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Youngsters 'have in-built musical ability'

People who have never played an instrument could be more musically knowledgeable than they realise, new research suggests.</p><p></p><p>
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Youngsters may not be technically proficient when they first play an acoustic guitar or keyboard, but it turns out they do have a fundamental understanding of music.

According to Dr Yuki Kikuchi of the University of Georgetown, people tend to have an innate musical perception from an early age, the Times reports.

Speaking at a conference of the Society for Neuroscience, she noted that even infants have been known to pick up on musical features such as octaves, which she believes is due to the impact of music on the brain.

"We think there are populations of neurons that code for consonance and dissonance," she commented.

Dr Yuki's research team carried out tests on monkeys to gauge how their brains reacted to different notes and frequencies.

Musical harmonies were found to trigger a particularly strong response, triggering neurons in a section of the brain which connects with the areas that generate emotions.

Dr Kikuchi said this proves there is a biological reason for why people find certain combinations of notes good to listen to.

This comes after research by Halifax revealed that 9.7 million people in the UK actively play a musical instrument.

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Posted on 22 Oct 2009 19:00 to category : Instruments News

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