Music perception and cognition is the study of our musical lives from the perspective of brain science. To reach us, sound waves must travel through instruments, vocal tracts, air, wire, digital and analog circuits, earbuds, and loudspeakers. Thanks to modern technology, sound waves get passed along relatively faithfully. But once they reach our ears, sound waves begin the mysterious transformation from pulsating pressure into music.
How does this happen? Which aspects of this transformation are the same for everyone and which are different? How can one person’s favorite song leave another person unmoved? Do we know who will become a classical music lover and who will always love rock? Music perception and cognition researchers inform and inspire us about the most complex thing in the known universe—the human brain—through the window of one of the most exciting things a brain does: music.
I became a music cognition researcher from a unique perspective—for more than two decades I engineered, mixed and produced records. It is a privilege to discuss the science of the human/music interaction with a background in art and share how this information informs our musical lives, both professional and personal.
Stay tuned for POP's final programming announcement on September 1, 2016 and find out more about Susan Rogers during the 2016 edition of the festival...!