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Are We Born With Music?

January 25, 2010

After HoursMusic is an ancient and vital part of human life and communication. Throughout the world countless styles of music are written and performed. Despite immense differences,  all music shares the same building blocks that transcend cultural and historical boundaries. This provokes an interesting connundrum: Is music learned or is it something we are born with?

This question has divided experts in neurology and in music for decades. With the advancements in technology and brain mapping will we soon be able to answer this question once and for all?
Neurologists have discovered that when performing and listening to music you are using your whole brain. No matter how passively you are listening all your major brain centres are working to process the music, predict how the tune will progress and interpret the mood and emotions it is conveying. The same effect has also seen with young children and babies seeming to suggest inherent musical abilities. Not only is music causing a reaction in the regions of the brain that process and predict music but also in the areas that control movement. Music and dance are interwoven in the evolution of humans and as such one triggers the other. Even the most non musical of person will tap their feet to the rhythm of a song.
Neurologists continue to debate and test to find insights into acquisition of music, and as technology progresses more insights are gained.
In future newsletters we will be exploring in more depth the human relationship with music the natural building blocks that construct it.
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