top of page


Biomusicological perspectives on musicmaking:
The effects of music on human neurology, psycology and physiology

Biomusicology is a relatively new, and rapidly growing field of study regarding the physiological effects of music. The field is fascinatingly complex because of its multidisciplinary approach to scientific discovery. Numerous studies have found connections between humans and “musical instinct,” which further aids our knowledge of why music has so many physical and mental health benefits. Applying these scientific studies to our knowledge of performance, composition, and health & wellness would be a universally beneficial investment in both the arts and sciences.

The research presented in this lecture cross-references many of the seminal works of biomusicology, and compares them to publications made by composers and performers throughout history, seeking to find a connection between cultural understandings of music, and the instinctual aspects of and responses to music found in physiological studies of the past two decades. Topics will include evolutionary perspectives on music perception, the physical and mathematical history of western tuning, and the effects of musical keys on human perception.

Adam D. O’Dell (b.1992) is an American composer, pianist, theorist, and teacher. His classical works seek to combine romanticism with jazz, rock, theatre, and folk styles into music with story-like forms, interplay between tonality and atonality, and a strong connection to visual stimuli.

Recent commissions include the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, The Oklahoma State University Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble 135, Just Duet, and the Julien Chamber Choir. His works have been performed across the United States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany, and Italy. He has won awards from ABLAZE Records, the Tri-State Wind Symphony, the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, Make Music Inc., and the Kennedy Center.

O'Dell is pursuing his MM in composition at Bowling Green State University, where he has studied with Christopher Dietz, Mikel Kuehn, and Marilyn Shrude. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, where he studied composition with Amy Dunker, and piano with Nancy Lease and Sharon Jensen.

O'Dell is an internationally published academic writer, and has given numerous guest lectures, presentations, and masterclasses in composition and analysis across the United States. His research interests include Biomusicology, and the use of older styles in modern composition. He is a member of ASCAP, the Society of Composers, Inc., and the American Choral Directors Association, and is a licensed PARMA Recordings composer, with whom his music can be heard distributed via Naxos and Navona Records. His work “Refractions” can be heard on ABLAZE Records’ “Orchestral Masters” collection.

Bio en CAT

bottom of page