Can 3D-printing musical instruments produce better sound than traditional instruments?

Music is an art, but it is also a science involving vibrating reeds and strings, sound waves and resonances. The study of acoustics can help scientists produce beautiful music even with musical instruments fashioned with high-tech methods, such as 3D printing. Xiaoyu Niu, from the University of Chinese Academy Sciences, and other researchers studied the … Read more Can 3D-printing musical instruments produce better sound than traditional instruments?

Atom music lets listeners experience atomic world through sound

Atom music is a fun new way to explore the atomic world via musical synthesis techniques. Atoms absorb and release energy in the form of photons that we perceive as different colors – think northern lights. These colors can be passed through a grating or prism that reveals the atom’s individual spectrum as a set … Read more Atom music lets listeners experience atomic world through sound

Elizabeth I identified as author of Tacitus translation

A new article in the Review of English Studies argues that a manuscript translation of Tacitus’s Annales, completed in the late sixteenth century and preserved at Lambeth Palace Library, was done by Queen Elizabeth I. The article analyzes the translation’s paper stock, style, and crucially the handwriting preserved in the manuscript to positively identify Elizabeth I as … Read more Elizabeth I identified as author of Tacitus translation

Molière most likely did write his own plays

Two French researchers from the CNRS and Ecole nationale des chartes disprove the theory according to which Corneille was Molière’s ghostwriter – a popular and century-old theory, defended by some academics and writers. According to their forthcoming study in Science Advances, Molière would most likely be the only author of his numerous masterpieces. Was Pierre Corneille … Read more Molière most likely did write his own plays

Beads made from ostrich eggshell track cultural change in ancient Africa

Ostrich eggshell beads are some of the oldest ornaments made by humankind, and they can be found dating back at least 50,000 years in Africa. Previous research in southern Africa has shown that the beads increase in size about 2,000 years ago, when herding populations first enter the region. In the current study, researchers Jennifer … Read more Beads made from ostrich eggshell track cultural change in ancient Africa

Fluid dynamics taught through dance

A collaboration at University of Michigan is taking a unique approach to fluid mechanics by teaching it through dance. Fluid mechanics professor Jesse Capecelatro and choreographer Veronica Stanich, both from the University of Michigan, teamed up to create Kármán Vortex Street, a dance improvisation guided by physics properties. “Social dances, such as tango, have a collection of … Read more Fluid dynamics taught through dance

Music is universal

Nearly 200 years ago, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow asserted “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Today, scientists at Harvard have published the most comprehensive scientific study to determine if the American poet’s words were mere cliché, or cultural truism. The study was conceived by Samuel Mehr, a fellow of the Harvard Data Science Initiative and … Read more Music is universal

Enjoyment of pop music classics linked to combination of uncertainty and surprise

Why is it that people find songs such as James Taylor’s “Country Roads,” UB40’s “Red, Red Wine,” or The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” so irresistibly enjoyable? In a study reported in the journal Current Biology on November 7, researchers analyze 80,000 chords in 745 classic U.S. Billboard pop songs – including those three – and find that musical … Read more Enjoyment of pop music classics linked to combination of uncertainty and surprise

Name that tune: Brain takes just 100 to 300 milliseconds to recognize familiar music

The human brain can recognise a familiar song within 100 to 300 milliseconds, highlighting the deep hold favourite tunes have on our memory, a UCL study finds. Anecdotally the ability to recall popular songs is exemplified in game shows such as ‘Name That Tune’, where contestants can often identify a piece of music in just … Read more Name that tune: Brain takes just 100 to 300 milliseconds to recognize familiar music

The brain’s favorite type of music

People prefer songs with only a moderate amount of uncertainty and unpredictability, according to research recently published in JNeurosci. Scientists have long struggled to understand why activities of little apparent evolutionary value, like listening to music, bring so much pleasure. Previous studies have linked listening to and making predictions about music with activation in reward centers … Read more The brain’s favorite type of music