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Brain Opera

by Olivia Giovetti


All manner of scientific claims have been made regarding the alchemistic relationship between music and the brain. Oliver Sacks famously explores this topic in his 2007 tome Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, citing that imagining a piece of music ignites brain activity similarly to that of listening to music. And Harvard University’s Dr. Gottfried Schlaug famously discovered that the differences between a professional musician’s brain and the brain of a layperson may be visible to the naked eye—particularly in the big band uniting the organ’s two hemispheres and the cerebral cortex.

Yet there are just as many spiritually linked hypotheses surrounding this relationship. Countless singers and instrumentalists credit muscle memory and stellar performances to an unknown being. The geniuses of Mozart, Leonard Bernstein, and Joan Sutherland have all been attributed to God. Debate rages on between nature and nurture as it pertains to singers—while plenty of studies have i...

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