Making Music Together Connects Brains

Science Daily

Here's another article on the way our brains work when we make music. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin have hooked up classical guitarists to electrodes to look at their brain waves and they found some interesting things.

Anyone who has ever played in an orchestra will be familiar with the phenomenon: the impulse for one's own actions does not seem to come from one's own mind alone, but rather seems to be controlled by the coordinated activity of the group. And indeed, interbrain networks do emerge when making music together -- this has now been demonstrated by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. The scientists used electrodes to trace the brain waves of guitarists playing in duets. They also observed substantial differences in the musicians' brain activity, depending upon whether musicians were leading or following their companion.

This is fascinating to me. It's a confirmation of a phenomenon I've often felt during performance. Being on the same "wave length" is the difference between a good performance and a bad performance  -- and now we find that is true, literally.

You can read the rest of the article at Science Daily.