Is our response to music hard-wired or culturally determined? Is the reaction to rhythm and melody universal or influenced by environment? John Schaefer, scientist Daniel Levitin, and musical artist Bobby McFerrin engage in live performances and cross-cultural demonstrations to illustrate music’s noteworthy interaction with the brain and our emotions (2009 World Science Festival).
John Schaefer is the host of WNYC’s innovative music and talk show Soundcheck, which features live performances and interviews with a variety of guests. Bobby McFerrin is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at McGill University. Prior to entering academia, Levitin was a record producer and engineer working with artists such as Blue Oyster Cult, Chris Isaak, and Stevie Wonder. As a musician, he has performed with a variety musicians including Mel Tormé, Sting, David Byrne, and Blue Öyster.