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Researchers Say Context Matters When Listening To Music

A recent study says having contextual information about a musical performance affects what people think about the music.

ASU researcher Goekhan Aydogan co-authored the study. He said researchers asked people to rate a performance by a world-renowned professional musician, versus that of a student.

"What you find is that people grade, for some reason, the professional musician higher than the student even though it is the very same piece," he said.

Aydogan said measures of neural activity showed a professional musician made people more attentive, and activated areas closely related to rewards.

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Austin Westfall was an intern at KJZZ in 2018.