About this Course
4.2
351 ratings
101 reviews
The course will explore the tone combinations that humans consider consonant or dissonant, the scales we use, and the emotions music elicits, all of which provide a rich set of data for exploring music and auditory aesthetics in a biological framework. Analyses of speech and musical databases are consistent with the idea that the chromatic scale (the set of tones used by humans to create music), consonance and dissonance, worldwide preferences for a few dozen scales from the billions that are possible, and the emotions elicited by music in different cultures all stem from the relative similarity of musical tonalities and the characteristics of voiced (tonal) speech. Like the phenomenology of visual perception, these aspects of auditory perception appear to have arisen from the need to contend with sensory stimuli that are inherently unable to specify their physical sources, leading to the evolution of a common strategy to deal with this fundamental challenge....
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Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
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English

Subtitles: English, Spanish...

Skills you will gain

BiologyMusicEvolutionNeurobiology
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Clock
19 minutes to complete

Course Introduction

Introduction to Music as Biology...
Reading
1 video (Total 4 min), 1 reading
Reading1 reading
A Word About the Course10m
Clock
2 hours to complete

Sound Signals, Sound Stimuli, and the Human Auditory System

An overview of the organization of the human auditory system, and how sound signals are transformed into sound stimuli....
Reading
4 videos (Total 36 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Sound Signals and Sound Stimuli5m
Tones versus Noise11m
Determining the Sources of Sound Stimuli9m
Reading2 readings
Module Resources10m
An Overview of the Human Auditory System10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Sound Signals, Sound Stimuli, and the Human Auditory System20m
Week
2
Clock
1 hour to complete

The Perception of Sound Stimuli

An introduction to the sound qualities we perceive, and how and why these qualities differ from the information in sound signals....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Pitch and Frequency13m
Timbre and its Causes5m
Observation and Linguistics5m
Auditory Objects and Scenes5m
Reading1 reading
Module Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
The Perception of Sound Stimuli20m
Week
3
Clock
1 hour to complete

Vocalization and Vocal Tones

A discussion of the nature of vocal sound signals, their biological importance and their role in understanding music....
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
The Perception of Vocal Sound Signals9m
The Perception of Intensity (Loudness) in Empirical Terms10m
The Perception of Frequency (Pitch) in Empirical Terms4m
Relationship of Vocalization to Music7m
Reading1 reading
Module Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Vocalization and Vocal Tones20m
Week
4
Clock
2 hours to complete

Defining Music and Exploring Why We Like It

The tonal phenomena that need to be explained in any theory of music, and different approaches that have been take to provide answers. ...
Reading
9 videos (Total 72 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
The Chromatic Scale and Some More Musical Terminology6m
Consonance and Dissonance6m
Tonality vs. Atonality: Frequency of Consonant vs. Dissonant Intervals4m
Tension and Resolution5m
Cadences8m
Mathematical Explanations of Consonance5m
A Physical Explanation of Consonance7m
A Biological Explanation of Consonance16m
Reading1 reading
Module Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Defining Music and Exploring Why We Like It20m
4.2
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started a new career after completing these courses
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got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By MMSep 22nd 2016

This course has helped me to understand biological psychology of humans towards music. Based on this knowledge i am confident to create music which will seem good to the ears of humans.

By GGJun 11th 2017

Great course, very informative for anyone who wishes to explore deeper aspects of music that have to do with biology and psychology.

Instructor

Dale Purves

M.D.
Duke Institute for Brain Sciences

About Duke University

Duke University has about 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students and a world-class faculty helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge. The university has a strong commitment to applying knowledge in service to society, both near its North Carolina campus and around the world....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

  • No. Completion of a Coursera course does not earn you academic credit from Duke; therefore, Duke is not able to provide you with a university transcript. However, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile.

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