The Science of Music with Josh Groban

Credit: Jeffrey Simons

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About This Episode

There’s more to a song than meets the ear, as Neil deGrasse Tyson finds out when he interviews singer/songwriter/producer Josh Groban. Josh shares how he got started playing his family’s electronic Casio piano while he was still in diapers, and whether he was a science geek in school. In studio, concert pianist and MIT Lecturer in Music, Elaine Kwon, and co-host Chuck Nice add their voices to the chorus to help us hear the science woven into the songs. You’ll learn how artists breathe life into their music, and about the qualitative difference between human generated and automated music. Explore the importance of the acoustics of a performance space, the effect music has on people, the difference between melody and harmony, the ranges the human voice is capable of, and which was more important, Charlie Parker’s personal style or his sax. Plus, Neil and Josh discuss “acoustic panty removers”, Chuck admits to singing first soprano in his church choir, and we find out whether Rachmaninoff really had “big hands” and what rubato means.

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