January 7, 2011

Bobby McFerrin Hacks Your Brain with Music

Enjoy this short, amusing video on the power of our human brain with regard to music.

From: Ted.com

Interesting comments:

  • Jeff Weir

    Dec 4 2010: I think beyond the “predictive” nature of the human brain, there lies the simple physics of the harmonic series. Once Bobby McFerrin sings the starting pitch, all of the other pitches of the pentatonic are contained in its harmonic series. I believe that is the main reason why all humans “get” the pentatonic scale… it is “spelled out” inside the harmonic series of any starting pitch.

  • Mitchell Plamondon

    Nov 26 2010: That’s cool. I guess it’s an evolutionary result though. People have learned the ability of prediction. We can familiarize ourselves with sounds, whether this be scales, timbres, chords etc. They are all recognizable. He laid out one of the most simple scales, a 5 note pentatonic scale which by chance just so happens to be the most commonly used scale in popular music of the past nearly 100 years. And just like a driver is able to predict the actions of another driver, or just as we are able to walk down a busy sidewalk without colliding into others (not always true :P) we are able to create sonar expectations. Good video – much better than a lot of the pop-music videos that seem to be polluting the TED music related spectacles. (I’d expect to hear more intellectual music here. Perhaps Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Hétu… anything beyond lyric driven 3-4 chord garage-band tunes please :) )

Watch the video, and read more

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