Relevance of Neuromusicology for Music Research

After Steve Novella’s talk at TAM2012, where he mentioned the way
reporting will often include a stock photo of a brain scan i was
inspired to search for studies in neuromusicology. By chance I found
this paper, which seemed interstning.

of Neuromusicology for Music Research, Journal of New Music Research,
28 (1999), No. 3, pp. 186-199


  • Helmholtz’s theory of pitch perception has long been important. I
    should check whether this is the same as what is described in Bigands
    work, in ‘Generative Theory of Tonal Music’ or in “Connectionist
  • If new materials are being produced to teach aural training
    (hรธrelรฆre) in Denmark, are they being informed from knowledge of
  • He seems to be arguing, that because music and musical phenomena
    are so complex and because we don’t have any other ways of doing so,
    it is ok to combine the evidence based approaches with e.g. musical
    intuition and musical theory in order to choose which avenues to
    pursue. In other words to use approaches which we are unsure of the
    scientific applicability of. (p6, c2, l43- p7, c1, l45)
The paper raises some interesting questions, but a google scholar
search for citations of this paper doesn’t seem to find any (if I
understand the Brazilian articles correctly), which expand on what is
discussed here.


p1, c2, l15: extend should be extent
p7, c2, l14: extend should be extent
p7, c2, l29: extend should be extent
p10, c1, l37: a]. should be al.


This fall I’ve been attending an introductory class in Music Psychology. The field is very intriguing, but as it has been an introductory course we haven’t gotten to dig very deep into the different subjects.

Some of the new subjects that I have had to read about for the course have been interesting enough that I want to list them here. Hopefully it’ll make sense when seen together with my earlier post on algorithmic composition and where to go.

Cognition and musicology. Whether[1] music is an intrinsic result or precondition to having a brain capable of advances speech.

Creativity and computers. Is it possible to simulate or recreate human creativity in a sufficiently advanced computer model. I read an article stipulating that the “human performance” that sets played music apart from digitally created music can be categorised into variations on a set of comparatively few parameters. With a sufficiently intelligent model it could be possible to recreate the effect using VST’s. Also a cognition model through artificial intelligence could maybe learn to produce creativity through random variation and feedback.
Both of these make discussing the social an philosophical implications obvious questions.

Algorithmic composition would need to, at least, simulate creativity to have success as more than a composition tool.

Not a topic from the course, but interesting:
Computer assisted composition, is it creativity in the traditional sense or is it ‘tinkering’, and does it matter either way?

Interesting… (for me at least ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

[1] A google search shows that 2,7 mi entries exist with the words “wether or not” rather than “whether or not” ๐Ÿ™‚


It seems like my department hasn’t received the newest edition of the Computer Music Journal, but I had a look in the edition for Winter 2007.

There were a few interesting things.

The introduction mentioned a study into how different intervals sound consonant or dissonant because of the interference patterns that are created in the cochlea.

There was also an interesting article: Paul Nauert, Division- and Addition-Based Models of Rhythm in a Computer Assisted Composition System. Sadly the articles don’t seem to be accessible from the website, but I will have a go later through the Royal Library’s remote connection system. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bachelor of Arts – where to go from here?

I seriously need to use bookmarks more – it took me 10 minutes to find my own blog. This also doesn’t reflect very well on the search function of the CU blog portal. Maybe it’ll get better as I add more entries

I’ve finished my BA in musicology with the project “What is understood by the term Crunk in Denmark?“. I ended with a grade of 7 (ECTS: C) and I’m very sure that the oral defence helped raise the grade, so don’t expect too much if you start reading it ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve enrolled for the two year masters degree in Musicology, but I’m not sure whether that’s the way I want to go. My priorities are split between working and studying, as they seem to be somewhat mutually exclusive, but I’m not really in doubt that I want to finish a masters degree at some point. The question will be which degree and when.