“Music is in our genes,” says Mark Jude Tramo, a musician, prolific songwriter, and neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. “Many researchers like myself are trying to understand melody, harmony, rhythm, and the feelings they produce, at the level of individual brain cells. At this level, there may be a universal set of rules that governs how a limited number of sounds can be combined in an infinite number of ways.” Scientists cite responses from babies to different types of music as evidence that certain rules for music are wired into the brain, and musicians violate them at the risk of making their audiences squirm. Even the Smashing Pumpkins, a rock group, play by some of the same rules of harmony that Johann Sebastian Bach did in the 18th century.
Rules for music wired into the brain
Researchers explore the biology of music