This course helped me to see music from a different angle i.e through history and biology. Prof. Dales is a wonderful human being and has a beautiful gift of explaining things in a much simpler way.
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 Kimiko S•
I enjoyed learning this class. I was interested in the scientific aspect of music.
by Vladimirs Z•
Good video content, but quizzes need to be revised.
by Yuliia S•
Thank you for this course.
by MIGUEL A C G•
by Kristin H•
Good course, and a very interesting overview of the human auditory system, the significance of the harmonic series, and a biological perspective on what attracts us to music and how we have developed a musical language. The instructor is very narrative in his lecture style, so I found it helpful to follow along with the transcriptions - he tends to talk on about a point, and it is easy to miss the main point in all of his clarification. I was not a fan of the quizzes; I found them to be confusing in verbiage, often focusing on obscure points within the lectures, or using terminology not addressed in the lectures at all. I also think the course would benefit by the inclusion of a Music Theorist to explain the musical concepts, as the Instructor is a Neuroscientist, and misspoke on music theory a few times; it also would have broken up the uniformity of mostly one speaker throughout a 6-week course. But overall, I thought that this course was very good, and covered some very interesting material, and that the Instructor was very knowledgeable on a variety of topics, and very engaging. He did a great job explaining difficult concepts until you GOT it, even without a scientific background.
by Michelle C L•
I feel this course is designed in a way that may be too challenging to those who know nothing about music, sound, or biology. The quizzes dont really match the material covered and some of the questions are too ambiguous. The explanations are a little hard to follow as well. It does cover some interesting information about the relationship of music to speech. However, for someone a little more advanced in music and biology, I was hoping for more to be covered. I would have enjoyed more discussion of the history of modes and tuning systems, including more discussion of the Pythagorean comma (and how adjusted need to be made to intervals, especially in a chorus) and Kepler's work. I also would have enjoyed more discussion of rhythmic entrainment, the social cohesion hypothesis of the evolution of music, the roles music plays in human life, the way that bodies synchronize, and more about the relationship of music to emotional regulation, meaning, and personality. Im sure there is more as well. Giving this course 3 stars is generous in my opinion.
by Maksim O•
A five-week class on biological mechanisms of perception of speech and music by humans. The topics include sound signals and sound stimuli and their perception with the human auditory system, differences and likelihood in the perception of vocalization and vocal tones in speech and of music, biological interpretation of scales, and the impact of cultural differences onto music.
The course is rather a prolonged description of the research field than a proper part of general education. Its real subject is certain topics in biology, not music. Only a number facts discussed may be of interest for most music student, and these are contained in any decent introductory textbook of music anyhow.
by Aniruddha J•
For the hypothesis regarding biological explaination of consonance, it would have been useful to present detailed statistical analysis. Without that, the theory presented was not very convincing. According to the theory presened (slide 17 in defining music...), notes m2, M2 and M7 should not be consonant at all. However, they are wonderfully consonant, at least in Hindustani Classical Music. Secondly, the theory does not explain why notes in the lower octave (less than 256 Hz) sound consonant in vocal music though such frequencies are almost absent in normal speech. As far as I am concerned, the course, while making an honest attempt, does not answer many questions.
by Andrés M•
Great topic, great information, poor structure design. IMHO this course should focus more on the theory of how biology explains music, and not in music theory itself. I think it was done in a way to allow people with no music knowledge to take the course, but i also think that is ambitious to pretend that these people follow up from ground up until modes and scales in a 6 week course, and for those who already know the music theory, it gets slow and cumbersome. However, i got some really good info on the topic, and is a good appetizer to start digging in the field. Thanks.
by Chloe B•
The course was so interesting, it is exactly what I wanted to learn from it. I now understand why we like what we hear which and hopefully this course would help me later on with jobs and other courses I want to take.
It was great but the way they spoke was difficult to understand. I was only able to understand it from the discussions because people would explain the information in ways you could understand. I don't think it needed to be difficult, the language was just a bit extra, you could explain the same thing but in a simpler way.
by Meylien D H•
The course was alright in the sense that it was descriptive, however, the level of critical thinking suggested for the course was not actually indicative of the material presented.
A lot of the material presented was great, but when the quiz came around, questions regarding the material were unequal. For example, in one quiz, there was a question about Galileo, but there was no mention of Galileo in the lecture for that week, and, a lot of the PDF'S were repetitive and not diverse in the material being taught.
by Sithara G•
The video lessons weren't very helpful except in the case of where a certain musical concept was explained and demonstrated. The quiz questions weren't always answered very clearly in the lessons so it would come down to my inferences most of the time. The fact that I am a student who studies music in high school helped me, but if you don't have an advanced understanding of music before you start the course you may find it more challenging.
by Laura F•
The material in this course is very interesting, and many of the musical demonstrations are extremely helpful. I am glad I took it. However, much of the most interesting material is poorly explained; I would loved if fewer ideas were covered in more depth. The quizzes were for the most part poorly written, and only somewhat correlated with the presentation of material in the lectures. So there is definitely much room for improvement.
by Arman S•
The whole course is beneficial for someone with just rudimentary knowledge of physics of sound. The physics modules and some music theory parts were not useful for me, because I already had enough knowledge. I expected the course to deliver more biological information - as the title indicates - so that I could learn professional methods of interpretation of music from biological viewpoint.
by Andy L•
The content of the course itself was engaging and presented well-enough, with some interesting data analysis whether or not you find the ultimate interpretations convincing. From a logistical perspective though, there were serious issues with the coherency of the quizzes and some minor issues with the organization and editing of video content (i.e. segments repeated multiple times).
by Ric E•
Potentially interesting and useful material presented in boring and sometimes unclear manner. Quizzes failed to correlate to the material in the lectures. Got something out of the course but the potential was there for much more.
by Stefan D•
This course fills a gap that is rarely taught by explaining biological origins of musical experiences. The material is very easy to follow. I wish there were more practical exercises or home works to play with the concepts.
by Donna N•
Interesting material but the instructor was so monotone and spoke so slowly, I had to play the videos at a faster speed to stay awake. I'll bet it came in handy for those whose English was not as fluent, though.
by Selim Ö•
Superb topic... Very interesting, but insufficient content... Videos are difficult to follow and comprehend. So is true for tests.
Moderately recommended because of these teaching imperfections...
by Taym A•
This course needs a whole lot of editing. Many confusing mistakes both in lessons and in quizzes. Some fundamental concepts were not explained properly/sufficiently.
by Jairo A•
It is interesting but it is slow and at some point in my opinion the class becomes boring. Any way it is worth to do it if you want to learn some things.
by Lillian L•
Interesting, but has an evolutionary basis which was a bit disappointing. The piano and mbira demonstrations were both enjoyable and interesting.
by Adam L•
Quiz choices should be more carefully put together. I noticed typos, erroneous grading, and MANY answers that are not mutually exclusive.
by Mieke d B•
I did enjoy the course enough to see it through but it could use help on presentation correlation of lessons and tests
by Willian d S L•
The second part of the course is very good. But first part, with introductions and definitions were very "heavy".