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Why Your Brain Loves that New Song
Image: iStockphoto.com/JoseASReyes

Why Your Brain Loves that New Song

What is it about a bunch of sounds strung together that makes us feel happy or sad or carried away? Why do we crave music even though it's of no practical use? What does music have to do with math? And why does your singing sound so good in the shower?

See what science has to say about music here.

Science Magazine
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Music of the Future

Music of the Future

Swiss scientists and artists have found a way to turn almost any surface into a musical instrument. More...

Article
Science News for Students
Pitch and Frequency

Pitch and Frequency

The frequency of sound waves determines whether we can hear them, but also whether we like what we hear. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
Scientists Revive Sacred Sounds

Scientists Revive Sacred Sounds

Find out how researchers are trying to unravel the mysteries of ancient acoustics from England's Stonehenge to Mexico's Chichen Itza temple. More...

Article
NBC
Why Does My Singing Sound So Great In the Shower?

Why Does My Singing Sound So Great In the Shower?

Discover how a shower stall boosts your bass notes and reverberates your yowls, making you think you're ready for a recording contract. More...

Article
Exploratorium
Melbourne Recital Centre

Melbourne Recital Centre

How do you build a concert hall that provides every listener with a great musical experience? By putting the science of acoustics to work. More...

Video
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Spider Silk Spun into Violin Strings

Spider Silk Spun into Violin Strings

Violin strings made from spider silk have impressed some professional violinists. Hear a spider solo here. More...

Article
BBC
Where Music Meets Science: Timbre and Complex Waves

Where Music Meets Science: Timbre and Complex Waves

No one wants to hear a pure sound wave. The musical sounds we enjoy consist of a dominant frequency plus others. This mix of pitches gives the sound its timbre, or quality. More...

Video
North Carolina School of Science & Math
Bone Flute Is Oldest Instrument, Study Says

Bone Flute Is Oldest Instrument, Study Says

Archeologists have found a flute that's about 40,000 years old. Did music help bond ancient humans together and give them an edge over Neanderthals? More...

Article
National Geographic
Cup Speaker

Cup Speaker

Turn a paper cup into a speaker and find out how it works by watching this series of 3 short videos. More...

Activity
Exploratorium
Dangerous Decibels: Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Dangerous Decibels: Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Walk away. Turn it down. Protect your ears. Get details about the three best things you can do to protect your hearing. Then meet Jolene, a system for measuring the sound levels of personal stereo systems. More...

Article
Oregon Health & Science University
Don’t You Fret! Standing Waves on a Guitar

Don’t You Fret! Standing Waves on a Guitar

Find out about standing waves firsthand by picking or plucking a guitar or other stringed instrument. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Marine Mammal Musicians

Marine Mammal Musicians

Old-time rock groups include "The Monkees" and "The Animals." Now dolphin vocals are backing up walrus instrumentals. But we're talking real dolphins and real walruses. More...

Video
Animal Planet
Singing Wine Glasses

Singing Wine Glasses

Some people used to say a “singing” wine glass would drive women insane. Find out if this is true, and why glasses sing, with this activity. More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Synthesizers

Synthesizers

A music synthesizer can sound like a piano, a drum, a bird, or something no one has heard before. But a musician still has to play it. More...

Article
ExplainThatStuff!
The Humpback Song

The Humpback Song

Humpback whales sing long, complicated songs, and some of their notes may travel 10,000 miles (16,093 km). We still aren’t sure why they do it. More...

Article
Journey North
The Quality of Sound

The Quality of Sound

It's unclear exactly why a Stradivarius stands out from other violins. We do know that sound quality, or timbre, allows us to tell one instrument from another, even when they play the same note. More...

Video
Deutsche Welle
The Voice Mechanism

The Voice Mechanism

The human voice may be the most amazing musical instrument of all. How does it work? How does it create sound? Find out! More...

Article
The Voice Foundation
Where Music Meets Science: Frequency and Harmonics

Where Music Meets Science: Frequency and Harmonics

Why do the notes on a scale or in a chord sound "right" together? Because they have a mathematical relationship to one another. More...

Video
North Carolina School of Science & Math
Where Music Meets Science: Pitch and Frequency

Where Music Meets Science: Pitch and Frequency

What does music have to do with air molecules squeezing together and spreading apart many times a second? Explore the science of music here. More...

Video
North Carolina School of Science & Math

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