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O’Dell to Present on the Physiology of Music

By Clarke News  |  April 14, 2015

April 14, 2015:

– Clarke University senior Adam O’Dell will present his research on

what makes some music popular to the masses during a lecture on Wednesday, April 29, in Jansen Music Hall.

The lecture, titled The Colors of Keys: The Effects of Temperament and the Overtone Sequence on Human Physiological Response, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

O’Dell studied the physiological effects of music based on Pythagorean tuning theories. Combining math, biology, physiology and music, this research seeks the answers to why certain music appeals to larger audiences, and how nature has influenced Western musical temperament. What makes some pieces “better” than others? The answer may lie in the ones and zeros.

O’Dell is a music major with emphases in composition and piano at Clarke University. He has been commissioned to write new works for the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, the Abbellimenti string quartet, and the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, among others. He has won awards from the Kennedy Center and Make Music Inc. His works have been performed at the Iowa Bandmaster’s Association conference, the PARMA Music Festival, and in Brazil and the United Kingdom.

He has been researching biomusicology for three years, including a semester of human study, and has presented on the topic at regional and national conferences at the student and professional level.

For more information, contact the Clarke University Marketing and Communication Office at (563)588-6318.