soundwaves used to create the different sounds we know as music enter our inner ear to the cochlea, continuing to the basilar membrane. the basilar membrane responds to the sounds by sending a signal to the primary auditory cortex (part of the brain that allows us hear).
The primary auditory cortex is thought to identify the fundamental elements of music, such as pitch and loudness. The secondary auditory cortex has been indicated in the processing of “harmonic, melodic and rhythmic patterns.” The tertiary auditory cortex supposedly integrates everything into the overall experience of music.
The right auditory cortex has long been shown to be more sensitive to tonality, while the left auditory cortex has been shown to be more sensitive to minute sequential differences in sound, such as in speech.
A Deeper Look:
Primary Auditory Cortex