The brains of classical and jazz artists (Part 1)

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The functioning of the jazz pianist’s brain is completely different from that of a classical pianist, even when they play the same piece of music.

Miles Davis is one of the most influential musicians in the history of both jazz and 20th century music. “Kind of Blue,” his most famous album, captures the hearts of those who don’t understand anything about jazz. Someone who doesn’t have to know music knows, Miles Davis and genius composer Mozart are not the same. It is worth mentioning that this difference is not only in the field of music of each person but also in their brain when playing music or composing music.

We still know that the brain of a musician is different from an ordinary person. Playing or composing requires a complex combination of skills, reflected in more complex brain structures. However, there is still little attention paid to the differences in the brains of musicians in different musical disciplines.

Recently, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Science and Human Cognition (MPI CBS) in Leipzig, Germany have published in the Brain and Cognition journal a work on this issue while studying 30 pianist, half jazz, half classical. While the public often thinks that the transition from jazz to classical music and vice versa is not a big deal for the artist, researchers have pointed out, that changing music styles is indeed. It is a challenge and artists usually excel in one, not many genres of music.

To get a closer look at the differences between the two groups of artists, the researchers observed a hand playing a series of chord on screen in both groups (the music they played contained errors in face chord and finger error). When playing the piano, artists will have to follow two steps: the first step determines what they will play – or what keystroke is pressed, and the second step determines how they will play – or in other words, which finger to play.