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NewsBeat: Musicians' Brains Sync Up During Duet
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October 19, 2013 - 9:09 pm
Member Since: March 14, 2012
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From LiveScience:

brain areasThe brain waves of two musicians synchronize when they are performing duet, a new study found, suggesting that there's a neural blueprint for coordinating actions with others.

A team of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin used electrodes to record the brain waves of 16 pairs of guitarists while they played a sequence from "Sonata in G Major" by Christian Gottlieb Scheidler. In each pair, the two musicians played different voices of the piece. One guitarist was responsible for beginning the song and setting the tempo while the other was instructed to follow.


When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.


October 19, 2013 - 9:45 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
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Interesting stuff > And GOD gave us music.


October 20, 2013 - 10:50 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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Not too surprising, considering brainwave frequencies aren't so far from the tempo bpm or the speed of vibrato and etc commonly used in music.  When you think about the degree of focus it takes to play, and that the focus when playing a duet will have the beat as a commonality, one would pretty much expect the brainwaves to be affected similarly.

Now what would have been interesting would have been if they had also been monitoring some listeners, to see what % of listeners ended up In sync with the performer's brainwaves. 

But music does that.  "Sonic driving" of brainwaves via sound is a pretty well known effect.  It is part of what makes music sometimes actually kind of mind-altering or mood altering in a very real nuts and bolts sort of way.  Slower beats/tempos in music can correspond to brain frequencies that are active when people are asleep or relaxed.  Faster beats can relate to brainwave frequencies dealing with more alert frames of mind.  

A couple quick examples..


Bach's Jesu would be in the brain's delta wave (deep sleep) or, if one considered the pacing of the notes with their durations, more like theta (dreaming) range.

This piece, on the other hand is largely in the beta range, which is what is what the brain frequencies are doing when you are alert, and doing analytical or logical thinking..


For some people the effect will be more noticeable than others folks.  But the rather direct effect that is possible on the brain's electrical activity, especially when the sound is at concert volumes and the attentions focussed on it is part of what is cool about music and some of the mechanics of how it can change a person's mood or frame of mind while listening.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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