Human Hearing, Music and Logarithmic Scales

In acoustics some of the inborn categories of perception are well documented in their relation to physiological facts. To most of us a melody played in different keys remains practically identical to itself. This very astonishing fact is well explained by the finding that in the cortex of the brain, as on a piano keyboard, frequencies are represented on a logarithmic scale [...] (55). The resulting translational symmetry for tone patterns characterized by constant frequency ratios is one of the basic facts of music.

-- Valentino Braitenberg

from "Vehicles: Experiments In Synthetic Psychology"

Quoted on Thu Aug 11th, 2011