chapter  5
20 Pages

Musical art and brain damage I: established composers

Introduction In the neuropsychology of music, a distinction is often made between musical expression and musical reception. Expression consists of composing on one end of the musical production spectrum, while singing and instrument playing are on the other end of this spectrum. Reception is listening to music. The neuroanatomical underpinning of music composing is elusive largely because there are so few cases of established composers with well-defined brain lesions from whom functional localization could be inferred. By comparison, the brain's control in singing and instrument playing is somewhat better explored (see Chapter 6). What has emerged gradually, despite some inconsistencies in findings, is that sub-components of music are asymmetrically controlled by the brain's hemispheres and that the total musical expression relies on the specialization of both hemispheres (Baeck, 2002b ). Currently, there does not appear to be a specialized brain "center" dedicated to music but rather the bulk of the evidence points to the interaction of multiple, distributed neural networks (Peretz, 2002; Peretz & Coltheart, 2003).