Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information




First Advisor

Harry Pariser


Every day we are inundated with sounds, and we are able to separate noises into language, information, or music. As humans, we have many adaptive auditory features that contribute to our ability to create and understand music. This study is a review of current literature that explores our comprehension and expression of music. The inner structures, and their functions of the inner ear are fundamental to the human perception of music. First, the broad structures and functions of the ear and specifically the inner ear will be addressed. The gross anatomy of the ear will be discussed to understand the complex structures that make hearing possible. The remainder of this review will focus on the specific cellular complexes that enable sound perception within the ear. It is these structures that help translate vibrations produced by musical means, such as vocals and instrumentals, into sounds that we interpret as music. This study will explain how human interpretation of sound originates from the structures and functions of the ear on a molecular level, especially the action of cochlear hair cells.