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Language and Music as Cognitive Systems$
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Patrick Rebuschat, Martin Rohmeier, John A. Hawkins, and Ian Cross

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553426

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553426.001.0001

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Musical communication as alignment of brain states

Musical communication as alignment of brain states

(p.139) Chapter 16 Musical communication as alignment of brain states
Language and Music as Cognitive Systems

Jamshed Bharucha

Meagan Curtis

Kaivon Paroo

Oxford University Press

This chapter sketches a framework for thinking about music as a communicative channel between brains. It argues that music serves to align peoples' brain states, but not necessarily for the purpose of communicating discernable meaning or emotion. Rather, the alignment of brain states enables a range of communicative objectives, including synchronization across individuals. The chapter is organized into three parts. First, it elaborates on the conceptual framework for understanding musical communication. Second, it proposes a formalism of alignment in terms of vectors in features spaces. Third, it elaborates on one component of the framework — tonal vectors — the area in which a lot of work has been done.

Keywords:   music, musical communication, brain states, synchronization, musical alignment, tonal vectors

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