“how does a brain generate a new melody,” i.e., a novel “note-and-duration sequence”? While seemingly simple, this question is still deceptively complex to be addressed, and arguably has not been satisfactorily answered by the existing neuroscientific evidence. However, by subdividing this larger question into sub-questions that have more direct answers, it is possible to speculate as to what might be going on in a human brain, mechanistically speaking, when a novel melody is created.
The following sub-questions will be addressed in turn:
1. How does the brain represent a familiar melody?
2. How does the brain read from this internal representation to perform, i.e., “re-create,” the original melody (whether aloud or in the imagination)?
3. What might be different in a brain (or brain state) that would lead to the creation of a new melody rather than the re-creation of a familiar melody?