Music, Mind, and Human Experience


What is the course about?

Is music a language? Is “Mozart Effect” a myth? Are we born to be creative? Is emotion processed on the right brain and reason on the left? In this course students will develop a critical knowledge of music and the human brain and how they are interrelated with other disciplines such as language, psychology, robotics, mathematics, and mental health.Beginning with an overview of brain anatomy and functional organization of major brain systems, students will develop insights on higher order aspects of musical behaviour, including learning, memory, expectation, emotion, creativity and improvisation, and explore the relationships between music and brain processing from multiple perspectives. Examinations of how experience shapes the brain will provide the basis for understanding of how we become who we are.Active participation in the course blog is encouraged. Students are expected to develop insights and understanding through class and web lectures, readings and video documentaries. The final project is on sharing and analyzing a music performance or composition drawing on concepts introduced in this course.

Course Code Offering Department(s) Area of Learning Units & Hours
GDAR1835 MUS ARTS (3,2,1)
Download the course syllabus


IGEThis is an interdisciplinary GE (IGE) course.
  1. One IGE course is listed for more than 1 area of learning. You can decide which area of learning you would like the course to fulfill, by enrolling in the course with the corresponding course code.

Notes for all GE courses

  • You can take a maximum of 6 additional units of GE courses from any categories as electives.