Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Music Instinct: Science and Song

In my recent PBS newsletter, I noticed something about music and science, but it was geared toward grades 3-5.  The combination intrigued me and I went to the site anyway.  What I found was a delightful blend of music, neuroscience, sensation and perception ideas.  What PBS has done was to take the documentary that had aired previously (and I watched and promptly forgot about since it did not fit in perfectly with my lessons) and divided it into 3 minute clips, each of which introduced a different musical concept.  Most clips also mention how the brain interprets these signals and likes or does not like the signals.  One example is major and minor chords.  Here, in the West, we tend to think of minor chords as sad.  This is not universal.  Much of our musical preferences are learned.  For those who like music theory, there is something for you here as well.

Here are the various links for each section--complete with lesson plans/ideas.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

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