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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Nearly everyone is exposed to music on a daily basis and the human brain is equipped with the necessary neural architecture to naturally acquire musical abilities during early development. Despite the universality of music, a minority of individuals present with very specific musical deficits that cannot be attributed to a general auditory dysfunction, intellectual disability, or a lack of musical exposure. These musical deficiencies can either be present from birth (congenital amusia, beat finding disorder) or acquired following a neurological event (acquired amusia). The purpose of the present chapter is to provide an overview of these intriguing musical disorders, highlight their common and different underlying features, and to demonstrate how they represent a unique opportunity to study brain function and to isolate brain areas that play a specific role in musical processing.

Keywords: acquired amusia, beat finding disorder, congenital amusia, music processing, neurobiology of music

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