Music Perception and Cognition OpenCourseWare: A Free MIT Graduate Study Course on Music Perception and Cognition

Published Jan 14, 2009

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Are you a music lover? Explore how we perceive music and why it has such a strong effect on listeners in this free online OpenCourseWare from MIT. 'Music Perception and Cognition' is a graduate-level course that is well suited to individuals seeking master's or doctoral degrees in Music, Biology, Psychology or Neuroscience.

Music Perception and Cognition: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Graduate Yes Yes Yes Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Music Perception and Cognition: Course Description

MIT's 'Music Perception and Cognition' is a multidisciplinary course that explores the biology and psychology of music perception in order to achieve a better understanding of the physical and emotional effects music has on human beings. The course utilizes neuroscience and comparative psychology to examine the relationship between biological and cultural influences on music perception. Placing a special emphasis on neuronal activity and the response to music in the brain, the course covers a broad range of subjects to build a comprehensive picture of the human perception of music. Themes include the qualitative experience of music and how we perceive different musical sounds, the role memory plays in recognizing and expecting tonal and rhythmic patterns, the mechanical processes that occur in the brain and nervous system, the cause and significance of our emotional response to music, the origins of music and its relationship to language development. All of the elements of music perception will also be considered in light of their effect on music performance. Professors Peter Cariani, Andrew Oxenham and Dr. Mark J. Tramo taught this course in 2004 in a lecture format.

An introductory video, lecture notes and weekly problem sets are available for download on the course website. If you're interested in taking this free online course, visit the cognition and music perception course page.

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