3 Smart Things About Music
1 The pitches in musical scales are likely derived from language. Turns out, aspects of spoken English and Mandarin correlate to the intervals between notes in a chromatic scale (the black and white piano keys in an octave). Is it music we love or the sound of our own voices?
2 When musicians improvise, the lateral prefrontal areas of their brains — responsible for planning and self-censorship — basically turn off. Meanwhile, the medial prefrontal cortex — linked to self-expression and activities like telling a story about yourself — lights up.
3 Getting "Eye of the Tiger" stuck in your head is the result of a glitch in your auditory cortex. This part of your brain processes sounds and stores them for later recall. It powers up and can start crooning uncontrollably after hearing just a few notes of a familiar tune. Want it to stop? Listen to the whole song or do some math.