On the evolutionary neuropsychology of music.

 Marsha Familaro Enright

Originally published in Objectivity, Volume 2, Number 3





                 Music is an art without an apparent object - there are no scenes to look at, no


sculptured marbles to touch, no stories to follow - and yet it can cause some of the most


passionate and intense feelings possible.  How does this happen - how can sounds from


resonant bodies produce emotion (1) in man?


     Music is experienced as if it had the power to

     reach man's emotions directly...Music communicates

     emotions, which one grasps, but does not actually feel;

     what one feels is a suggestion, a kind of distant,

     dissociated, depersonalized emotion -- until and unless

     it unites with one's own sense of life.  But since the

     music's emotional content is not communicated

     conceptually or evoked existentially, one does feel it

     in some peculiar, subterranean way...How can sounds

     reach man's emotions directly, in a manner that seems to

     by-pass his intellect?  What does a certain combination

     of sounds do to man's consciousness to make him identify

     it as gay or sad?...The nature of musical perception has

     not been discovered because the key to the secret of

     music is physiological -- it lies in the nature of the

     process by which man perceives sounds --and the answer

     would require the joint effort of a physiologist, a

     psychologist and a philosopher (an esthetician). ( Rand

     1971, 52-56)




     Further, what is the possible biological function and evolutionary origin of this


process by which sound elicits feeling?  As Ray Jackendorff says "there is no obvious


ecological pressure for the species to have a musical faculty, as there is for vision and


language" (1987, 211). In other words, there is no immediate and obvious biological


function for music, as there is for vision or language. One researcher in the psychology of 


music aptly summarized  the problem as follows:


      Musical messages seem to convey no biologically

      relevant information, as do speech, animal utterances

      and environmental sounds - yet people from all cultures

      do react to musical messages.  What in human evolution

      could have led to this?  Is there, or has there been, a

      survival value for the human race in music? (Roederer 1984, 351).


     One might object to this characterization with the question "But you are comparing


apples and oranges when you compare music to vision and language.  Instead, you should


be comparing hearing to vision, and music to painting; you should be asking: What is the


biological function of art?"


     I  first wondered about the biological function and evolutionary origin of music over


twenty years ago, while I was reading Ayn Rand's article on esthetics,


"Art and Cognition." In that article, Rand gives an answer to


the question "What is the biological function of art?" in


general, but is only able to suggest an hypothesis about


music's biological function.  The problem lies, as I


mentioned at the start of this article, with the fact that


music does not, apparently, involve the perception of


entities.  In the following, I shall attempt a fuller answer and thereby shed some light on


the question of how sounds from resonant bodies produce emotions in man.  My attempt


is made possible by recent scientific research into the nature of the brain. 


     Unlike many twentieth century theorists, Rand 's esthetics is integrated with her


complex and persuasive philosophy of reason, reality and


man's nature and I think her esthetics deserves special


attention as part of my examination of the nature of music.


I will examine some of the historical theories of musical


meaning, then the more recent scientific investigations into


the nature of music, including some of the current theories


of music's biological function.  I shall review some theories


of the nature of emotion and the relation of music to


emotion.  I shall then offer my theory of the biological


origin of music.  Subsequently, I shall consider Rand 's


hypothesis about the nature of music, in light of the


research evidence.  Lastly, I shall suggest some possible


research which might confirm or disconfirm my theory.


     I  have gathered evidence from several areas of the


research literature in search of an answer to the question of


music's evolutionary origin and biological function.  I


believe this evidence indicates that music evolved out of the


sonority and prosody (2) of vocal communication and that


musical elaboration of those elements has a special


biological communication function.  Prosody evidently


facilitates linguistic syntax  - that is, the sound of language helps us understand the


meaning of what’s said (Shapiro and Nagel 1995).


Furthermore, some aspects of one's pitch (3) perceptions in


music are evidently influenced by one's native language and


dialect (Deutsch 1992).


     More neuropsychological knowledge is needed to prove my


thesis - but I leave the reader to turning over the evidence


I have assembled, along with his own knowledge of music, in


considering the question:  Why does man make music?






               Brief History on the Theories of

                        Music's Nature




     From the ancient world to the nineteenth century, men


theorized about music based on their experience of it, and


only a little scientific knowledge about the physics of


music which was first examined by the Pythagoreans.  Two key


ideas have been repeated down through the ages:


     1.  Music is a form of communication, a kind of


         language; in particular, the language of feeling.


     2.  Music can form or inform one's feeling or




     The Ancient Greek "idea of music as essentially one with


the spoken word has reappeared in diverse forms throughout


the history of music" (Grout 1973,7).  The Greeks "were


familiar with the idea that music can alter the disposition


of those who hear it.  They acknowledge its power to soothe,


to console, to distract, to cheer, to excite, to inflame, to


madden" (West 1992, 31).  Aristotle believed that "music has


a power of forming the character, and should therefore be


introduced into the education of the young" (Politics 1340b,


10-15).  In one way or another, music touched everyone in


Greek civilization (West 1992).


     The Greeks seemed to implicitly acknowledge music's


connection to language in their refusal to create or accept


purely instrumental music.  The early Middle-Age Europeans


did likewise, but eventually divorced music from voice, so


that by Hegel's time, instrumental, wordless music was


considered a superior form (Bowie 1990, 183)


     A connection of music to language was mentioned


frequently in late nineteenth century examinations of music's


meaning.  There are many, including Schopenhauer, Hegel, and


Tolstoy, who subscribed to the idea that music is "another


language," the language of feeling.



     Hegel relates music to "primitive" expressions, such as

     bird-song or wordless cries.  Schleiermacher suggests

     the ambiguous status of music in relation to natural

     sound and to speech: "For neither the expression of a

     momentary sensation by a...speechless natural sound, nor

     speaking which approaches song are music, but only the

     transition to it" (Bowie 1990, 183).


     Langer (1957) points out that music fails to qualify as


a language because it does not have fixed denotation.


And Nietzsche, in an 1871 fragment, took issue with the view


that music represents feeling:


     What we call feelings are...already penetrated and

     saturated with conscious and unconscious representations

     and thus not directly the object of music, let alone

     able to produce music out of themselves (1980, 364,

     quoted in Bowie 1990, 230-31).


     Feelings, Nietzsche claims, are actually only symbols of

     music, which has a prior ontological status.  This

     opposes the commonplace in some Romantic thinking that

     music is the language, in the sense of the

     "representation", the substitute, for

     feeling...Nietzsche's view makes some sense if one

     ponders the fact that music can lead to the genesis of

     feelings which one had never had before hearing the

     music.  (Bowie 1990, 231).


     The modern scientific investigation of music began with


Hermann von Helmholtz's study of the physics and


psychological effects of the tones and keys of music (1954


[1885]).  Helmholtz argues that music does not use all types


of sound, only those "due to a rapid periodic motion of the


sonorous body; the sensation of a noise to non-periodic


motions." (Helmholtz 1863, 9).  Most researchers do not


question what sounds make music, but write with the


assumption that they are referring to sounds caused by


periodic vibrations (Aiello, Molfese, Sloboda, Stiller,


Lange, Schopenhauer, Trehub, Zatorre, etc.).  "Tonal


stimulation is a constant factor of all musical stimulus"


(Meyer 1994, 13).  The neurophysiological musical research


often revolves around contrasting responses of subjects to


periodic (tonal) versus nonperiodic (noise) sounds.   Warren ,


Obusek, and Farmer (1969) found the interesting fact that


subjects could not accurately perceive the temporal order of


four nonspeech, nonmusical sounds.


     John Sloboda (1985) has examined various contemporary


scientific theories of musical meaning, among them the idea


that music mimics environmental sounds.  The mimickry theory


is intriguing, but it seems to have a problem sufficiently


explaining the depth and range of meaning in music.  Indeed,


music can aptly imitate some natural sounds, as did Saint-


Saens, in his "Carnival of the Animals." But, even in music


considered to be as programmatic as Berlioz' "Symphonie


Fantastique," we cannot find environmental sounds of which


the music would be an imitation.  To this point, Helmholtz


noted that


    "In music one does not aim at representation of nature;

     rather, tones and tone sensations exist just for their

     own purpose and function independently of their

     relationship to any environmental object" (1863, 370).


     Other theorists suggest that music has its effects by


expressing tension and its resolution (Schenker 1935;


Bernstein 1976).  Tension and resolution are certainly a


large part of the musical experience, but they name only very


general qualities of it and do not seem to address the vast,


varied, and subtle ways music can make us feel.


      Manfred Clynes sees music as the embodiment of the forms of emotion, "emotionally


expressive dynamic forms which we have called essentic forms"


(1986, 169).  Clynes (1974, 1986) theory of music seems to parallel, for sound,


what Ekman proposed for facial expression. Ekman (1977) found that there is a


systematic relation between emotion and facial expression, and suggested that


this is a result of inborn "affect programmes" (automatically


triggered sequences of emotion), an idea also accepted by


by Tomkins (1962) and Izard (1971).  Clynes thinks the essentic forms are biologically


determined expressions of emotion, experienced the same way


across cultures, which idea seems similar to "inborn affect




     Essentic forms are specific spatio-temporal forms

     biologically programmed into the central nervous system

     for the expressive communication and generation of

     emotional qualities (1986, 169).


Clynes seems to be using the word “form” metaphorically.  It


usually refers to the three-dimensional, spatial aspects of


things.  He seems to be saying that the physiological nature,


intensity, and timing of music-evoked emotions have great


similarity among individuals.  Just as, typically, one’s pulse raises, one’s muscles tighten


and one’s breath seems to become more ragged when one is angry, so there are typical


bodily changes due to the feelings which music evokes. This typicality is illustrated


and represented by the shape of the graph produced by


subjects' fingers during experiments with Clynes' sentograph.


The graph's shape thereby represents the "form" of the


emotion.  He has interesting data showing that the same music


will evoke similar motor responses in people of vastly


different cultures.  His sentograph, which measures motor


response, attaches to the subject's finger and records, on a


graph, subtle movements of the digit upon exposure to music.


Clynes found remarkable similarity among individual's


responses to a given composer and between the responses of


different individuals to the same composer's music, as


represented by the forms on the recording graphs.  De Vries'


research confirms Clynes' hypothesis that emotional responses


are similar among subjects and showed that responses to music


were "not affected by a subject's familiarity with or


evaluation of a piece" (De Vries 1991, 46).


     In a view which seems consonant with Clynes',


Jackendorff points out that dance is closely related to


music, and that


     going beyond crude rhythmic correspondences, we have

     undeniable and detailed intuitions concerning whether

     the character of dance movements suit or fail to suit

     the music.  Such intuitions are patently not the result

     of deliberate training...This suggests that...a

     cognitive structure can be placed into close

     correspondence with musical structure...[which] might

     encode dance movements...[which can be] provisionally

     called body representation -essentially a body-specific

     encoding of the internal sense of the states of the

     muscles, limbs, and joints.  Such a structure, in

     addition to representing the position of the body, would

     represent the dynamic forces present within the body,

     such as whether a position is being held in a state of

     relaxation or in a state of balanced tension....There is

     every reason to believe that such a representation is

     independently necessary for everyday tasks.  ...It would

     likely be involved as well in correspondences between

     emotional and muscular states -for instance, one carries

     oneself differently in states of

     joy, anger, depression, elation, or fear.  (1987, 238-9)


Consonant with this view, Hevner (1936) found that


individuals show general agreement about the emotional


content of pieces of music and that there is broad agreement


among members of a culture about the musical mood of a piece,


even among children as young as three years of age (Kastner


and Crowder 1990).  And Stiller notes that


     a number of important musical universals have been

     identified: Melodies worldwide are made mostly of major

     seconds; all musics employ dynamic accents, and notes of

     varying lengths; and all display extensive use of

     variation and repetition...the universality of music

     suggests that there may be a biological basis for its

     existence. (1987, 13)


     Research confirms the everyday experience that music


causes emotional states which can seriously affect our


actions.  Konecni (1982) found that subjects who had been


insulted by confederates working for the experimenter were


quite aggressive about shocking those confederates.  But


subjects who had merely been exposed to loud, complex music


were almost as aggressive about shocking confederates as the


insulted subjects had been!  In another experiment subjects


were able to shape their moods by their musical choices, and


thereby optimize their moods.  Depending on the way they felt


when they came to the experimental session (anxious or angry


or happy), and how they wanted to feel afterwards, they could


pick music that changed the way they felt entirely - once


again supporting the idea that the sounds of music have a


direct effect on emotions.


     In many respects, mood is a better concept than


emotion to describe the results of music.  Giomo says "This


affective meaning, labelled 'mood', is of an individual and


nameless nature, not truly describable using emotion labels"


(Giomo 1993, 143).  Sloboda points out that "the ability to


judge mood is logically and empirically separable from the


ability to feel emotion in response to music.  It is quite


possible to judge a piece of music to represent extreme


grief, yet be totally unmoved by it" (1991, 111).  DeVries


(1991) suggested that there are two steps in reacting to


music:  one in which music directly activates "programmes"


which trigger emotions and a second in which a person allows


themselves to experience the emotion or suppresses it,


depending on the congruity of the emotion with, among other


things, their personality and cultural background.


     In searching for an evolutionary origin to music,


Konecni, as does Roederer (1984), posits that music helps to


synchronize the emotional states necessary for collective


action, such as the excitement needed for the hunt or battle.


Many primitive tribes seem to use music in this way (as do


college bands during football games).  And, indeed, a few


other species, such as birds and cetaceans, have music-


like behaviors (4), wherein they produce sounds of periodic


vibrations and which are intimately tied to intra-species


communication and collective action.  Stiller claims that


"Music helps to insure...cooperation -- indeed, must


play an important role in that regard, or there would have


been no need to evolve such a unique form of emotional


communication" (1987, 14).  He quotes Alan Lomax to the


effect that music organizes the mood, the feelings, the


general attitude of a group of people.  This seems to echo


the Ancient Greek view that music teaches men how to feel


like warriors or like lovers.




     ...there may be a certain cultural advantage in having

     some rudimentary form of music to help synchronize

     collective rhythmic activity or to serve some ceremonial

     aspect of social life, no particular reason is evident

     for the efflorescence of musical complexity that appears

     in so many cultures (Jackendorff 1987, 214).


     The socio-biological theory of musical meaning may


explain some of the psychological roots of music’s evolutionary origins but what


determines the kinds of sounds which can cause the experience


of emotion, i.e. the neurological roots?  And why do we have so many kinds of music


which we listen to for its own sake?




      The Neuropsychological Data on Language and Music




     Why should certain kinds of sounds be able to directly


evoke feeling?  By what means, what neuropsychological




     As have so many in the history of music theory, Roederer


(1984) wonders whether the answer lies in the unique human


capacity for language.  Human infants have high motivation to


acquire language, as evidenced by the assiduous way they


attend to, imitate, and practice language.  Language


activities are very pleasurable; if they were not, human


infants would not be motivated to perform language-related


activities as much as they do.  On this evidence, I venture


to say that humans have built-in developmental pleasure/pain


processes for producing and listening to language.  Language


acquisition is a cognitive activity that is highly motivated


and important to survival.  Are the emotions aroused for


language acquisition the evolutionary link between sound and


emotion?  That is, are humans moved by sound as a result of a biological need to be


interested in acquiring language?


     Experiments show that there are strong similarities in

     the way in which people perceive structure in music and

     in language...[but] overall, the syntax of music has

     much more latitude than that of language.  Thus, in

     the syntaxes of music and language, we must remember

     that music is far more flexible and ambiguous than

     language (Aiello 1994, 46-9).


     Furthermore, neuropsychological evidence seems to be a


odds with the proposal that language is the basis of music.


The areas of the brain which primarily process speech are,


apparently, mostly different from those which process music


(5).  Investigations into the brain areas which process


speech and music have turned up the interesting finding that,


in most infants, the left hemisphere responds more to speech


sounds and the right to musical tones, as indicated by a type


of EEG called auditory evoked potentials, (Molfese 1977).


Measures of how much attention a neonate paid to left or


right ear stimuli (as indicated by "high amplitude non-


nutritive sucking") indicated that most infants responded


more to language sounds presented to their right ears (left


hemispheres) and to musical sounds presented to their left


ears (right hemispheres) (Entus 1977; Glanville, Best, and


Levenson 1977), although Vargha-Khadem and Corbellis (1979)


were not able to replicate Entus' findings.  Best, Hoffman,


and Glanville (1982) found a right ear advantage for speech


in infants older than two months during tasks in which


infants had to remember and discriminate phonetic sounds and


musical timbres.  Infants younger than two months showed an


ear advantage only for musical notes, and that advantage was


for the left ear.  In older children and adult non-musicians,


damage to the left hemisphere usually impairs language


functions but tends to spare musical abilities, including


singing.  Damage to the right hemisphere, particularly the


right temporal lobe, tends to leave language functions


intact, but impairs musical abilities and the production and


comprehension of language tone and of emotion expressed


through language or other sounds (Joanette, Goulet, and


Hannequin 1990).


     Zatorre (1979) found a left ear advantage for the


discrimination of melodies versus speech in a dichotic (6)


listening task with both musicians and nonmusicians.  He


found cerebral-blood-flow evidence that right temporal lobe


neurons are particularly important in melodic and pitch


discriminations (Zatorre, Evans, and Meyer 1994).  Tramo and


Bharucha (1991), following the work of Gordon (1970), found


that the right hemisphere seems to process the perception of


harmonics (tested by the detection of complex relationships


among simultaneous musical sounds).  Damage to the right


temporal lobe impairs the ability to recognize timbre (7),


and time cues within tones that determine the recognition of


timbre (Samson and Zatorre 1993).  These authors suggest that


"the same acoustical cues involved in perception of musical


timbre may also serve as linguistic cues under certain


circumstances" (Ibid., 239).  There are now indications that


timbre and phonetic information are processed through some


common stage beyond peripheral acoustic processing.  Research


is underway to determine whether voice identification also


proceeds through this same timbre-phoneme nonperipheral stage


(Pitt 1995).


     In a critical review, Zatorre (1984) notes that right-


sided damage can produce deficits in tasks that process


patterns of pitch and timbre differences.  Adults with


partial or complete excisions of the right temporal lobe were


found to be significantly impaired in the perception of pitch


(Zatorre 1988).  Kester et. al (1991) found that musical


processing was most affected by right temporal lobectomy.  In


a review of the literature on the infant's perception of tone


sequences, or melodies, Trehub (1990) found that human


infants do not use local pitch strategies characteristic of


nonhuman species, that is, they do not depend on the


recognition of particular, or absolute pitches, to identify


tone sequences.  Rather, like human adults, they use global


and relational means to encode and retain contours of


melodies, with little attention to absolute pitch. (Although,


interestingly, Kessen, Leving and Wendrich (1979) found that


infants paid very close attention to experimenters' singing


and could imitate pitch quite well.)  In other words, human


infants have the ability to recognize exact pitches, but the


exact key in which a melody is played makes little difference


for human recognition of melody, while animals depend on the


particular pitch in which their "song" is sung to recognize


it.  This seems to imply that even human infants are


extracting the abstract pattern of the sounds, rather than


using the sounds as signs, specific perceptual markers, of




     In reviewing the research on infants' perception of


music, Trehub (1987) suggests that infants have the skills


for analyzing complex auditory stimuli.  These skills may


correspond to musical universals, as indicated by infants'


preference for major triadic chord structures.


     The evidence indicates that human infants have the


ability to recognize and process music in a fairly complex


way, at a very early age.  Furthermore, music processing in


most infants and adults seems to occur primarily in the right


hemisphere (8).


     And infants, like adults, appear to find music


interesting: they tend to pay attention to it, they like to


engage in imitations of adult pitches and, they learn to sing


as soon as they learn to speak (Cook 1994).






           The Neuropsychological Data on Emotions




     How does the data on the neuropsychological processes


involved in music relate to the data on the


neuropsychological processes involved in emotions?  It is


well-established that for most people, right hemisphere


damage causes difficulties with the communication and


comprehension of emotion (Bear 1983; Ross 1984).  Apparently,


the right hemisphere mediates the processing of many types of


emotionally-laden information: visual, facial, gestural,


bodily, and auditory.


     The evidence suggests that the right hemisphere has a


special relationship with the emotional functions of the


human mind, specifically in being able to process and project


emotional meaning through perceptual information (Kolb and


Whishaw 1990).  For most people, the right hemisphere


performs integrative visual functions, such as grasping


visual gestalts and comprehending visual and architectural


wholes; the inability to recognize faces is sometimes the


consequence of right temporal lobe damage.  (Kolb and


Whishaw, 1990) Right hemisphere damage can often lead to the


inability to be aware of whole areas of space in relation to


oneself, called perceptual neglect.  (See A.  Luria's The Man


With A Shattered World for an agonizing description of what


the world seems like when one's brain cannot perform these


visual and kinesthetic integrations.) Neglect of half of


perceived space, called hemi-neglect, is a frequent result of


extensive right parietal damage.  The right hemisphere is


fundamentally involved in comprehending the connotative


meanings of language, metaphors and nonliteral implications


of stories; and the right hemisphere seems to be involved in


the comprehension of meaning commmunicated through sound,


especially voice.  Oliver Sacks discusses patients with


"tonal agnosia,"


     For such patients, typically, the expressive qualities

     of voices disappear - their tone, their timbre, their

     feeling, their entire character - while words (and

     grammatical constructions) are perfectly understood.

     Such tonal agnosias (or 'aprosodias') are associated

     with disorders of the right temporal lobe, whereas

     aphasias go with disorders of the left temporal lobe

     (1987, 83).


He also describes aphasics (9) who are not able to grasp the


denotative meaning of words and yet are able to follow many


conversations by the emotional tone of the speakers.


     With the most sensitive patients, it was only with

     [grossly artificial mechanical speech from a

     computerised voice synthesizer] that one could be wholly

     sure of their aphasia (Ibid., 80-1).


The patients would use all kinds of extraverbal clues to


understand what another was saying to them.  He claimed that


a roomful of them laughed uproariously over a speech given by


Ronald Reagan because of the patent insincerity of it.


      Rate, amplitude, pitch, inflection, timbre, melody, and


stress contours of the voice are means by which emotion is


communicated (in nonhuman as well as human species), and the


right hemisphere is superior in the interpretation of these


features of voice (Joseph 1988).  Samson and Zatorre (1993)


found similar cortical areas responding to pitch and timbre


in humans and animals.  In dichotic listening tasks, Zurif


and Mendelsohn (1972) found a right ear advantage for


correctly matching meaningless, syntactically organized


sentences with meaningful ones by the way the sentence was


emotionally intoned.  The subjects could apparently match


such nonsense sentences as:  "Dey ovya ta ransch?" with "How


do you do?" by the intonation the speaker gave the sentence.


Heilman, Scholes, and Watson (1975) found that subjects with


right temporal-parietal lesions tended to be impaired at


judging the mood of a speaker.  Heilman et. al (1984) also


compared subjects with right temporal lobe-damage to both


normals and aphasics (4) in discriminating the emotional


content of speech.  He presented all three types of subjects


with sentences wherein the verbal content of the speakers was


filtered out and only the emotional tone was left, and found


those with temporal lobe damage to be impaired in their


emotional discriminations.  In a similar study, Tompkins and


Flowers (1985) found that the tonal memory scores (how well


the subjects could remember specific tones) for right


braindamaged subjects were lower than those of other


subjects, implying that right braindamage leads to a problem


with the perceptual encoding of sound, put not necessarily


with the comprehension of emotional meaning per se.


     The human voice conveys varied, complex, and subtle


meaning through timbre, pitch, stress contour, tempo, and so


forth and thereby communicates emotion.


     What is clear is that the rhythmic and the musical are

     not contingent additions to language....The "musical"

     aspect of language emphasizes the way that all

     communication has an irreducibly particular aspect which

     cannot be substracted (Bowie 1990, 174).



Best, Hoffman, and Glanville found that the ability to


process timbre appears in neonates and very young infants,


apparently before the ability to process phonetic stimuli




     Through the "music" in voice, we comprehend the feelings


of others and we communicate ours to them.  This is an


important ability for the well-being of the human infant, who


has not yet developed other human tools for communicating its


needs and comprehending the world around it - a world in


which the actions and feelings of its caretakers are of


immense importance to its survival.  Emotion is conveyed


through language in at least two ways: through the


specifically verbal content of what is said, and through the


"musical" elements in voice, which are processed by the right


hemisphere.  One of the characteristic features of


traditional poetry is the dense combination of the meaning of


words with the way they sound, which, when done well, results


in emotionally moving artworks (Enright 1989).  Mothers


throughout the world use nursery rhymes, a type of poetry, to


amuse and soothe infants and young children, that is, to


arouse emotions they find desirable in the children.  "Music


can articulate the 'unsayable', which is not representable by


concepts or verbal language" (Bowie, 1990, 184).  “Men have not found the words for it


nor the deed nor the thought, but they  have found the music” (Rand 1943, 544) .


     Was nature being functionally logical and parsimonious


to combine, in the right hemisphere, those functions which


communicate emotion with those that comprehend emotion?


     As social animals, humans have many ways of


communicating and comprehending emotions: facial expression,


gesture, body language, and voice tone.  I propose that


music's biopsychological origins lie in the ability to


recognize and respond directly to the feelings of another


through tone of voice, an important ability for infant and


adult survival. (The tone of voice of an angry and menacing


person has a very different implication than that of a sweet


and kind person.)


     If inflection and nuance enhance the effect of spoken

     language, in music they create the meaning of the notes.

     Unlike words, notes and rests do not point to ideas

     beyond themselves; their meaning lies precisely in the

     quality of the sounds and silences, so that the exact

     renderings of the notes, the nuances, the inflection,

     the intensity and energy with which notes are performed

     become their musical meaning.

     (J. M. Lewers, quoted in Aiello 1994, 55)


     Furthermore, I propose that the sound literally triggers


those physiological processes which cause the corresponding


emotion "action programmes," "essentic forms," or whatever


one wishes to call these processes.  This would explain the


uniquely automatic quality in our response to music.


     I am proposing that the biopsychological basis of the


ability of sound to cause emotions in man originates in man's


ability to emotionally respond to the sounds of another's


voice.  Theoretically, this ability lies in the potential for


certain kinds of sounds to set off a series of neurological


processes resulting in emotions, which events are similar to


those occurring during the usual production of emotions.


As so many in the history of musical theory have conjectured,


music does result from language - but not language's abstract,


denotative qualities.


     However, I should posit that it is not the ontogeny of


language per se that caused the development of music in


humans.  Many nonhuman animals communicate emotion and


subsequently direct and orchestrate actions of their species


through voice tone, and there is considerable evidence that


humans do likewise, which argues that this ability arose


before the emergence of language. 


Returning to my earlier


discussion of motivation in the infant acquisition of


language, it seems more likely that the pleasures and


emotions communicated through voice (which motivate the


acquisition of language) are another biological application


of the ability of voice tone to emotionally affect us, rather


than an initial cause of emotion in voice.  Human's were


already set to be affected by voice tone when we acquired the


ability to speak.  Pleasure associated with vocalizing likely


developed into pleasure in language acquisition.


     However, music, especially modern Western music, has


gone far beyond the kinds of auditory perceptions and


responses involved in simple tone of voice alone.  The


ability to emotionally recognize and respond to tone of voice


was developed early on in the evolution of Homo sapiens, as


evidenced by the same ability in our closest animal


relatives, the great apes.  The history of music seems to


show that humans greatly expanded on the use of voice tone


through their ability to abstract.  It appears that men


created instruments, learned how to distill and extract the


essence of tones and their relationships, rearranged and


expanded the range, timbre, and rhythm of sounds used both by


voice and by instruments, and thereby created a new, artistic


means of expressing a huge range of emotions.


     The evidence found by Clynes and others indicates that


there is a special pattern of sound for each emotion or mood,


which pattern humans are able to recognize in various voices,


both human and instrumental.  Helmholtz noted that the major


keys are



     well suited for all frames of mind which are completely

     formed and clearly understood, for strong resolve, and

     for soft and gentle or even for sorrowing feelings, when

     the sorrow has passed into the condition of dreamy and

     yielding regret.  But it is quite unsuited for

     indistinct, obscure, unformed frames of mind, or for the

     expressing of the dismal, the dreary, the enigmatic, the

     mysterious, the rude...[and it is] precisely for these

     ...[that] we require the minor mode (1954 [1885], 302)


The implication of the evidence is that humans have learned


how to abstract the sound pattern evoking, for example


triumph, and then re-present this pattern in its


essential form in a musical composition, giving the listener


an experience of the emotion of triumph rarely possible in


life.  Through abstraction, the emotion-provoking sounds have


been rendered essential and rearranged into new patterns and


combinations, thereby enabling humans to have an emotion-


evoking artistic experience far greater than that possible


from the sounds of the spoken voice alone.  Many theories of


music, to some extent, recognize that music makers take the


fundamental qualities of music and rearrange them to invent


new ways of feeling - see any number of essays in Philip


Alperson's book What is Music?


     In relation to this theory, it is noteworthy that only


the sounds of periodic vibrations can be integrated so as to


evoke emotion because the voice produces periodic vibrations


in its normal operation.  (Despite the best efforts of modern


musical theorists, all else is experienced as meaningless


noise.)  In the history of music theory, thinkers have placed


most of their emphasis on the relations and perceptions of


harmonies (Grout 1973; Lang 1941).  My proposal for the


biological basis of music concerns a system generally without


harmony - the human voice (there are some harmonic overtones


in any voice or instrument).  How do these factors relate to


one another?  Historically, music began as plainsong without


accompaniment and as simple melodies.


     The fact that music could achieve simultaneity, that it

     could have vertical as well as horizontal events, was a

     revolutionary discovery....Now music had a new kind of

     interest, the accidental or contrived vertical

     combination of two or more pitches" (Aiello 1994, 44)


Although polyphony (10) was created some time during the


Middle Ages, apparently the conscious use of harmonic chords


was developed even later.


     Helmholtz mentions that


     A favourite assertion that "melody is resolved harmony,"

     on which musicians do not hesitate to form musical

     systems without staying to inquire how harmonies had

     either never been heard, or were, after hearing,

     repudiated.  According to our explanation, at least, the

     same physical peculiarities in the composition of

     musical tones, which determined consonances for tones

     struck simultaneously, would also determine melodic

     relations for tones struck in sucession.  The former

     then would not be the reason for the latter, as the

     above phrase suggests, but both would have a common

     cause in the natural formation of musical tones (1954

     [1885], 289).


In other words, harmony and melody complement each other,


using the same mathematical relationships of tones and their


perception.  Harmony does this simultaneously, melody does


this over time.  However, harmony is not an equal partner in the creation of music,


because we can make music without harmony and because harmony does not make


music on its own:  music requires a sequence of sounds and silences through


time.  Harmony developed as man abstracted musical


qualities in sound, rearranged them, and used them


simultaneously.  It is likely that theoreticians have focused


on harmony in their analysis of music because complex


harmonies are a major part of modern western music and


because melodies are more difficult to analyze due to the the


element of time.  Given the historical development of music,


I believe the emphasis on harmony is an artifact of human


analytical ability.  Moreover, an harmonic chord on its own


is not music - it is always necessary to have a sequence of


tones to have music.





            Beyond Neuropsychology to Music as Art


     I have posited a biological/evolutionary origin  to music, but I have not, as yet,


proposed a survival function for it.  Before I do that, I would like to address the wider


issue of the biological function of art  per se.  In her article "Art and Cognition," Rand


(1971) presented her theory on the cognitive foundations of art.


This theory is of particular interest to me, not only because


it is founded on and well-integrated with her revolutionary


philosophy of Objectivism, but because it is specifically


based on man's cognitive and motivational nature, on what she


called his "psycho-epistemological needs" (11), and thereby posits gives an answer to the


question of art’s biological roots.  Her hypothesis in no way addresses or accounts for my


original question, What is the evolutionary basis of the ability to respond to sound?  With


her hypothesis, the question remains unanswered.  But her theory


is worth addressing because she asked and attempted to answer


many of the fundamental questions about music's nature.


     Rand argued that art is a means of making


conceptual yet concrete the information of the senses, which,


thereby, makes that information more meaningful to us.


      The visual arts do not deal with the sensory field of

      awareness as such, but with the sensory field as

      perceived by a conceptual consciousness.


      The sensory-perceptual awareness of an adult does not

      consist of mere sense data (as it did in his infancy),

      but of automatized integrations that combine sense data

      with a vast context of conceptual knowledge.  The

      visual arts refine and direct the sensory elements of

      these integrations.  By means of selectivity, of

      emphasis and omission, these arts lead man's sight to

      the conceptual context intended by the artist.  They

      teach man to see more precisely and to find deeper

      meaning in the field of vision.  (Rand 1971, 47)



Painting makes conceptual the sense of sight, sculpture the


sense of sight and touch, dance the sense of body motion, or


kinesthesia, and music the sense of hearing.


     But Rand argued that music does not follow exactly the


same psycho-epistemological process as the other arts.


According to Rand , the art of music embodies man's sense of


life by abstracting how man uses his mind.



      The other arts create a physical object,...and the

      psycho-epistemological process goes from the perception

      of the object to the conceptual grasp of its meaning,

      to an appraisal in terms of one's basic values, to a

      consequent emotion.  The pattern is:  from perception -

      to conceptual understanding - to appraisal - to



      The pattern of the process involved in music is: from

      perception - to emotion - to appraisal - to conceptual



      Music is experienced as if it had the power to reach

      man's emotions directly (Rand 1971, 50)


In other words, upon listening to music, it can cause us to


 experience feelings which we subsequently appraise.  Whether


we like or dislike the feelings caused by the music (or have


some complex reaction to it), helps determine what kinds of


music we individually favor.  An interesting facet of the


musical experience is the fact that many unrelated images


tend to come to mind when we listen to music, imagery which


seems to correspond to the emotions.  It is as if our minds


find it illogical to have feelings with no existential


objects to evoke them, so our minds provide images of an


appropriate nature.  This process seems reminiscent of others, such as the way in which


we “see” faces in myriad visual images, or think we hear voices in the sound of the wind. 


The common thread between them is the mind’s automatic attempt to make sense of the


world, both external and internal.


     According to Rand , how might sound evoke these emotions?


     If man experiences an emotion without existential

     object, its only other possible object is the state or

     actions of his own consciousness.  What is the mental

     action involved in the perception of music?  (I am not

     referring to the emotional reaction, which is the

     consequence, but to the process of perception.)...The

     automatic processes of sensory integration are completed

     in his infancy and closed to an adult.


     The single exception is in the field of sounds produced

     by periodic vibrations, i.e., music...musical tones

     heard in a certain kind of succession produce a

     different result -the human ear and brain integrate them

     into a new cognitive experience, into what may be called

     an auditory entity; a melody.  The integration is a

     physiological process; it is performed unconsciously and

     automatically.  Man is aware of the process only by

     means of its results.


     Helmholtz has demonstrated that the essence of musical

     perception is mathematical; the consonance or dissonance

     of harmonies depends on the ratios of the frequencies of

     their tones...[There is] the possibility that the same

     principles apply to the process of hearing and

     integrating a succession of musical tones, i.e., a

     melody -- and that the psycho-epistemological meaning of

     a given composition lies in the kind of work it demands

     of a listener's  ear and brain (Rand 1971, 57-8)



     Music gives man's consciousness the same experience as

     the other arts:  a concretization of his sense of life.

     But the abstraction being concretized is primarily

     epistemological, rather than metaphysical; the

     abstraction is man's consciousness, i.e., his method of

     cognitive functioning, which he experiences in the

     concrete form of hearing a specific piece of music.  A

     man's acceptance or rejection of that music depends on

     whether it calls upon or clashes with, confirms or

     contradicts, his mind's way of working.  The

     metaphysical aspect of the experience is the sense of a

     world which he is able to grasp, to which his mind's

     working is appropriate....A man who has an active

     mind...will feel a mixture of boredom and resentment

     when he hears a series of random bits with which his

     mind can do nothing.  He will feel anger, revulsion and

     rebellion against the process of hearing jumbled musical

     sounds; he will experience it as an attempt to destroy

     the integrating capacity of his mind." (Rand 1971, 58)



In other words, she proposed that the arrangement of sounds


in music causes one's brain to perform a sensory/perceptual


integration similar to those performed during the solution of


an existential problem, and that one emotionally reacts to


the kind of cognitive work which the music makes one perform


through the integration.


     In line with the assumptions of musical research, she


notes that only sounds caused by periodic vibrations can be


integrated by the human brain.  We can analyze the sounds of


music as follows: simultaneous sounds into harmonies,


successions of sounds into melodies, or what Rand called


"auditory entities" and percussions into rhythms.


     According to Rand 's hypothesis, musical sounds are


physiologically integrated by the brain and our emotions are


in response to the type of integration performed.  She


proposed that the musical integration parallels perceptual


integration in nonmusical cognitive activities, and that we


respond emotionally to the type of integrating work music


causes us to perform.  Her hypothesis assumes no direct


physiological induction of emotion, but proposes that the


emotion is a response to the kind of cognitive work caused by


the integration of the sounds.


     Is this view consonant with the scientific facts?


Rand 's hypothesis supposes that a perceptual integration


results in emotions such as joy, delight, triumph, which are


normally generated in humans by a complex conceptual


cognitive activity.  I am not aware of any other purely


perceptual integrations in other sense modalities which


result in such emotions (although there may be some visual


stimuli, such as a beautiful sunset or graceful human


proportions, for which we have in-built pleasurable


responses).  In this respect, sound seems to be unique.


     Idiot-savants and some individuals with IQ's in the


teens, respond fully to music, as well as


     A man whom childhood meningitis had left mentally

     retarded as well as behaviorally and emotionally

     crippled, but who...was so familiar with... all the Bach

     cantatas, as well as a staggering amount of other

     music)...evincing a full understanding and appreciation

     of these highly intellectual scores.  Clearly, whatever

     had happened to the rest of his brain, his musical

     intelligence remained a separate - and

     unimpaired - function (Stiller 1987, 13).


Under Rand 's theory, is this possible?  Such cognitively


impaired individuals would not normally perform many complex


conceptual mental integrations, nor experience the feelings


accompanying those integrations.  One might infer that these


mental cripples, unable to self-generate cognitive activities


which would allow them the pleasures of deep feelings, are


enabled the life-giving experience of such feelings through


music (hence, some of them completely devote themselves to


music).  That is, their cognitions are not complex enought to produce many profound and


pleasurable feelings on their own, but they are able to pleasurably shape their emotional


world with music.  Presumably, if their perceptual abilities are


intact, their brains could still perform the integrations


necessary under Rand 's hypothesis.  But how could their


psycho-epistemological sense of life respond to the


activities, in that they are not capable of much in the way


of conceptual activity?


     However, consider the following:


     If a given process of musical integration taking place

     in a man's brain resembles the cognitive processes that

     produce and/or accompany a certain emotional state, he

     will recognize it, in effect, physiologically, then

     intellectually.  Whether he will accept that particular

     emotional state, and experience it fully, depends on his

     sense-of-life evaluation of its significance." ( Rand

     1971, 61)


Here, she seemed to say that the processing and integrating


of the sounds are very similar to the physiological processes


involved in the existential evocations of emotions. In other


words, her statement seems to imply that she thinks the music


physiologically induces the emotion, which is subsequently


evaluated and accepted or rejected.


     It seems to me that Rand was not perfectly clear as to


the exact nature of music's production of emotions.  On the


one hand, she seemed to say that the emotions are a reaction


to the kind of cognitive work the music causes us to perform.


On the other hand, she seemed to say that the music


physiologically induces the emotion.


     Parsimony inclines me to take this analysis one step


further and propose that musical sounds induce the


neurological processes that cause the emotions; then we react


to the feeling of those emotions.  Instead of proposing, like


Rand , that the essence of music is epistemological - we react


to the kind of cognitive work music causes - I would like to


maintain that the essence is metaphysical, like the other


arts -  we react to the way the music makes us feel.  That


is, by neurologically inducing emotions, music shapes our


feelings about the world.  If painting is the concretization


of sight, music is the concretization of feeling.


     Rand recognizes this to some extent, "How can sounds


reach man's emotions directly in a manner that seems to by-


pass his intellect?" (1971, 54)  This question seems to imply


that she thinks the musical sensory integration affects


feelings directly.


     It is relevant to the issue that there are direct


sensory projections from the ear to the amygdala, a nuclei of


cells at the base of the temporal lobe (where so much music


processing seems to occur).  The amygdala is part of the


limbic system, considered essential to the production and


processing of emotion.  Although part of the temporal lobe,


the amygdala is not considered to be part of the cortical


sensory analysis systems that process the objective


properties of an experience.  Instead the amygdala is


believed to process our feeling or subjective sense of an


experience (Kolb and Whishaw 1990) - that is, how we feel


about an experience, such as the warm cozy feelings  we might


get at the smell of turkey and apple pie.  It seems possible


that the sounds of music could be directly processed by the


amygdala, resulting directly in emotion, without going


through the usual "objective-properties" processing of the


other cortical areas.  This might be how they "reach man's


emotions directly in a manner that seems to by-pass his


intellect?" ( Rand 1971,)


     However, we might find a resolution to the seeming


duality of Rand 's musical hypothesis by further reflecting on


music's nature.  I believe the key lies in the complexity of


music.  There are large elements of cognitive understanding


and processing involved in more complex music, e.g., there is


a definite process involved in learning to listen to


classical music, or any kind for that matter.


     Musicians are much more sensitive to and analytical


about music, and, interestingly, apparently use different


areas of their brains than do nonmusicians when processing


music.  Musicians do quite a bit of processing in the left


hemisphere, in areas that apparently process in a


logical/analytical manner.  Some music triggers some emotion


in almost everyone, although I think that perhaps mood, as


suggested by Giomo, would be a better term to describe much


of the psychophysical state that music induces.  We can


listen to music, know what emotion it represents, but not


want or like that emotion.  In this way, Rand seems right


that music causes our minds to go through the cognitive steps


which result in various emotions.  However, in line with the


arguments made by many, not everyone can follow the cognitive


steps necessary in listening to all music: there is a certain


amount of learning involved in the appreciation of music and


it seems to be related, for example, to learning the forms,


context, and style of the music of a culture.  Beyond that,


there is learning involved in absorbing and responding to


music of different genres: jazz, blues, celtic folk, african


folk, classical.  One gets to understand the ways and the


patterns of each genre such that one's mind can better follow


the musical thoughts and respond to them with feeling


(Aiello 1994).


     Music can take on a cognitive life entirely its own,


apart from and different from the kinds of thoughts and


feelings resulting from life or the other arts.  As the


Greeks thought, it can teach us new things to think and feel.


Certainly, the kind of utterly intense emotion felt through


exalted music is rare, if possible at all, through other


events of life.  Listening to contemporary music such as the


Drovers (Celtic style), I realized that it made me feel all


kinds of wonderful and unusual bodily feelings, which had no


regular emotional names, although they were similar to other


emotions.  This might explain why we like to listen to the


same piece of music over and over.  "Wittengenstein's


paradox: the puzzle is that when we are familiar with a piece


of music, there can be no more surprises.  Hence, if


'expectancy violation' is aesthetically important, a piece


would lose this quality as it becomes familiar"


(Bharucha 1994, 215).  We do not particularly like to think


about the same things over and over, but we generally like to


feel certain ways over and over.  We listen to the same piece


over and over because we enjoy the mood, the frame of mind,


into which it puts us.  Of what else does the end of life consist, but good experience, in


whatever form one can find it?  Thinking is the means by which we maintain and


advance life, but feeling happy is an end in itself.


     To resolve Rand 's duality:  the basis of music is the


neurological induction of mood through sound (made


possible, in my view, by our ability to respond to the


emotional meaning of voice);  however, humans have taken that


basic ability and elaborated it greatly, abstracting and


rearranging sound in many, many different ways in all the


different kinds of music.  Responding to more complex music


requires more elaborate, specifically musical understanding


of the sounds and their interrelationships.  This


understanding requires learning on the part of the listener


and complex cognitive work - to which the listener responds




     Hence, there are two emotional levels on which we


respond to music which correspond to the two aspects of


Rand 's hypothesis: the basic neurological level and the more


complex cognitive level.




                       Future Research


     My hypothesis on the evolutionary basis of music in our


ability to respond to emotion in tone of voice would need a


vast array of experiments to be proved, including further


inquiry into the neurological structures which process voice


tone and music.  Presumably, if the hypothesis is true, a


significant overlap would be found in the the areas that


process voice tone and the areas that process music.


Particular care would be needed to discover which neocortical


structures are involved in these functions, including an


examination of such structures as the associative areas


including the temporal lobe, and the limbic structures.  And


subcortical areas such as the hypothalamus and brain stem,


presumed to be involved in emotional processing


(Siminov 1986), would need to be examined as well.


     A technique such as Positron Emission Tomography (PET)


(12) might be useful in such an inquiry.  Experiments


indicating that this overlap exists in young infants would


show that this was an inborn, and not a learned ability.


Care would need to be taken in arranging several experimental


conditions for comparison.  Techniques such as the one


described earlier in this essay, wherein the verbal content


was filtered out of sentences, would be useful.  Comparisons


of the response to (1) voice with no verbal content or music,


(2) music with no voice, (3) voice with music, with and


without verbal content and (4) nonemotionally meaningful


sounds made without voice would be important.


     Also, it might be found that voice with no music, voice


with music, and music with no voice are each processed in a


different set of areas.  Alternatively, it is possible that


no subcortical emotional effects would be found from voice or


music.  Or, perhaps, the processing of the voice and/or the


music would be found to be spread over both hemispheres of


the brain in a way which did not become evident in the evoked


potentials.  Some of the brain damage studies found that


right hemisphere damage did not universally cause amusia or


failure to comprehend or express emotional tone, and that


some subjects recovered their abilities to express or grasp


emotion through language.  Furthermore, it is difficult to


know how varying individual brain organization might express


itself in the processing of these tasks.


     Interesting and observable differences might be found


across languages or language groups.  The relation, if any,


of a language to it's folk music would be fascinating (13).


     Here I'd like to recall Jackendorff's comments.  He


remarked on the ability of music to make us feel like moving,


and that there are specific ways we seem to feel like moving


to specific kinds of music.


     Ultimately, if we learn enough to specify exactly the relationships between the


elements of music and what feelings are evoked, we will be able to decipher music as


“the language of feeling.”  I look forward to the research which will resolve these


questions on the biopsychology of music.



Again and Again


                        Music defies.


                    Rachmaninoff's sighs,

                      Haydn's Surprise,

                    Joplin 's glad cries --

                      Make poetry pale.


                         Words fail.     


                        --John Enright




1.  "An emotion is the psychosomatic form in which man

    experiences his estimate of the beneficial or harmful

    relationship of some aspect of reality to himself."

    (Branden 1966, 64). This definition is echoed in Carroll

    Izard's work Human Emotions (1977) "A complete definition

    of emotion must take into account all... of these aspects

    or components: (a) the experience or conscious feeling of

    emotion, (b) the processes that occur in the brain and

    nervous system, and (c) the observable expressive

    patterns of emotion, particularly those on the

    face...scientists do not agree on precisely how an

    emotion comes about.  Some maintain that emotion is a

    joint function of a physiologically arousing situation

    and the person's evaluation or appraisal of the

    situation" (1977, 4).



2. "Prosody" is pitch, change of pitch, and duration of

intonations and rests in speech.


3. "Pitch - 23. Acoustics. the apparent predominant frequenc

sounded by an acoustical source."  (Random House Dictionary

of the English Language, New York : Random House Publishing

Co. , 1968)


4.  The activites are "music-like" because they employ

sequences of sounds made by periodic vibrations. However,

because of the cognitive levels of the animals involved, the

"songs" are not abstracted, arrayed and integrated into an

artwork and thus are not music.  It is even likely that the

animals experience their "songs" as integrated perceptual

experiences, which communicate valuable information to them,

or trigger a series of valuable actions in them.  Because our

physiology is so different from that of birds and cetaceans,

we may not experience the "songs" as perceptually integrated

units, but the respective animals might.  Regardless of

whether the "songs" are perceptually integrated or not to the

birds, dolphins or whales involved, the "songs" are still not

artworks, because they are not conceptually organized

(Nottebohm 1989).  Likewise, animals usually seem indifferent

to human music.  There are at least two reasons for this:

their physiologies are different, thus they do not hear and

perceptually integrate sound the same way humans do; and they

do not have the power to abstract patterns from percepts the

way humans do.  Trehub (1987) found that, unlike animals,

even human infants process music by relational means and do

not rely on absolute pitch the way animals do.


5. In brain research, investigators have found evidence for

the same general types of brain processes in the same areas

for 95% of the subjects.  I am reporting the kinds of

functional asymmetries which have been discovered for those

95%.  Thus, when I note that "language functions are in the

left hemisphere and musical tone recognition in the right," I

am referring to this 95% of the population.



6.  In a dichotic listening task, the subject is presented

with two different stimuli to his different ears,

simultaneously.  Whichever stimuli the subject tends to

notice indicates that the ear to which it was presented has

an advantage for that kind of stimuli.


7.  "Timbre - 1. Acoustics, Phonet.  the characteristic

quality of a sound, independent of pitch and loudness but

dependent on the relative strengths of the components of

different fequencies, determined by resonance.  2. Music.

the characteristic quality of sound produced by a particular

instrument or voice; one color."  (Random House Dictionary of

the English Language, New York : Random House Publishing Co.,



8.  There is evidence that musicians in particular do what

appears to be more logico-analytical processing of music in

the left hemisphere (Bever and Chiarello 1974).  Messerli,

Pegna, and Sordet (1995) found musicians superior in

identifying melody with their right ear.  Schlaug and

Steinmetz found that professional musicians, especially those

who have perfect pitch, have far larger planum temporales on

their left side (Nowak 1995).


9.  Aphasia is a condition in which a person has difficulty

in producing and/or comprehending language due to

neurological conditions.


10. Polyphony is a type of music where multiple voices sing

independent melodies.  Often, the melodies selected do

harmonize beautifully, but polyphony is not considered

harmonic in the ususal sense, because it does not use

harmonic chords in its composition, but relies on the

incidental harmonization of the tones of the multiple

melodies into chords.


11.  "Psycho-epistemology is the study of man's cognitive

processes from the aspect of the interaction between the

conscious mind and the automatic functions of the

subconscious." (Rand 1971, 20)


12. Positron Emission Tomography is a technique which

measures the rate of glucose metabolism in neurological

structures during tasks.  The brain uses a tremendous amount

of glucose whenever it works.  It is inferred that brain

structures using the most glucose during a given task are the

ones performing the neurological processes necessary for that



13. My thanks to Mr. Peter Saint-Andre for pointing out these









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