Scientists make the case for the importance of bassBass

Scientists make the case for the importance of bass

A new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) seeks to understand why bass frequencies are so important to music, in general, and dancing, specifically. The crux of their argument is: “superior time perception for lower musical pitch explains why bass-ranged instruments lay down musical rhythms.”

In layman’s terms, the scientists are saying that the human brain is better suited to comprehend rhythmic patterns when they are played at the low end frequencies. This may seem contradictory to the role of percussion and drums, which have long been used to keep time, but instead it highlights the power that bass has to glue rhythmic sections to the melodies played in higher frequencies. Given the fact that electronic music relies so heavily on the low end for its power, it appears bass is finally getting its due.


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