasted 21 hours.

"Endorphins are involved in reinforcement for songbirds, humans and bonobos; after music sessions by the latter (Kanzi on drums and Panbanisha on keyboard) with their keepers, the bonobos "look different for days afterwards"."

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