Posted by on Jul 8, 2020 in String Quartet |

Recent research shows that it is simply difficult for classical musicians to understand spontaneous compositions, while jazz musicians feel like fish in water playing with a freer technique or experimenting. For this reason, many do not like modern classical music because it is too difficult for the brain to understand these compositions as music.

Music and Neuroscience

Music lovers tend to associate sounds so that they are understood and interpreted as a musical composition. Traditional classical music follows the strict structures and formulas that allow our brains to understand all those sounds as the united phenomenon of music, but modern symphonies by Arnold Schoenberg or Anton Webern simply confuse the brains of listeners. These discoveries are published in latest book of Philip Ball called The Music Instinct. The book provides the insights of the author about this theory and everything is based on the latest advances in neuroscience.

Many people are still not accustomed to modern classical music. If this is a problem, they can calm down because there is a good reason for it. This really does not mean that a person has not enough of education. The brain is a structure-seeking organ, and so music searches for certain structures to understand what we are listening to. In the music of Bach or Mozart, for example, there are many such strict structures. However, the music and fragment structures of modern composers such as A. Schoenberg have become difficult for the brain to overcome. Such new classical music erodes the human cognitive way of understanding music.

Music and Neuroscience
Music and Neuroscience

According to the researcher, Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven followed strict musical formulas in their work and created music that is easy for our ears and brains to comprehend. However, in the twentieth century.  However, the composers of the beginning of the XX century wanted to break free and made a rebel against the structures of traditional music and began to create atonic music.

The Human Brain Works Differently

A new study conducted in Leipzig suggests that the differences between jazz and classical musicians begin at the neurological level. The reason may be the different demands these music styles place on musicians: whether it is a professional interpretation of a classical piece of music or a creative improvisation of jazz. Thus, different performance schemes take root in the brain, and changing styles is quite challenging as it is a part of the personality.

It has long been known that regularly repeated actions change the structure of the brain, so why should it be any different in the case of musicians? Interesting lies in the details. One of the results noted by the study’s author, Robert Bianco, revealed that jazz pianists reschedule actions faster than classical performers and they have a faster reaction and continue to perform even when they have to play unexpected improvisation. A study of the brains of classical music pianists has revealed that their brains have better control over finger movements, making these musicians make fewer mistakes.