Probably the most fundamental musical motor activity is singing. Perry, Zatorre, Petrides, and associates measured increased CBF during simple singing using PET. Repetitive singing of a single pitch was contrasted with listening to complex tones at the same pitch and rate. The set of regions activated overlapped those previously observed during speech (SMA, anterior cingulate, insula/frontal operculum, and precen-tral gyrus) (Fig. 6). The main differences were in the direction of hemisphere asymmetry within a subset of these regions. First, the CBF increase was much greater in the right primary auditory region, a result that Perry and Zatorre later replicated for singing a single pitch continuously on each breath in contrast to listening to playback of that singing. They hypothesized that this asymmetry may be related to deriving the fundamental frequency of one's own voice for feedback guidance of vocal motor production (given a right auditory cortex preference for spectral analysis).
This hypothesis received support from a subsequent analysis. The fundamental frequency of subjects' vocalizations was measured. When the total amount of pitch excursion within each continuously sung note was quantified and covaried against CBF in the whole brain, a region of positive covariation was observed in the right primary auditory region.
Second, though less striking, an asymmetry favoring the right hemisphere was also observed within the right ventral precentral gyrus or the orofacial region. The close correspondence between the regions activated by singing and speaking suggests that both may have evolved from a complex system for the voluntary control of vocalization. Their divergences suggest the later evolution of complementary hemispheric specializations for both the perception and production of singing and speech.
An incredible variety of musical instruments have been developed by human cultures, our knowledge of which begins with 5000-year-old Neanderthal flutes made from bone. The proliferation of wind, string, percussive, and other instruments for the production of musical sound is ongoing, and the basic aspects of motor control required vary from purely labial and respiratory (e.g., bugle) to labial, respiratory, and manual (e.g., trumpet) or purely manual (e.g., violin and piano). Although peripheral aspects of this motor cs
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