56 episodes

The Franklin Institute's So Curious! podcast is back with a bang, and this time exploring the captivating world of music through the lens of science. We all know the feeling of being moved by a song, but have you ever wondered why? Season 4 promises to get to the bottom of this mystery, interviewing experts in neuroscience, acoustics, biology, and musicology. From the connection between rhythm and dance to the link between memories and music, we'll leave no stone unturned in our quest to understand the why behind music. But it's not all serious - we're also here to entertain! Join host Bey and Kirsten for an exciting journey this summer as we discover the intricacies of music and technology, including the question of whether the next big pop star will be A.I. Get ready to dance, hum, and maybe even shed a tear - this season of So Curious! is going to be music to your ears.

So Curious‪!‬ The Franklin Institute

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 31 Ratings

The Franklin Institute's So Curious! podcast is back with a bang, and this time exploring the captivating world of music through the lens of science. We all know the feeling of being moved by a song, but have you ever wondered why? Season 4 promises to get to the bottom of this mystery, interviewing experts in neuroscience, acoustics, biology, and musicology. From the connection between rhythm and dance to the link between memories and music, we'll leave no stone unturned in our quest to understand the why behind music. But it's not all serious - we're also here to entertain! Join host Bey and Kirsten for an exciting journey this summer as we discover the intricacies of music and technology, including the question of whether the next big pop star will be A.I. Get ready to dance, hum, and maybe even shed a tear - this season of So Curious! is going to be music to your ears.

    The Curious Cosmos with Derrick Pitts (A So Curious Bonus Episode)

    The Curious Cosmos with Derrick Pitts (A So Curious Bonus Episode)

    In a special bonus episode of So Curious, Bey and Kirsten are joined by Derrick Pitts, Chief Astronomer and Director of the Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute!
    The three discuss how Derrick came to be in the field of astronomy, what being in space would actually be like, how sci-fi shapes our understanding of outer space, and so much more.
    Be sure to check out Derrick's new podcast, The Curious Cosmos, for more amazing space talk! New episodes will be released every Tuesday throughout the fall.

    • 34 min
    Let's Dance! Why Music Makes Us Move

    Let's Dance! Why Music Makes Us Move

    Hope you have your dancing shoes on, because in this final episode of So Curious' 4th season, Bey and Kirsten explore the science behind why music makes us dance!
    First, they sit down with McMaster post-doctoral fellow Dr. Daniel Cameron to learn about his research into rhythm and the brain. Then, the two are joined by Dr. Jayatri Das, Chief Bioscientist of The Franklin Institute, to explore the incredible ways dance incorporates various sensory systems in our bodies. And to close out the season, Bey and Kirsten are joined by Philadelphia's DJ Phreakwency to explore the history of dance music, the experience of being a DJ, and what in his experience gets the crowd moving!
    Links for Today's Episode:
    Learn more about Dr. Daniel Cameron and the research he's part of at McMaster University into rhythm and the brainCheck out DJ Phreakwency and his monthly dance party, Bass Down Low, at The Dolphin in Philadelphia.

    • 40 min
    Science in Concert: How Musical Performance Works

    Science in Concert: How Musical Performance Works

    This week, So Curious takes to the stage! Exploring how and why humans play and perform music.
    First, Bey and Kirsten sit down with jazz educator and researcher Dr. Martin Norgaard to learn about jazz improvisation, and what happens in the brain while musicians are improvising. Then, the two are joined by Dr. Jayatri Das for another Body of Knowledge segment, this time to explore the physiology of singing and why we find songs so moving. And to round out the episode, veteran music teacher Beth Carson joins to discuss her years in the classroom, the importance of music education, what it's like to teach young children to perform.
    Links for Today's episode:
    Learn more about Dr. Martin Norgaard and his research into musical improvisation in the brainExplore those singing-responsive brain cells Jayatri spoke about furtherListen to that moving performance of Creep on America's Got Talent that Kirsten referencedCheck out the composer bust of Beth Carson that one of her students made of her

    • 38 min
    Wild Voices: In Tune with the Animal Kingdom

    Wild Voices: In Tune with the Animal Kingdom

    This season of So Curious, we've talked plenty about the music humans make. But what about the music made by other animals?
    First, Bey and Kirsten sit down with birdsong researcher Dr. Stephen Nowicki to learn the surprising science behind how and why birds sing. Then, the two are joined by Dr. Lori Marino to explore the songs and sounds of dolphins and whales. And to close the episode, inter-species musician David Rothenberg joins to speak about the music he makes in collaboration with animals, from his philosophy behind doing so to the logistics of playing music deep in the wilderness.
    Links for Today's Episode:
    Learn more about Dr. Stephen Nowicki and the work of his bird communication research labLearn more about Dr. Lori Marino and her work with The Whale Sanctuary ProjectLearn more about David Rothenberg and listen to more of his musicTo delve deeper into the world of inter-species musicians, check out the work of Paul Winter and R. Murray Schafer

    • 40 min
    Remember That Song? Music and Memory

    Remember That Song? Music and Memory

    We all have memories closely tied to music in our life - but why are those connections so strong?
    In today's episode of So Curious, Bey and Kirsten look to get to the bottom of this question. First, the two sit down with memory expert Dr. Andrew Budson to learn how memory works in the brain, and the many ways music interacts with that. Then, they speak with head of Northern Illinois University's Marketing program, Dr. Vijaykumar Krishnan Palghat, to learn about sonic logos and the surprising ways music and sound is used in the world of branding. From music as treatment for Alzheimer's disease, to why we can all sing the Nokia ringtone long after the brand disapeared, we're digging deep into why music makes us remember.
    Links for Today's Episode:
    Learn more about Dr. Andrew Budson, and check out his new book, Why We Forget and How to Remember Better: The Science Behind MemoryCheck out this CBS Sunday Morning feature on Glenn Campbell's final tour, where he was performing late into his battle with Alzheimer's disease.Learn more about Dr. Vijay Krishnan and his sonic branding researchCheck out the full clip of Indian Classical violin used in the episode.

    • 29 min
    The Music-Language Link

    The Music-Language Link

    We've all heard the phrase "music is the universal language," but what if that music/language connection went deeper than we thought?
    First, hosts Kirsten and Bey speak with Dr. Ani Patel, the leading expert on the link between language and music in the brain, to learn about his research and the surprising links that have been found between the two. Then, our hosts sit down with Philly-based hip hop artist A.Rob to chat about how language and music interact in the world of rap, from the concept of flow to his experience as a bilingual rapper.
    Links for today's episode:
    Learn more about Dr. Ani Patel Check out the Sound Health Network's resources on music's use in healthcareLearn more about A.Rob, and check out his music!Further info on the ancient Arabic rap-battles A.Rob mentioned, a traditional form of poetry known as Zajal

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

live...love...laugh ,

Love it!

By far my favorite science podcast, so fun and approachable. Looking forward to the new season on music!

stefenea ,

A treasure trove of knowledge!

Brain nourishing topics with intelligent and humble guests! Angelica and Bey are refreshing hosts! When things get a little complex, these two reel it in with their curiosity, authenticity and humor!

bfitz36 ,

Amazing hosts and so informative!!

Love this show so much! Always learn something new and look forward to each new episode!

Top Podcasts In Science

Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam
Technically Speaking: An Intel Podcast
iHeartPodcasts
Something You Should Know
Mike Carruthers | OmniCast Media | Cumulus Podcast Network
Radiolab
WNYC Studios
Science Vs
Spotify Studios
Ologies with Alie Ward
Alie Ward