Music

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Tickets for bushfire relief concert Fire Fight being sold online at triple the price

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fire Fight Australia, a massive bushfire relief concert being held in Sydney, sold out in less than 24 hours, with all profits set to go towards bushfire assistance.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More than 70,000 people will see iconic acts such as Queen + Adam Lambert, k.d. lang, Alice Cooper and Olivia Newton-John.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, scalpers almost immediately started to sell the tickets online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Gold” tickets, which were sold via Ticketek for $100 were being sold for $200 or more on Gumtree.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tickets were also sold on eBay until they were removed for violating the website’s event ticket policy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A spokesperson for eBay told </span><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/appalling-scalpers-slammed-for-reselling-bushfire-relief-concert-tickets"><span style="font-weight: 400;">SBS News</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, "we will continue to monitor and pull down any offending listing".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Geoff Jones, the CEO of concert organisers TEG said that it was “appalling”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"it is obviously appalling to see this kind of scalping".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It is not in the Australian spirit that we have seen demonstrated again and again during this crisis," Mr Jones told SBS News.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He has also stated that the website says that Ticketek is the “only authorised seller of Fire Fight Australia”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"All concert ticket profits and all contributions through Ticketek will go towards these key organisations providing vital 'rescue', 'relief and recovery' and 'rehabilitation': Rural and regional fire services, Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery, and RSPCA Bushfire Appeal," the website </span><a href="https://firefightaustralia.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">reads</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The concert is expected to run for more than nine hours and will also feature performances from Conrad Sewell, Daryl Braithwaite, Delta Goodrem and Guy Sebastian.</span></p>

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Olivia Newton-John joins Queen and many more for bushfire relief concert

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the heartbreak felt around the world as the Australian bushfires continue to ravage the nation, many are banding together to raise money for bushfire relief.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of the biggest names in music have teamed up for the Fire Fight Australia concert, which also includes Olivia Newton-John.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She shared the post on Instagram, saying that she was “proud to announce” that she will be performing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Australia, I'm proud to announce I'll be performing at #FireFightAustralia alongside an incredible line-up of artists to raise money for national bushfire relief," ONJ captioned her post that she published on Monday morning AEST.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Tickets go on sale TODAY at 12noon AEDT from www.firefightaustralia.com. I hope you can join us for this special day to raise much needed funds for bushfire relief. #FireFightAustralia," she added.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Owp_eHnOD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Owp_eHnOD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Australia, I’m proud to announce I’ll be performing at #FireFightAustralia alongside an incredible line-up of artists to raise money for national bushfire relief. Tickets go on sale TODAY at 12noon AEDT from www.firefightaustralia.com I hope you can join us for this special day to raise much needed funds for bushfire relief. #FireFightAustralia</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/therealonj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Olivia Newton-john</a> (@therealonj) on Jan 12, 2020 at 11:03am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Earlier in the week, ONJ said that she was heartbroken about the devastation that’s impacting the country.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It breaks my heart to see what is happening in my beloved Australia," she captioned her post.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rock band Queen announced that they would be performing at the concert as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Australia, we're proud to announce we're performing at #FireFightAustralia alongside an incredible line-up of artists to raise money for national bushfire relief."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other impressive acts at the concert include Delta Goodrem, Guy Sebastian, Tina Arena and Jessica Mauboy.</span></p>

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An ode to surf music

<p>The first tune I ever wrote – a proper tune, with an intro, verses, choruses and a middle bit – was a surfing instrumental.</p> <p>I have always been a pretty crappy singer, and I figured that the guitar could sing for me (I know, I know). But like anyone who grew up in the 60s this genre made sense to me. It was both fun and familiar, and there was room for storytelling in the sound of the guitar.</p> <p>Surf music was born with the release of Dick Dale’s first single Let’s Go Trippin’. Dale was born in Boston, but arrived in California as a teenager and started surfing. He played a left-handed guitar, but with the strings upside down, that is with the low strings at the bottom and the high strings at the top. This quite odd arrangement made for an idiosyncratic sound, all the physical movements up-ended; the dynamics reversed, the emphasis offset.</p> <p>Dale first played <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOlmBC1DlsY">Let’s Go Trippin’</a> in 1960, and it was a wild and crazy sound, the birth of a genre.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WOlmBC1DlsY"></iframe></div> <p>The fact that he has a Lebanese background informed his style. The frenetic oud and tarabaki playing that drives Lebanese pop music of the 50s seeped in, along with his love of drummer <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Krupa">Gene Krupa</a>’s snappy snare.</p> <p>It didn’t take long for Dale’s influence to spread. Not really very surfy, but in 1962 Monty Norman’s James Bond theme for Dr. No was <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqcevBO9fi8">played by the tremendous John Barry Seven</a> and is a great example of the foregrounding of the edgy guitar sound that Dale perfected.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GqcevBO9fi8"></iframe></div> <p>The first of the teen surf movies, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056860/">Beach Party</a>, was released a year later: tales of teen idiocy, with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon at the helm, centred around summer, surf, music and endless partying.</p> <p>At least a dozen of these films were made, formulaic and sanitised, with established comedians like <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lynde">Paul Lynde</a> and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Rickles">Don Rickles</a>, promoting a romanticised image of surf culture.</p> <p>Although the movies were built on beach party guitar bands, the music charts and radio waves of the time were also home to beautiful, evocative guitar instrumentals. The Ventures from Washington state had their first hit with <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owq7hgzna3E">Walk, Don’t Run</a> in 1960.</p> <p>They played mostly covers, but developed a new sound - pounding toms and unison picking guitars - releasing many twangy gems including covers of Joe Meek’s Telstar, The Champs’ Tequila, as well as two of the touchstone tracks of the surf music genre in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqC3BjIyq_0">Pipeline</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjiOtouyBOg">Wipeout</a>.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tqC3BjIyq_0"></iframe></div> <p>In the UK, The Shadows were exploring similar terrain, with hits like <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoN6AKPGkBo">Apache</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rR0trsOUaY">Wonderful Land</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VycZVyApqew">Atlantis</a>. They took a more lyrical approach, stepping away from the blues-based patterns of the US guitar artists, and sliding in minor chords and more complex structures.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VycZVyApqew"></iframe></div> <p>But the thing that really sets The Shadows apart is the sound: the guitar amp producing washes of spacious reverb, as well as the watery bubbling of the vibrato; the guitar tremolo stretching the strings into tonal waves, and the orchestral layering on some of the grander tracks.</p> <p>Santo and Johnny’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rwfqsjimRM">Sleepwalk</a> is a lesson in subtle mood-making with its lap steel guitar evoking the distant Hawaiian islands.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2rwfqsjimRM"></iframe></div> <p>It appears in the repertoire of both The Ventures and The Shadows, inspires another deeply influential beauty, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QooCN5JbOkU">Albatross</a>, by Fleetwood Mac, with Peter Green on guitar, and echoes through the decades to the wonderful <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueMaYzvXX8w">work</a> of Richard Hawley.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/QooCN5JbOkU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>Australia in the 70s and beyond - great beaches, great surfers, great music</strong></p> <p>The beaches south of Sydney produced Australia’s most notable surf band in 1961. The Atlantics had their genetic roots in Greece and Eastern Europe, an immigration success story years before Vanda and Young.</p> <p>Their biggest hit, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3agVtY4Z6M">Bombora</a>, is a surf rock classic and was an international sensation in the earliest days of the genre.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3agVtY4Z6M"></iframe></div> <p>They had another big hit, The Crusher, and then in 1964 released War of The Worlds, awash with echoes and distortion and moodiness. It was innovative and brave, but ultimately spelled their demise as a surf band.</p> <p>As the 60s hit their twilight, and the wave of political enlightenment from Prague and Paris reached our shores, the blonde, post-war beach party was dragged out by the undertow. The Summer of Love, then Woodstock came and went, leaving the surfing subculture chilling with a joint in the back of the panel van rather than wildly dancing around the bonfire with a bottle of Mateus Rosé.</p> <p>The twangy instrumentals, with their snappy drums and lightning guitar lines stretched and grew, as synthesizers and production techniques replaced the earlier simple arrangements. The sound changed and became spacious, echoing the endless drift of the waves, and the slow drama of the incoming storm.</p> <p>In 1970, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248194/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Morning of the Earth</a> was released, becoming the first film soundtrack to earn a gold record in Australia. It not only has tracks by singer-songwriters and pop stars but also by the acid-surf instrumentalists <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamam_Shud">Tamam Shud</a>. It became an enormously influential film, capturing the idyllic nature of the surfing culture.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K3uLj-YYaBs"></iframe></div> <p>But the twang hadn’t gone. The sound of the surf guitar is core to the music of The Cramps and The Pixies. It surfaced in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Wilson_(American_musician)">Ricky Wilson</a>’s great guitar lines for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szhJzX0UgDM">The B52s</a>.</p> <p>It rang clear as a bell in 80s Australian bands like The Sunnyboys, Surfside Six, Radio Birdman, The Riptides, and Mental As Anything.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/b2D84Ma-CxI"></iframe></div> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CINvgez73g">The Cruel Sea</a> rose in Sydney in 1987 from the ashes of Sekret Sekret, settling around the ebb and flow of guitarist Danny Rumour and guitarist/organist James Cruickshank and the rhythmic undertow of Ken Gormley and Jim Elliot.</p> <p>Instrumental rock became groovy again. Eventually, Tex Perkins joined and they became award-winning mainstays in the rise of 90s festival culture.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H_wam2QImAY"></iframe></div> <p>More recently <a href="https://headland.bandcamp.com/music">Headland</a>, who began in 2014 playing live original instrumentals to gloriously evocative Super 8 footage of big surf at Lennox Head in the 70s, have restored faith in the power of the instrumental for the post millennium. Surf music lives!</p> <p>I only ever played my little surf instrumental a few times and then that version of our band exploded – Lindy Morrison left to join the Go-Betweens and we entered a more angular and fierce phase. But last year, in a performance at the State Library about Brisbane posters and how they help to tell stories about our past, our culture and our place in the world, I played it again.</p> <p>It felt odd to be doing it on my own, but it also felt both funny and appropriate. The tune had the twang of a simpler time. As does <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJWuQV2u9ns">this little gem</a> from Brian Wilson, who believes that smiles can fix the problems of the world. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/128914/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/sJWuQV2u9ns"></iframe></div> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/john-willsteed-107411">John Willsteed</a>, Senior lecturer, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/surf-music-in-praise-of-strings-sand-and-the-endless-swell-128914">original article</a>.</em></p>

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“Extraordinary”: Jack Vidgen wows America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell

<p>Australian singer Jack Vidgen has given an electrifying performance on<span> </span><em>America’s Got Talent</em>, as he was showered with praise from the star-studded panel.</p> <p>Supermodel and judge Heidi Klum gave Vidgen a standing ovation for his powerful rendition of Lauren Daigle’s<span> </span><em>You Say</em>, which has only recently aired in the US, while Howie Mandel told him he had everything it took to make it but just “needed the confidence”.</p> <p>But the toughest critic of all, Simon Cowell, was his harshest judge, but also praised the 22-year-old the most.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Overcoming adversity has given <a href="https://twitter.com/JackVidgen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackVidgen</a> an unimaginable talent! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AGTChampions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AGTChampions</a> <a href="https://t.co/ye6c8CpIBH">pic.twitter.com/ye6c8CpIBH</a></p> — America's Got Talent (@AGT) <a href="https://twitter.com/AGT/status/1214364248446390274?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“I think you have an extraordinary voice but that was way too safe,” he told the singer.</p> <p>“I think you are way, way better than that, so I’m hoping the super-fans vote you through to the next round because there’s way more to come from you. Way more.”</p> <p>Sadly, it was Vidgen’s first and last performance on<span> </span><em>America’s Got Talent: The Champions</em>, which features 40 singers who have competed on the show around the world in their home countries in the hopes to be crowned the global winner.</p> <p>Vidgen wasn’t able to win over fans so his future was left in the hands of the judges, along with two other contestants.</p> <p>Cowell picked Vidgen to progress to the next round, but the other judges didn’t seem to agree.</p> <p>But despite missing out, people took to Twitter to shower the young singer with praise, with one describing his voice as “the best I’ve ever heard”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/JackVidgen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackVidgen</a> You'll be getting my vote FOR SURE!! That was PHENOMENAL!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AGTChampions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AGTChampions</a></p> — Valerie Ward (@ValByDesign) <a href="https://twitter.com/ValByDesign/status/1214364946122891264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/JackVidgen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackVidgen</a> has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard <a href="https://twitter.com/AGT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AGT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AGTChampions?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AGTChampions</a></p> — Wyatt (@Wyatt_fann) <a href="https://twitter.com/Wyatt_fann/status/1214363655279665154?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/JackVidgen?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JackVidgen</a> OMG! I'm in tears from your audition in <a href="https://twitter.com/AGT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AGT</a> Champions. You are truly gifted, beautiful, and AMAZING!</p> — Journey Woman 🌊 (@JourneyWoman14) <a href="https://twitter.com/JourneyWoman14/status/1214364655050788864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Vidgen is set to compete for Australia’s Eurovision spot on SBS’s<span> </span><em>Eurovision: Australia Decides</em><span> </span>on February 8.</p>

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The role of music in Einstein's thinking

<p>As we marvel at science’s <a href="https://theconversation.com/gravitational-waves-discovered-the-universe-has-spoken-54237">latest extraordinary breakthrough</a>, it’s also an opportunity to ponder what kind of thinker Albert Einstein was.</p> <p>Born two decades before the beginning of the 20th century, what kind of mind was his that could come up with ideas that would have to wait until the second decade of the 21st century to be proven correct?</p> <p>The man responsible for predicting the existence of gravitational waves as the last brick in his <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-einsteins-theory-of-general-relativity-3481">theory of general relativity</a> is so often reduced to a tongue-poking electric-hair-shock caricature: the slightly mad but cuddly genius who is just <em>different</em> to everybody else.</p> <p>The true picture is perhaps less colorful; Einstein was the product of a well-rounded education that, importantly, very much included the arts and humanities.</p> <p>It’s little known that Einstein was an accomplished violinist, and even less known that had he not pursued science, he said he would have been a musician:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Looking at the role of music in Einstein’s thinking sheds some light on how he shaped his most profound scientific ideas. His example suggests that in being intimately involved with the scientific complexity of music, he was able to bring a uniquely aesthetic quality to his theories. He wanted his science to be unified, harmonious, expressed simply, and to convey a sense of beauty of form.</p> <p>He confessed to thinking about science in terms of images and intuitions, often drawn directly from his experiences as a musician, only later converting these into logic, words and mathematics.</p> <p><strong>Music of the Spheres</strong></p> <p>Of the many mind-blowing things to consider in the gravitational wave discovery, there’s probably one that would have particularly piqued Einstein’s interest. This incredible sound:</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TWqhUANNFXw"></iframe></div> <p>In converting the gravitational wave into a sound wave, we have the astonishing privilege of being able to hear the echo of a billion-year old explosion from an incomprehensibly distant galaxy.</p> <p>That ripple in space-time took a thousand million years to reach us, hurtling through the void at 299,000 kilometres a <em>second</em>.</p> <p>A solitary bass drum-like thwack represents the literal transposition, emerging from an awe-inspiring cosmic background noise. Adjusted to better suit the human ear, it sounds eerily like a pebble dropped into a bucket of water.</p> <p>It’s strange to think that dropping a pebble in water produces essentially the same rippling sound effect as colliding super-black holes a billion light years away in time and space.</p> <p>Strange but also fitting; it partially suggests the elemental power of sound, linked as it is to movement, a signal of life, dynamism and creation.</p> <p>Whether it’s clapping hands, a resonating violin string, or black holes 30-times larger than our sun spinning around each other at 100 times a second, something is going to get displaced.</p> <p>In the first two actions, displaced air molecules bump up against neighbouring air molecules. The vibration continues as a wave until hitting something than can absorb or stop it, such as an ear drum.</p> <p>In the cosmic example, it is space and time which are displaced, creating a different kind of wave, one that can travel through a vacuum for aeons.</p> <p>Einstein, apart from being overjoyed that his prediction had been confirmed, would have been fascinated by the sound of that gravitational ripple. According to Einstein himself, sound, in the form of music, gave him more pleasure than anything else in life.</p> <p>Far more than a diversion or hobby, music was such a part of the man that it seems to have played a role in his scientific working processes.</p> <p>Einstein’s second wife Elsa told the story of him one day appearing totally lost in thought, wandering to the piano and playing for half an hour while intermittently jotting down notes.</p> <p>Disappearing into a room for two weeks (emerging for the odd piano session), he then surfaced with a working draft of the theory of general relativity.</p> <p>Of course, piano playing and the theory of general relativity are not related in any direct or tangible sense. On one level, the story suggests that for Einstein, piano playing had the same effect walking has for many people. Ambulatory thinking processes release creative juices.</p> <p>Beethoven knew it, as did apparently <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/habits-not-hacks/201407/beethovens-daily-habit-inspiring-creative-breakthroughs">the ancient Greeks</a>, not to mention <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/walking-helps-us-think">many generations of writers</a>.</p> <p>But there were deeper levels to the science-music relationship in Einstein’s mind. There’s some evidence music played a role in the very shaping of his most important scientific discoveries.</p> <p>To understand how, it’s important to know something about Einstein’s musical background, as well as his two favourite creators of music; the composers J.S. Bach and W.A. Mozart.</p> <p><strong>Violin lessons</strong></p> <p>We tend to forget the youthful Einstein was not only a looker, but an almost bohemian type whose violin playing was a well-known and celebrated aspect of his public persona.</p> <p>Einstein could often be found onstage performing string quartets with some of the era’s greatest musicians, acquitting himself with aplomb if not distinction.</p> <p>The range of intellectual stimuli Einstein gained from playing music, and its impact on his visionary approach to science, should probably not be underestimated.</p> <p>It wasn’t by chance that Einstein’s two most beloved composers represented the most celebrated practitioners of a particularly favoured approach within European classical music: tonality in the service of formal structure.</p> <p>Tonality is a concept, much like gravity, that (almost) everyone knows about instinctively, with or without specialist training. Music with a “tonal centre” has existed for about half a millennium, and can be heard in music emerging from the Italian Renaissance, through to the popular, film and TV music of today.</p> <p>In fact the gravity analogy is usually extended into metaphor when explaining tonality: it is music that has a gravitational centre, a pitch that sounds most stable, more like the “home base” than any other pitch – the sun in a solar system of pitch-planets.</p> <p>The other pitches “orbit” around the tonally central pitch, with varying degrees of gravitational pull toward the centre. Some are weaker and further away, others are close and feel the pull more strongly.</p> <p>Most people hearing the Preludio from Bach’s Partita for Violin No. 3 would be able to identify this central pitch (called “the tonic”) simply by listening to the opening and then humming whatever note sounded the most important.</p> <p>Of course, things can always get a lot more complex, and the real story is what Bach and Mozart were able to build within this system of order and balanced forces.</p> <p>Bach’s music is synonymous with the art of musical counterpoint; a way of layering different melodies, (anywhere between two to five is common enough), so that they retain independence, yet work together in a unified way.</p> <p>This clip of Bach’s fugue for Organ in C minor BWV 542 depicts the complexities of counterpoint in such a way that non-readers of music will appreciate.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4WhPUqpaRp4"></iframe></div> <p>One melody, or “voice” becomes, two, then three, then eventually four. The “architecture” metaphor is easily apparent - the music feels so beautifully <em>constructed</em>, complex and ornate yet balanced and proportioned, like a cathedral or palace (or indeed a scientific formula).</p> <p>It was probably Mozart, however, who was even closer to Einstein’s heart. His formative musical years were proximate to a “back to Mozart” movement in Europe, a reaction to the perceived decadence and musical indulgence of Wagner and his <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-wagners-ring-cycle-der-ring-des-nibelungen-20475">monumentally long operas</a>.</p> <p>At a time when Wagner had stretched the tonal system to its limits, foreshadowing its collapse in European art music of the 20th century, Mozart’s image was re-polished and deemed to embody an approach that unified balanced architectural perfection with beauty of expression.</p> <p>The finale of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, K551 (appropriately nicknamed “Jupiter”) provides a handy example of what Einstein saw in this music. Apart from the music’s exhilarating exuberance, the fourth movement is noteworthy for combining the most sophisticated formal design of Mozart’s era (late 18th century sonata form) with the most sophisticated texture of Bach’s (early 18th century fugue).</p> <p>Einstein would have probably especially enjoyed the extraordinary musical structures Mozart creates in the final minutes of the Jupiter, its coda. After a suspenseful pause, and turning some of his melodies upside down just for fun, Mozart takes five musical themes (like melodies but shorter, fragmented) from earlier sections and layers them all on top of each other, narrowly avoiding cacophony through the complex science of musical construction.</p> <p>Much like the mathematics involved in relativity, it’s actually quite difficult to follow what happens here in real time. The coda starts around 10:24, but the whole movement should really be listened to.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/prvBEXbnDR0"></iframe></div> <p>Despite the calculation involved in music like that of the Jupiter, learned complexity was never a means unto itself for these composers. Mozart has a reputation for expressing more than most composers while using the fewest notes. The vulnerable beauty of economically expressed meaning can be heard in the slow movement from the A Major Piano Concerto K488.</p> <p>It’s music such as this the led to now rather clichéd notion that Mozart appeared not to “create” his music, but discovered it ready made. Einstein sought a similar purity, economy and harmoniousness of vision for his theories.</p> <p>What relevance does this musical footnote have at a moment when we are celebrating the scientific breakthrough of the century? I believe it’s an opportunity to broaden our understanding of the ways in which this particular mind of apparent genius worked, to contemplate what kind of lessons can be learned today.</p> <p>What stands out is Einstein’s multi-dimensional approach to thinking. He saw complementarity between disciplines, and wouldn’t dream of siloing Science and the Humanities in separate bins.</p> <p>As the importance of science and technology in combating inexorable environmental catastrophe becomes ever more incontrovertible, the importance of initiatives such as the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science,_Technology,_Engineering,_and_Mathematics">STEM</a> educational grouping appears self-evident.</p> <p>But it’s clear from Einstein’s example that innovation in STEM involves modes of thinking that can come from the arts. For Einstein, it was the notion that the architectural and formal beauty he found in music could inform the inspiration and design of his scientific theories.</p> <p>Music inspired and guided him; it stimulated parts of his brain that could not be accessed through sitting at his desk. It gave him a sense of patterns, feelings, hunches, intuitions – all manner of sensual information that could be described as ways of thinking that don’t involve words.</p> <p>Some have suggested STEAM, so as to include the Arts in the grouping. Or STREAM, to include Reading and Writing. Wouldn’t it be great though if all human intellectual endeavours were simply treated equally?</p> <p>Einstein used as many parts of his mind as he could to experience and interpret the world, to create knowledge. And yet again, it’s been proven that he’s not a bad example to follow.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/liam-viney-175637">Liam Viney</a>, Piano Performance Fellow, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/good-vibrations-the-role-of-music-in-einsteins-thinking-54725">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How music can unite as well as divide us

<p>September 21 is <a href="http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/background.shtml">International Day of Peace</a>, the UN’s annual call for a global ceasefire. This year, in the lead-up, celebrities have curated a <a href="http://www.peaceoneday.org/playlist">Peace Day Playlist</a> available through streaming services. James Morrison, Yoko Ono, Michael Caine, UB40 and others have nominated songs such as Michael Jackson’s Heal the World, Joan Baez’s We Shall Overcome and John Lennon’s Imagine, alongside One, a Peace Day anthem featuring artists from across the African continent. The premise for the playlist is that music “is a unique vehicle to amplify the message of the day, bringing people together in the name of peace.”</p> <p>For many people, such songs have become associated with anti-war protests and notions of freedom, equality and social justice. But just as music can unite us behind a cause, it can also drive us apart. Music must be deployed carefully if we are to really <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlKX-m17C7U">give peace a chance</a>.</p> <p>Music is often called humankind’s “universal language”: an all-embracing and inherently benevolent form of communication. Music can indeed deepen feelings of affinity and social cohesion. But these same qualities can also <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=6HwAAwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA26&amp;dq=cynthia+cohen+music+peacebuilding&amp;ots=drSKRRgpRk&amp;sig=9TR_4s0MC0IwAF0G5YbWpnRcyc4#v=onepage&amp;q=cynthia%20cohen%20music%20peacebuilding&amp;f=false">strengthen divisions</a>.</p> <p>During the 1990s Yugoslav civil wars, for example, Slobodan Milošević’s far-right Serbian regime <a href="http://www.suedosteuropa.uni-graz.at/sites/default/files/publications/SEEU_036_02_Archer-1_published%5b1%5d.pdf">appropriated</a> <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=_iqrCwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PP1&amp;dq=turbo-folk+music&amp;ots=fhtd90pnHE&amp;sig=x2JPN7sdBHE7pvy7B1T5P3PJKNE#v=onepage&amp;q=turbo-folk%20music&amp;f=false">turbofolk</a>, a mix of <a href="https://josotl.indiana.edu/index.php/aeer/article/download/330/405">regional folk and electronic European pop music</a>, to promote cultural nationalism for political purposes.</p> <p>Music played in the flute bands of Northern Ireland has similarly strong and contentious associations. Some tunes were so potent that in some parts of the country, whistling a short phrase has <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=99I7xvnA6KIC&amp;pg=PA89&amp;dq=music+and+conflict+northern+ireland&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;redir_esc=y#v=onepage&amp;q=music%20and%20conflict%20northern%20ireland&amp;f=false">resulted in violence</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=93161">Other research</a> shows some American soldiers used metal and rap music in Iraq to heighten aggressiveness and inspire warlike behaviour. Despite the stereotype of violence and rap and metal music, this is <a href="http://oxfordindex.oup.com/view/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567424.003.0004">not a result of these music genres</a> per se, but the bonding qualities of music. As we’ve seen, conflict can be just as easily fanned by dance and folk music.</p> <p><strong>What makes music work?</strong></p> <p>We can explain how music brings people together through the lens of <a href="https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?cluster=3837670639352116525&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2005&amp;sciodt=0,5">empathy</a>. Empathy involves being able to identify other people’s emotional states and respond appropriately. It can also involve the capacity to reflect other people’s emotions back at them. Empathy, therefore, is both knowing and feeling.</p> <p>We can see these same qualities when groups come together around music. <a href="http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/music-of-kindness-playing-together-strengthens-empathy-in-children">Research</a> has shown how making music together can enhance children’s emotional skills such as empathy. <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735612440609">The study</a> looked at musical components that promote empathy such as emotionality (music’s ability to both induce and express emotions); imitation (the repeated patterns of the music itself as well as in the act mimicking other performer’s movements); and synchronisation (exemplified through the sense of a mutually felt pulse).</p> <p>Some researchers have even suggested making music goes beyond empathy, as performers share emotions, intentions and experiences to such a degree that the <a href="https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&amp;q=Musical+group+interaction%2C+intersubjectivity+and+merged+subjectivity.+In+D.+Reynolds+%26+M.+Reason+%28Eds.%29%2C+Kinesthetic+empathy+in+creative+and+cultural+practices+&amp;btnG=&amp;as_sdt=1%2C5&amp;as_sdtp=">boundary between them becomes blurred</a>. When singing or humming in unison with a large group of people, for example, it can be difficult to distinguish one’s own voice in the total sound being produced.</p> <p><strong>Healing old wounds</strong></p> <p>Importantly, though, feeling belonging with other people does not automatically mean peace. The key to this is whether music is being used to bond people who <a href="https://theconversation.com/does-empathy-have-limits-72637">already consider themselves to be alike</a>, or whether it connects those who for whatever reason consider each other “different”.</p> <p><a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0305735616680289">Recent findings</a> demonstrate that even brief exposure to music from a particular culture can increase listeners’ positive attitudes towards people from that culture. However, this approach <a href="http://www.musicandartsinaction.net/index.php/maia/article/view/conflicttransformation">has been criticised</a> for emphasising the differences between groups, reinforcing the boundaries the projects aim to dismantle.</p> <p>To avoid hardening the borderlines, some projects have harnessed musical styles that are perceived to be politically or culturally neutral. For example, in modern-day Kosovo <a href="https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/">Musicians without Borders</a> steer away from popular but divisive turbofolk, connecting youth in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica through <a href="https://www.musicianswithoutborders.org/programs/places/mitrovica-rock-school/overview/">rock music</a>.</p> <p>Rock music provided a <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19401159.2014.988521">similar respite</a> during The Troubles in 1980s Northern Ireland, offering Protestant and Catholic youths somewhere to socialise and enjoy each other’s company, despite political disparities. <a href="https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/doi/10.4324/9781315693699.ch32">Research</a> also shows how sharing lullabies across language groups helps people recognise the universal aspects of human nature.</p> <p>In other places, music can help people confront difference. <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=oMLkUmraBCAC&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA63&amp;dq=music+and+reconciliation+anne+marie-gray&amp;ots=gMqHkLW5sV&amp;sig=kwUbdk7Y9-QN7pHhb7YG6u6o6JY#v=onepage&amp;q=music%20and%20reconciliation%20anne%20marie-gray&amp;f=false">Scholars have suggested</a> that music from South Africa’s history could provide insight into the experiences of both black and white South Africans before 1994, when the country became an inclusive democracy, ending the final vestiges of apartheid.</p> <p>In South Sudan <a href="http://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/UNIS/article/viewFile/44815/42225">Muonjieng (Dinka) songs</a> have long served as avenues for public truth-telling and disclosure of past violent abuses. With civil war ongoing, these mechanisms for peacebuilding could be significant in the establishment of formalised justice systems.</p> <p>Through his music, John Lennon asks us to “imagine all the people living life in peace.” It is not always as simple as that, but when carefully deployed, music can give us spaces to work towards enacting this peace.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/samantha-dieckmann-336452"><em>Samantha Dieckmann</em></a><em>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Music, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-davidson-100007">Jane Davidson</a>, Deputy Director ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></span></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/giving-peace-a-chance-music-can-drive-us-apart-as-much-as-it-unites-82745">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Rod Stewart charged after allegedly punching a security guard on NYE

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>New police documents reveal that Sir Rod Stewart has been charged with simple battery after an altercation on New Year’s Eve left him punching a hotel security guard.</p> <p>The incident supposedly started after Stewart and his party were denied access to a private event held at a Palm Beach hotel known as The Breakers.</p> <p>Hotel security guard Jessie Dixon told police that he was working at a private event in the children’s area of the hotel when he saw a “group of people” wanting to gain access.</p> <p>According to the police report that has been obtained by<span> </span><em>The Daily Mail</em>, Stewart and his party were trying to get into the event despite being “unauthorised to do so”.</p> <p>“The group began to get loud and cause a scene” and refused to leave when Dixon told them to go, the report said. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6daxGoDt6D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6daxGoDt6D/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sir Rod Stewart (@sirrodstewart)</a> on Dec 24, 2019 at 7:08am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Police went to speak with Stewart, where he said that they were trying to get the children in their group to get into the event.</p> <p>But, after being denied access to the event, Rod told police that “Dixon became argumentative with his family, which in turn caused them to become agitated,” the police report said. </p> <p>Stewart “apologized for his behavior in the incident,” police noted.   However, after police reviewed The Breakers video camera footage, it showed that Stewart and his son Rod were the “primary aggressors” in the altercation.</p> <p>Between the sworn witness statements obtained by other hotel employees who saw the event unfold and the video footage, police have said that there is enough evidence to warrant charging Stewart with one count of simple battery, which he has since been charged with.</p> <p>Stewart has since been given a court notice for the incident and will front the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Complex on February 5th.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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How music can impact your behaviour

<p>We all know music can move us emotionally. But how does it impact on our behaviour? That relationship’s not immediately clear.</p> <p>A YouTube clip was doing the rounds on social media a while ago – the music from one of the most chilling scenes in the 1975 film Jaws had been quite cleverly changed. Instead of the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9QTSyLwd4w">original hair-raising theme</a> that we all know by composer John Williams, the scene was accompanied by the delicate ballet music of Tchaikovsky.</p> <p>The effect was startling. It could have been a completely different film – one about a fun-loving dolphin. It’s a good example of what an incredibly powerful mood-setter music is. So many of our favourite films just wouldn’t have the same impact without the music.</p> <p>It’s the same outside of the cinema – a fact that has been instinctively understood by humans since written records began. In ancient China, more than 4,000 years ago, <a href="http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/8402699/The_sick_child_and_music_">flute music was prescribed</a> to calm an over-excited foetus.</p> <p>The Egyptians also seemed to use music for therapeutic purposes at least as early as 1500 BC. Then there is the much-loved biblical tale of King Saul being soothed by the playing of David’s harp in the Old Testament.</p> <p>Today, we often use music to “get into” a mood – using soft music and lyrics to set the scene for romance which, as a seduction tactic, can be quite effective. <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/38/3/303.refs">Researchers in France found</a> that women who were exposed to love songs were more likely to respond to a request for a date than those who were in a control group and did not hear this music.</p> <p>At other times, we may use a fast, up-tempo piece of music at the gym to get us working harder. Music has also been used across the centuries to <a href="http://vimeo.com/72609411">pump up soldiers in the face of battle</a>, the same energising facets of the music being drawn upon, in this context to promote aggression (see famous Wagner scene from Apocalypse Now (1979) below).</p> <p><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/72609411" width="100%" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>So does that mean that music can be both good and bad for you? Potentially, yes.</p> <p>But music exists within a socio-cultural context and it is how the music interacts with other factors that produces a particular result.</p> <p>So, at the gym it is how and why the music is framed that helps to promote its invigorating qualities for the desired work-out ends. Where it could lead to aggression, there are contextual factors that influence the way in which it’s processed and in turn how it affects us.</p> <p>Recent anti-noise bans that <a href="https://theconversation.com/live-music-in-australia-offensive-noise-or-good-vibrations-13530">prevented live music being played</a> in many Australian pubs connected loud music with aggressive behaviour.</p> <p>The truth is that rock music might indeed encourage patrons to move faster, be more pumped up, and perhaps drink more, be less inhibited, louder, and so manifest a whole range of behaviours than might be regarded as anti-social, leading to an aggression response. But, these are not generated from the music itself, rather in the context and the alignment of many interacting factors.</p> <p>Perhaps the most useful way to reflect on the positives of music is that it can be part of a “healthy process of self-regulation” as American music therapist <a href="http://mtp.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/2/69.abstract">Bridget Doak says</a> and, when negative, it may be part of an “unhealthy, distress-addiction cycle”.</p> <p><a href="https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/1811/52950/EMR000125a-Garrido.pdf">Researchers have found</a> that people listen to sad music for a variety of reasons. Some may find that having a good cry while listening to a piece of music is a good way to let go of bad feelings. For others it may give them a chance to think through things that are making them feel sad in their own lives and reach a point of resolution.</p> <p>But some people do not have such effective ways of making themselves feel better. People with mood disorders, for example, often engage in behaviours that can make them feel worse, and music can be a part of that behaviour.</p> <p>Music can have such a powerful impact on mood. Whether or not our lives resemble a light-hearted ballet or a scene of terror in shark-infested waters may have much to do with the music that surrounds us on a daily basis.</p> <p><em>Professor Davidson will give <a href="http://vca-mcm.unimelb.edu.au/events?id=707">a public talk</a> on the use of music in daily life at the University of Melbourne on Tuesday May 20 at 6.30pm. <a href="http://uwap.uwa.edu.au/books-and-authors/book/my-life-as-a-playlist/">My Life As A Playlist</a> (2014) by Jane Davidson and Sandra Garrido is published by UWA Publishing. You can participate in research and learn more about the interaction between music listening choices and personality <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/arts/playlist/#!/home">here</a>.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/26893/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-davidson-100007">Jane Davidson</a>, Deputy Director ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sandra-garrido-126001">Sandra Garrido</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow , <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/music-is-the-soundtrack-to-your-life-whats-on-your-playlist-26893">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Why some people love music and others don't

<p>Think of your favourite piece of music. Do you get shivers when the music swells or the chorus kicks in? Or are the opening few bars enough to make you feel tingly?</p> <p>Despite having no obvious survival value, listening to music can be a highly rewarding activity. It’s one of the most pleasurable activities with which people engage.</p> <p>But in a <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.01.068">study published today</a> in Current Biology, Spanish and Canadian researchers report on a group of “music anhedonics” – literally, those who do not enjoy music.</p> <p>This is an intriguing phenomenon, and we presume very rare.</p> <p>Importantly, these people are not “<a href="http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/206851">amusic</a>” – an affliction that often results from acquired or congenital damage to parts of the brain required to perceive or interpret music. In this study, the “music anhedonics” perceive music in the same way as the rest of the population.</p> <p>Nor are they people who generally don’t enjoy pleasure – they are not depressed, nor highly inhibited, and they are just as sensitive as other people to other types of non-musical rewards (such as food, money, sex, exercise and drugs).</p> <p>They simply don’t experience chills or similar responses to pleasurable music in the way that other people do. They’re just not that into music.</p> <p><strong>I’ve got chills – they’re multiplying</strong></p> <p>When we listen to pleasurable music, the “<a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/dopamine">pleasure chemical</a>” dopamine is <a href="http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6129/216.short">released in the striatum</a>, a key part of the <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1196/annals.1390.002/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&amp;userIsAuthenticated=false">brain’s reward system</a>.</p> <p>Importantly, music activates the striatum just like other rewarding stimuli, such as food and sex. During anticipation of the peak – or “<a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7489/full/506433a.html">hotspot</a>” as music psychologist <a href="http://slobodajohn.wix.com/johns">John Sloboda</a> calls it – in the music, dopamine is released in the dorsal (or upper) striatum.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>During the peak, when we experience chills and other signs that our body’s <a href="http://psychology.about.com/od/aindex/g/autonomic-nervous-system.htm">autonomic nervous system</a> – responsible for regulating involuntary body functions – is being aroused, dopamine is released in the nearby ventral striatum.</p> <p>So what’s going on in the brains of music anhedonics?</p> <p>The authors offer a neurobiological explanation. While many types of pleasurable stimuli activate the same broad reward circuit in the brain, there are some differences depending on the type of stimulus. It is possible that the pattern of brain regions specifically activated by music pleasure, including the connection from auditory regions which perceive music to the reward centres, are slightly different in these individuals than in other people.</p> <p>This isn’t unusual as we know that there can be enormous differences in how rewarding (and potentially addictive) other rewards such as food, sex, money and drugs can be to different individuals, but it is rare to get no pleasurable response to these rewards. Is the story more complex then?</p> <p><strong>Bittersweet symphony</strong></p> <p>Music is a complex phenomenon – it affects us in multiple ways, and is used for many purposes. While pleasure is a popular reason for music listening, we are also drawn to music for other reasons. Sometimes the music isn’t pleasant at all.<span class="caption"></span></p> <p>Our attraction, our need, and sometimes perhaps dependence on sad, angry or even frightening music flies in the face of evolutionary theory – why seek out something emotionally negative?</p> <p>Insight into our uses of music is however being achieved via music psychology – a rapidly expanding field which draws on research across numerous domains including cognitive neuroscience, social psychology and <a href="http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F11573548">affective computing</a> (the science of human-computer interaction where the device can detect and respond to its user’s emotions).</p> <p>In a <a href="http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199695225.do">study</a> involving more than 1,000 people, Swedish music psychologist <a href="http://www.oru.se/Intern/Organisation/Institutioner/Musik/Konferenser/CV/Alf%20Gabrielsson.pdf">Alf Gabrielsson</a> showed that only a little over half of strong experiences with music involve positive emotions.</p> <p>Many involved “mixed emotions” (think nostalgic or bittersweet love songs), and about one in ten involve negative emotions.</p> <p><strong>‘Non-positive’ can be good</strong></p> <p>We listen to music that makes us feel like this for many reasons. We can use it to help express how we’re feeling – sometimes this might make the problem worse (such as when we use music to ruminate), but other times it helps to give voice to an emotion we otherwise could not communicate.</p> <p>As a result, we may feel more emotionally aware or stable afterwards.</p> <p>We also use music to solve problems, to look at our situation in a different light, to energise us or to relax us, and often to avoid or distract us – all well-known strategies for managing or regulating emotions<span class="caption">.</span></p> <p>Music can also help us connect to others. Even if we don’t get a buzz from the music normally, when we listen with others, the enhanced social connectivity can be highly satisfying.</p> <p>A <a href="http://pom.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/05/01/0305735612440615">2012 study</a> showed that individuals who listened to music with close friends or their partners showed significantly stronger autonomic responses than those who listened alone.</p> <p>We might better empathise with the emotional or mental states of others, and at times, music feels like a “virtual friend”, providing solace and comfort when needed, and perhaps even stimulating release of the stress reducing and affiliation hormone <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/oxytocin">oxytocin</a>.</p> <p>All these uses of music can be beneficial for our “<a href="http://www.academia.edu/3179324/Eudaimonic_Well-Being_as_a_Core_Concept_of_Positive_Functioning">eudaimonic well-being</a>”; in other words, for enhancing our engagement and purpose in life, rather than just our pleasure.</p> <p>They also involve a distributed set of connected brain regions other than just the reward circuit. This means that these positive effects of music may be preserved even when the typical pleasure response is not experienced.</p> <p>Another feature of music that distinguishes it from many other rewarding stimuli is that it is an artform. And as an artform, it can be appreciated aesthetically, in an intellectual or analytical – rather than emotional – manner.</p> <p>We can listen to a piece oozing with tragedy such as Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor or Trent Reznor’s Hurt – listen below – but feel awe and beauty in the sophisticated score of the composer and perfect execution of the performers. This might explain why some of the music anhedonics in this study still reported feeling some pleasure to music, even when their bodies weren’t along for the ride.</p> <p>Reward circuitry is also activated by aesthetically beautiful stimuli, but other frontal brain regions involved in aesthetic judgment are also activated. It may be possible then for music anhedonics to still appreciate and enjoy music, even if their reward brain circuitry differs a little from those of us who can experience intense physical responses to music.</p> <p>And of course, music anhedonics might still find music a useful way to express or regulate their own emotions, and to connect to others. Or are music anhedonics also music “aneudaimonics”?</p> <p>In fact, we know so little about this fascinating, previously “hidden” phenomenon that this study opens the door for so many more studies – which is rewarding all of itself.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/24007/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nikki-rickard-110017">Nikki Rickard</a>, Associate Professor of Psychology, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/chills-and-thrills-why-some-people-love-music-and-others-dont-24007">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Music collectors are seeking out rare albums that you can't stream

<p>As of the third quarter <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/244995/number-of-paying-spotify-subscribers/">of 2019, music streaming giant Spotify had 113 million paid subscribers worldwide</a> — but it’s still missing some famous albums that many listeners feel they can’t live without. And in today’s digital world, it can be expensive and difficult to get a physical copy of those missing albums.</p> <p>Music streaming dominates paid music consumption in the <a href="https://www.statista.com/chart/10185/music-consumption-in-the-us/">United States</a> and <a href="https://musiccanada.com/resources/statistics/">Canada</a>.</p> <p>But services like Spotify and Apple Music can’t just upload whatever music they’d like. Legal disputes, sample clearance issues — when permission can’t be obtained for the use of part of a song in a new song — and rights-holders withholding music can all get in the way of music being available on your streaming platform of choice. And that can make the music even more difficult and more expensive to get your hands on physically.</p> <p>Legal disputes between <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/musicians-v-record-labels-famous-feuds/">artists and their record labels have been happening for decades</a>. Disputes can keep music from ever coming out at all, in which case consumers don’t know what they’re missing — but they can also take music that consumers already love out of circulation.</p> <p><strong>Rare $130 cassette</strong></p> <p>If you’re a fan of the hip-hop group De La Soul, you might have noticed that its 1989 album <em>3 Feet High and Rising</em> is missing from paid subscription streaming services. This is due to <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2019/03/de-la-soul-3-feet-high-and-rising-streaming-spotify-tidal.html">disputes between the group and its label, Tommy Boy Records.</a></p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/304142/original/file-20191127-112526-uxlosu.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">If your ‘90s dubbed De La Soul tape has broken down, a new cassette today may cost $130.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Mike B in Colorado/Flickr</span></span></p> <p>De La Soul said in an <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wearedelasoul/photos/a.631626713540839/2309714252398735/?type=3&amp;theater">August Facebook post</a> that it that was unable to reach a streaming agreement “and earn Tommy Boy’s respect for our music/legacy.” The dispute has led to Tommy Boy delaying the release of that album on streaming services.</p> <p>The album is not being widely reissued, so few copies are available in any physical format for fans who can’t stream one of their favourite albums on their favourite streaming service. There is a copy of <a href="https://www.amazon.ca/3-Feet-High-Rising-Vinyl/dp/B00CJF9SZC/ref=tmm_vnl_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&amp;qid=&amp;sr=">the vinyl LP of <em>3 Feet High and Rising</em> selling online for nearly $300</a>. A cassette is available for more than $130. Even the CD is selling for more than $100.</p> <p><strong>Taylor Swift delays release of album</strong></p> <p>Rights-holders, whether they are the artist or not, can also choose to withhold music from streaming services. Taylor Swift has famously done this, <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/9/15767986/taylor-swift-apple-music-spotify-statements-timeline">first to fight for music’s value, then to fight for better streaming royalty rates</a> and then delaying the release of <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/taylor-swift-to-withhold-reputation-from-streaming-services-197389/#:%7E:targetText=Taylor%20Swift's%20new%20album,the%20specifics%20with%20various%20platforms.">her 2017 album <em>Reputation</em> on streaming services</a>. She made <em>Reputation</em> available only for digital download and on CD at first.</p> <p>But rights-holders withholding music can sometimes get more complicated. Blackground Records — owned by Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson — controls the masters of most of the late singer’s music and has <a href="https://www.complex.com/music/2016/12/aaliyahs-music-isnt-online-and-her-uncle-barry-hankerson-is-the-reason-why">not made it available on streaming services</a>. Aaliyah <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/aaliyah-1979-2001-192667/">died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22</a>, not long after the release of her platinum-certified self-titled album.</p> <p>Michael Greaves, who manages royalties for a music company based in Toronto, said in a September interview that he thinks Hankerson is “trying to look for the best deal … building up the value,” as Taylor Swift did. But others, including Greaves, who is also a former DJ, have argued that there is an emotional component to Hankerson withholding the Blackground music.</p> <p>Rock band Tool also famously <a href="https://www.techradar.com/news/after-years-of-resisting-rock-band-tool-is-finally-entering-the-streaming-age">didn’t put all of its music up on streaming services until Aug. 2, 2019,</a> just before the Aug. 30 release of its newest album, <em>Fear Inoculum</em>.</p> <p>Whether these rights-holders are using profiteering tactics, the music is increasing in value because it’s not available on paid streaming services and there are limited physical copies. On Amazon.ca, the CD of <a href="https://www.amazon.ca/One-Million-Aaliyah/dp/B000002JWP">Aaliyah’s <em>One In A Million</em> is selling for as much as $189</a>. “I have those albums, I got them when they came out. I’m lucky that way,” says Greaves.</p> <p>Blackground also controls the rights to the master recordings of singer Jojo’s first two albums, which it has not released on streaming services.</p> <p>Jojo wound up <a href="https://www.wmagazine.com/story/jojo-re-release-albums-new-music-interview">suing Blackground, re-recording those albums and releasing them on streaming services herself</a>. Unfortunately, Aaliyah is not alive to do the same.</p> <p><strong>Download delays are ongoing</strong></p> <p>Despite advances in music technology and administration, sample clearances can still be an issue, keeping music from being released or forcing it to be removed from streaming services.</p> <p>It’s common for rappers and hip-hop artists to release “<a href="https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/rmx446/the-real-difference-between-a-mixtape-and-an-album">mixtapes</a>” — free releases which were once distributed on cassettes but are now commonly distributed on Soundcloud. Mixtapes often contain samples whose permissions haven’t been legally granted, which keep them from being available on streaming services such as Spotify, where rules around sample clearances are more stringent than on Soundcloud.</p> <p>The artist known as Chance the Rapper, for instance, went through the process of clearing all of the samples on his 2013 mixtape <em>Acid Rap</em>, which went live on streaming services last summer — <a href="https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8518032/chance-the-rapper-juice-acid-rap-streaming-services">but he couldn’t get the sample on his track <em>Juice</em> cleared</a>.</p> <p>According to the artist’s website, <a href="https://www.chanceraps.com/shop/acid-rap-vinyl-pre-order">the vinyl pre-order of the mixtape is sold out and the website says it is shipping this fall</a> — however, it’s unclear if it has already shipped. It’s also unclear if the sample on <em>Juice</em> will be cleared for the vinyl release — but if it’s not, there’s no doubt that the not-so-legal cassette with the original track listing will be worth much more.</p> <p>Music administration has come a long way, but it’s also become more complicated. As <a href="https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8297506/drake-nice-for-what-lauryn-hill-ex-factor-samples-kehlani-cardi-b">artists sample samples of samples</a>, <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/watch-dj-khaled-explain-how-infant-son-executive-produced-new-lp-116467/">babies are given producer credits</a> and <a href="https://www.thefader.com/2019/10/07/lil-nas-x-cardi-b-sued-copyright-infringement-rodeo-2019">copyright infringement lawsuits over popular songs</a> seem to be frequently in the news, it’s unlikely that every album under the sun will be available to us at the press of a button any time soon.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marina-eckersley-857932">Marina Eckersley</a>, Dalla Lana Fellow in Global Journalism, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-toronto-1281">University of Toronto</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/music-collectors-seek-out-rare-albums-not-available-on-streaming-126488">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson dies aged 61

<p>Marie Fredriksson, frontwoman of Swedish pop-rock band Roxette, has died at the age of 61 following a long illness.</p> <p>The singer-songwriter passed away on Monday after “a 17-year long battle with cancer”, her management team said in a statement.</p> <p>“You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years,” her Roxette bandmate Per Gessle said in the statement.</p> <p>“I’m proud, honoured and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and sense of humour … Things will never be the same.”</p> <p>Fredriksson was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002. She underwent treatments and survived, but had health problems as a result of radiation therapy, <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/dec/10/roxette-singer-marie-fredriksen-dies-aged-61">The Guardian</a> </em>reported. She was able to continue performing until 2016, when her doctors advised her to focus on her health.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlVI7ZNiFlI"></iframe></div> <p>Debuting as Roxette in 1986, Fredriksson and Gessle achieved success with the single <em>Neverending Love</em>. The duo went on to receive international recognition with <em>The Look</em>, followed by <em>Listen to Your Heart</em>, <em>It Must Have Been Love </em>and <em>Joyride</em>. Roxette’s albums have sold more than 80 million copies worldwide.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Marie Fredriksson 😢 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Roxette?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Roxette</a> - It must have been love <a href="https://t.co/b0puf5qDuA">pic.twitter.com/b0puf5qDuA</a></p> — Alfredo Velazco (@alfredovelazco) <a href="https://twitter.com/alfredovelazco/status/1204474359961837569?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Fredriksson is survived by her husband Mikael Bolyos and their two children, Josefin and Oscar.</p>

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Singing helps relieve stress according to top psychiatrists

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of the UK’s leading psychiatrists has said that people who are feeling stressed should consider joining a choir.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Professor Sir Simon Wessely made the announcement in a keynote speech at a recent conference on the subject of mental health among students.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The risk is not just ineffective solutions, but the real possibility that our solutions may actually be contributing to the problem,” he said, according to </span><a href="https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/feeling-stressed-join-a-choir/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Classic FM</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He went on to say: “I would love to see trials of volunteering, peer support, sport, drama, choir and so on – that’s the research I believe we need.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s not the first time that he has criticised mental health initiatives that are offered at universities across the country.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There are things that aren’t disorders at all that students habitually get – exam stress, loneliness and so on – all of which can be problematic. But we shouldn’t go round automatically saying ‘Oh you have a psychiatric disorder, you need psychiatric or mental health or professional health,” he said to </span><a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2018/06/29/universities-may-fuelling-mental-health-crisis-leading-psychiatrist/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Telegraph</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Loneliness is a major problem for the current student population,” Prof Wessely said. “There is quite a lot of evidence that says that the solution may not be to see a counsellor, but it may be to join a choir.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re going to raise awareness in order to encourage people to seek professional help, you have to make bloody sure the services are there to deal with it,” he said .</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Otherwise what you do is add to disappointment,  frustration and anger of the people with the problems and add to the likely burn out and retirement of people trying to help [such as GPs].”</span></p>

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"It's tragic”: Elton John calls for more music education

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sir Elton John hosted a Question and Answer with students at the London Royal Academy of Music, which he attended at the shockingly young age of 11.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was at the age of 16 that he decided to quit classical music and head towards a career in rock and roll.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, he puts his success down to those early years spent at the Academy playing scales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In those days, the Academy meant classical music and nothing else – certainly no rock ‘n roll. That was the devil’s music. But without my training, I never would’ve been able to write the songs I’ve written,” he said to </span><em><a href="https://www.classicfm.com/music-news/elton-john-music-education-royal-academy/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Classic FM</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m so grateful for my classical training. I played Chopin and Mozart and Debussy, and to be part of the choir was incredibly fulfilling. Singing in a choir is such a moving, life-affirming experience.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite reaching superstardom, John is not unaware of the lacking presence of music in schools today.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EZTe7So4WJk"></iframe></div> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A lot of schools [now] have taken music out of the curriculum and I find that really appalling, because music is so inspiring and for kids that have the ability or want to play music, there’s no outlet for this in schools anymore. It’s tragic.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Today, eight Royal Academy students a year are on the Elton John Scholarship, which is a fund reserved for young musicians who would otherwise be unable to afford the fees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Four of those students stood up at the Question and Answer and spoke about what they had achieved due to the sponsorship.</span></p>

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John Lennon murder: Killer’s strange act after shooting Beatles star

<p><span>Sunday marks the 39<sup>th</sup> anniversary of John Lennon’s death. </span></p> <p><span>The late Beatles legend was shot outside his Manhattan apartment in 1980 and died at the age of 40. His killer, Mark David Chapman was a 25-year-old former security guard with no prior criminal convictions.</span></p> <p><span>After planning the murder for months, Chapman came to the Dakota apartment building where Lennon and wife Yoko Ono lived on December 8, 1980 and waited. Chapman met the couple at 5pm as they were leaving for a studio session, and Lennon signed Chapman’s <em>Double Fantasy </em>album.</span></p> <p><span>Chapman then waited for Lennon to return from the studio. Lennon and Ono returned at 10.50pm, and as they passed by to enter the building, Chapman fired five shots at the Beatles singer, four of which hit him in the back and shoulder. Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital but later pronounced dead on arrival.</span></p> <p><span>When police came to arrest Chapman, he was still at the scene reading a copy of JD Salinger’s 1951 novel <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em>. “This is my statement”, Chapman’s handwriting in the book read.</span></p> <p><span>The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, who rallied against the “phoniness” of the adult world.</span></p> <p><span>“I’m sure the big part of me is Holden Caulfield, who is the main person in the book. The small part of me must be the Devil,” Chapman told the police.</span></p> <p><span>Two months later, Chapman sent a statement to the <em>New York Times</em>. He wrote in all caps: “It is my sincere belief that presenting this written statement will not only stimulate the reading of JD Salinger’s <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em> but will also help many to understand what has happened.</span></p> <p><span>“All of my efforts will now be devoted toward this goal, for this extraordinary book holds many answers. My true hope is that in wanting to find these answers you will read <em>The Catcher in the Rye</em>. Thank you.”</span></p> <p><span>The novel was also carried by killer Robert John Bardo on the night he murdered actress Rebecca Schaeffer.</span></p> <p><span>Apart from the book, Chapman’s crime was also said to be motivated by his displeasure with Lennon’s blasphemous public statements.</span></p> <p><span>Chapman said listening to <em>Imagine </em>weeks before the murder <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20070927000251/http:/www.secweb.org/index.aspx?action=viewAsset&amp;id=73">enraged him</a>. “I would listen to this music and I would get angry at him, for saying that he didn’t believe in God,” he said. </span></p> <p><span>“I just wanted to scream out loud, 'Who does he think he is, saying these things about God and heaven and the Beatles?' Saying that he doesn’t believe in Jesus and things like that. At that point, my mind was going through a total blackness of anger and rage… So I brought the Lennon book home, into this <em>Catcher in the Rye</em> milieu where my mind set is Holden Caulfield and antiphony-ness. While contemplating this new Lennon, I really delved into the ink of Holden Caulfield.”</span></p>

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How music is used to frame our daily routines

<p>The concept of “home” refers to more than bricks and mortar. Just as cities are more than buildings and infrastructure, our homes carry all manner of emotional, aesthetic and socio-cultural significance.</p> <p>Our research investigates music and sound across five settings: home, <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=zcMuMglzyzkC&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA190&amp;ots=atQw4trFNS&amp;sig=35Ok_TO3mJYXgm3mGRt_8bFfZ0Q#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">work</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/soin.12232">retail spaces</a>, private <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/S0163-2396(2010)0000035015/full/html">vehicle travel</a> and <a href="https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=200907280;res=IELAPA;type=pdf">public transport</a>.</p> <p>We found our interview subjects often idealised home along the lines of what <a href="http://www.losquaderno.professionaldreamers.net/?p=1106">Rowland Atkinson terms an “aural haven”</a>. He suggests, although “homes are … rarely places of complete silence”, we tend to imagine them as “refuge[s] from unwanted sound” that offer psychic and perceptual “nourishment to us as social beings”.</p> <p>We explored the ways in which people shape and respond to the home as a set of “<a href="http://www.professionaldreamers.net/images/losquaderno/losquaderno10.pdf">modifiable micro-soundscapes</a>”. Through 29 in-depth interviews, we examine how people use music and sound to frame the home as a type of “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2095141?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">interaction order</a>”. Erving Goffman coined this term to capture how people respond to the felt “presence” of an other.</p> <p>That presence can be linguistic or non-linguistic, visual or acoustic. It can cross material thresholds such as walls and fences. Goffman <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=EM1NNzcR-V0C&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=behaviour+in+public+places&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwic9JaW6-XlAhV-73MBHRilB4oQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&amp;q=work%20walls%20do&amp;f=false">wrote</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>The work walls do, they do in part because they are honoured or socially recognised as communication barriers.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Cultivating sonic havens through music</strong></p> <p>As we detail in our recent <a href="https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14036096.2019.1686060">essay in Housing, Theory and Society</a>, the type of listening that most closely matches the idea of the home as an aural haven is bedroom listening – by young people in particular. We found that, as well as offering “control” and “seclusion”, the bedroom gave listeners a sense of “transcendence” and immersed them in “deep” listening. One interview subject said:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>When I get a new album … I like to experience [it] by … lying down on the floor… I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll just be engaging with the music, my eyes won’t be open.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Another reported putting on headphones to listen to special selections of music, despite not needing to. “Headphones… [is] a more intimate … kind of thing”, even in a bedroom setting.</p> <p>When it came to music in shared spaces and in relation to neighbours, our interview subjects seemed both aware of music’s visceral powers and keen to respect the territorial or acoustic “preserves” of others. One young female sharing a house with her mother carefully curated the type of music played, and what part of the house it was played in. Her choices depended on whether her mother was home and whether she had shown interest in particular genres.</p> <p>All respondents who lived in shared households expressed some kind of sensitivity to not playing music at night.</p> <p>Another lived by herself in an apartment complex of five. She took deference towards neighbours seriously enough to “tinker away” on her piano only when she was sure her immediate neighbour wasn’t home. She “didn’t play the piano much” inside her flat and was only prepared to “go nuts” playing the piano in halls and other non-domestic settings.</p> <p><strong>Music as a bridging ritual</strong></p> <p>Another of our findings accorded with the microsociological focus on how people organise <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226981606/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i10">time</a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0029344204/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i6">space</a> in everyday life. We found evidence, for example, of how music was used to wake up, or to transition to the weekend, or as a “bridging ritual” between work and home.</p> <p>One interview subject remarked that he is “dressed casually anyway” when he returns from work, so his mechanism for shifting to home mode is to listen “to music … pretty much as soon as I get home … unless I’m just turning around and going straight somewhere else”. In other words, he associated the boundary between home and non-home with music and the listening rituals of returning home.</p> <p>One of the themes in academic literature about media and the home is that electronic and digital media <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/no-sense-of-place-9780195042313?cc=au&amp;lang=en&amp;">blur the boundary between the inside and outside of the home</a>. There is no doubt radio, television and now various digital platforms bring the world “out there” into the immediacy and intimacy of our own domestic worlds. But, as <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780203033142/chapters/10.4324/9780203033142-8">Jo Tacchi noted of radio sound</a>, those sounds can also be used to weave a sonic <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0038026118825233">texture</a> of domestic comfort, security and routine.</p> <p>We also found interesting sonic continuities between our homes and how we make ourselves at home in non-domestic settings. As <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=KEHjTYnT-MUC&amp;q=Locked+in+our+cars#v=snippet&amp;q=Locked%20in%20our%20cars&amp;f=false">Christina Nippert-Eng writes</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Locked in our cars, commutes offer the working woman or man the legitimate equivalent of a teenager’s bedroom, often complete with stereo system and favourite music.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, sonic havens are simply “places where we can retreat into privacy”, inside or outside our literal homes.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126188/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-james-walsh-147733">Michael James Walsh</a>, Assistant Professor Social Science, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/eduardo-de-la-fuente-161803">Eduardo de la Fuente</a>, Honorary Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sonic-havens-how-we-use-music-to-make-ourselves-feel-at-home-126188">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How marketers measure the magic of Dolly Parton

<p>Hit podcast <a href="https://chartable.com/podcasts/dolly-partons-america">Dolly Parton’s America</a> is a love letter to the icon of American country music. It reveals Dolly’s broad and enduring appeal, which crosses generations, class, race and even musical tastes.</p> <p>Dolly, 73, is having a “moment” that includes the podcast, <a href="https://9to5themusical.com.au/about/">9:5 The Musical</a> (coming to Australia in April), and the new Netflix series <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8509922/?ref_=fn_al_nm_2a">Heartstrings</a>, which dramatises a Dolly song for each episode.</p> <p>In a divided America, Dolly stands as the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/21/arts/music/dolly-parton.html">great unifier</a>. The podcast cites her as being in the top 10 most loved celebrities globally – but also one of the least hated – based on extensive polling. Her popularity has been measured using a celebrity scoring system called the <a href="http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/16143/">Q Score</a>.</p> <p>How do we quantify a public figure in terms of cultural cachet? And who would be Australia’s Dolly?</p> <p><span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" class="license"></a></span><strong>What is a Q score?</strong></p> <p>Created in 1963 by Jack Landis, the Q Score scoring system is owned by the US-based <a href="https://www.qscores.com/">Marketing Evaluations Inc</a>.</p> <p>The Q Score is a quotient (or percentage) that indicates the proportion of people who have heard of a given celebrity who also consider them as one of their favourites. This is sometimes referred to as a “positive Q Score”. A “negative Q Score” can be calculated too, being the proportion of people who have heard of a given celebrity who also consider them “poor” or “fair”.</p> <p>Twice a year, a representative sample of female and male adults are presented with a list of 1,800 celebrities and asked to rate them on a six-point scale from “Never heard of” to “One of my favourites”.</p> <p>The data is added to the full Q Score database, which amounts to about 25,000 celebrities at any given time.</p> <p>A Q Score is a measure of both familiarity and positivity. This is important, as likeability can be highly subjective, so assigning a score provides some sense of objectivity.</p> <p>The score puts a price on a celebrity’s “likeability” and therefore how much their popularity is worth – handy for those looking for people to represent their products.</p> <p>In the world of advertising and celebrity endorsement, the higher a celebrity rates, the more companies will be willing to pay them to promote their products and services.</p> <p>Celebrities behaving badly – Charlie Sheen, Tiger Woods, Felicity Huffman – show endorsement can be a fickle business. The Q Score provides some comfort to a company or brand that a celebrity is likely to be a safe bet.</p> <p>Ratings are also helpful in revealing celebrities people love to hate. Before he was US President, Donald Trump was a reality TV star with a <a href="https://www.thewrap.com/heres-donald-trumps-horrible-q-score/">very low Q Score</a> (and a very high negative Q Score).</p> <p>Q Scores have attracted criticism, mostly that they are “normative” and therefore often don’t reflect the views of minorities. There is a Hispanic Q Score which rates 400 Hispanic personalities; however, the sampling process inevitably leads to a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/01/news/01iht-30oxan.12491269.html">hegemonic</a> outcome reflecting the dominant social influence.</p> <p><strong>Better off dead</strong></p> <p>Deceased celebrities also have enormous value. Their images and even reanimated footage of them is used regularly in advertising (think <a href="https://www.fashiongonerogue.com/marilyn-monroe-fronts-sexy-hair-campaign/">Marilyn Monroe</a>, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/jul/10/bruce-lee-johnnie-walker-whisky-ad">Bruce Lee</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/chat-bots-james-dean-can-the-digital-dead-rest-in-peace-127211">James Dean</a> or <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/oct/08/how-we-made-audrey-hepburn-galaxy-ad">Audrey Hepburn</a>).</p> <p>The “dead celebrity” industry is worth approximately US$2.25 billion (A$3.3 billion) every year. The most popular are ranked using a similar system to Q scores, called the <a href="https://www.qscores.com/home/DeadQ.aspx">Dead Q</a>, which is updated every two years.</p> <p>Some celebrities earn more dead than they did alive, bringing in millions for their estates in royalties.</p> <p>Deceased celebrities are very attractive to marketers because they don’t age or change the way they look, they don’t get involved in scandals (Michael Jackson notwithstanding), and they stay famous.</p> <p><strong>Australia’s own</strong></p> <p>In Australia, celebrities are also rated, though the local rating systems are not exactly the same as in the USA. Until 2010, there was a Q Score system undertaken by <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/the-return-of-qscores/news-story/1e22c192207e9704edf61648c7aff2f0">Audience Development Australia</a>, which has recently been reported as set to return in 2019. However, this system is TV-oriented and mostly rates Australian TV presenters and brands. Of more relevance here is the Encore Score.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/encore-score-index-ranks-australias-most-loved-and-loathed-celebrities/news-story/441c5f5766841326122b1b0d29b896d4">Encore Score</a> is sponsored by Mumbrella and was last issued in 2016.</p> <p>The <a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/encore-score">methodology</a> is similar to the American Q Score, and asks a sample of 3,000 respondents to rate 1,000 TV, radio, film and media celebrities from “One of my favourites” to “I hate them”, as well as how familiar they are with the person.</p> <p>In this way, the Encore Score mimics the Q Score in terms of familiarity and positivity.</p> <p>In 2016, the top three Australian celebrities using Encore scoring were Hugh Jackman, Jamie Oliver and Chris Hemsworth (yes, one of these is actually British). Other notable scorers included Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman, Rebecca Gibney and Russell Crowe (both New Zealanders).</p> <p>The 2016 Encore Score also ranked the least liked celebrities. The number one on this list: Kyle Sandilands. Shane Warne and Eddie McGuire also got mentions.</p> <p>Tourism Australia’s latest <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/tourism-australia-launches-new-global-campaign-featuring-chris-hemsworth/news-story/573a395a94f65728894889c82d694286">campaign</a> – featuring Hemsworth, Paul Hogan, Kylie Minogue, Terri Irwin, Kylie Kwong, Curtis Stone, Adam Hills and surfer Mick Fanning – is probably the best current gauge of who market research has identified as our favourite Australian faces, at least the ones we’re prepared to share with the rest of the world.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126688/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/louise-grimmer-212082">Louise Grimmer</a>, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/martin-grimmer-330523">Martin Grimmer</a>, Professor of Marketing, Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-tasmania-888">University of Tasmania</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/and-i-will-always-love-you-how-marketers-measure-dolly-partons-magic-126688">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Music therapist creates playlist to calm the mind

<p>It may seem like we are living in an age of anxiety, where feeling worried, upset and stressed has become the norm. But we should remember that anxiety is a <a href="https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/#.Xc6FEi10fq1">natural human response</a> to situations.</p> <p>It comes when we are not sure what is going to happen, or when we feel under threat. And even mild anxiety can have a negative effect on our ability to lead a productive life. It can interfere with being able to enjoy the simple things in life.</p> <p>When we experience anxiety, our heart and breathing rates increase and many other systems in our bodies <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/effects-on-body#1">experience overload</a>. Anxiety affects our general physical health as well as our emotions.</p> <p>In my work as a music therapist, I’ve noticed the impact music can have on anxiety. For example, in <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIdtMOd8k8A">guided imagery sessions</a>, the therapist uses specially selected music and the client is invited to describe what they are feeling and what images the music conjures up. It’s amazing what insights can be gained from simply allowing yourself time to listen and talk about what you see in your mind’s eye.</p> <p>These may be as simple as becoming more aware of how music can affect emotions, or be used to explore past experiences or future dilemmas. It can also be used to find a place of comfort and a secure base where <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jmt/article-abstract/36/1/39/914646?redirectedFrom=fulltext">physical and emotional balance</a> can be found.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/news/relaxing-song-best-weightless-marconi-union-youtube-surgery-anxiety-a9011971.html">recent experiment</a> explored whether certain kinds of music can reduce anxiety during a complex task and concluded that some music is better at doing this than others.</p> <p><a href="http://theconversation.com/surprising-ways-to-beat-anxiety-and-become-mentally-strong-according-to-science-77978"></a>Also, <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jmt/article-abstract/48/3/264/1002764?redirectedFrom=PDF">a study</a> based on measuring physiological and emotional responses suggests there are certain qualities in music that are better at helping people relax.</p> <p>The speed of the music should be relatively slow, the melody should be simple, and the beat and harmony should not hold too many surprises. Other factors, such as the complexity of the music and – surprisingly – familiarity with the piece, were not so important.</p> <p>In fact, knowing a piece too well was found in some cases to be counterproductive. The genres most likely to support relaxation are classical, soft pop and certain types of world music. These are found to largely contain the musical elements necessary to help a person relax.</p> <p><strong>Press play</strong></p> <p>With these musical elements in mind, here are eight suggested pieces of music that meet these criteria:</p> <p><strong>1</strong> <a href="https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/ambient-1-music-for-airports-184712/">Ambient 1: Music For Airports</a> by Brian Eno. This soundscape provides a wash of musical effects that echo the rhythm of our physiological functions, leaving space for us to attune to the slow tempo of the music. The album is described in <a href="https://www.roughtrade.com/gb/brian-eno/ambient-1-music-for-airports">one review</a> as “the kind of music one might hear in heaven”.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vNwYtllyt3Q"></iframe></div> <p><strong>2</strong> Pieds-en-L'Air, from <a href="https://arielmusic.co.uk/product/capriol-suite/">Capriol Suite</a>, by Peter Warlock, a composer and former music critic. Known for his unconventional lifestyle, he died in 1930, aged 36. His musical legacy includes this soft and slow classical piece with a melody reminiscent of songs we may have heard as children.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZMyS1G8NWnY"></iframe></div> <p><strong>3</strong> <a href="https://open.spotify.com/track/56FjSa3QWnDE6CxjFTp9rH">Om Namah Shivaya</a> by Deva Premal. The vocals of Premal and supporting music made by her partner Mital hark back to evocative chants from times past. The slow pace and almost hypnotic music combined with her clear vocals feel very supportive.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eUqe31ojZBU"></iframe> <p><strong>4</strong> <a href="https://www.smoothradio.com/features/adele-someone-like-you-lyrics-meaning-facts/">Someone Like You</a> by Adele. While this hugely successful song explores the issue of loss, the slow tempo and cool accompaniment is found by many to offer a sense of calm and reflection. It has <a href="https://slate.com/culture/2012/02/someone-like-you-makes-us-cry-scientists-explain-why.html">been claimed</a> that the piece’s emotional strength is due to small, unexpected changes in the melody or “ornamental notes”, which create a melancholic tension.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hLQl3WQQoQ0"></iframe></div> <p><strong>5</strong> <a href="https://www.classicfm.com/composers/einaudi/music/i-giorni/">I Giorni</a>, by Ludovico Einaudi, an Italian pianist and composer who has written numerous film soundtracks. This piano piece, with its repetitive motifs and steady tempo, evokes a dreamlike state with moments of light and brightness.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Uffjii1hXzU"></iframe></div> <p><strong>6</strong> <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/in-paradisum-9780193418042?cc=gb&amp;lang=en&amp;">In Paradisum</a>, by Gabriel Fauré, a French composer who gained great popularity in his lifetime, but suffered from deafness in his later years. In this piece, from his Requiem, the choir and organ accompaniment provide a feeling of serenity.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6-i1ESIRKdA"></iframe></div> <p><strong>7</strong> <a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;q=Stopover+at+Djibouti&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;oe=UTF-8">Stopover at Djibouti</a> by Anouar Ibrahem, a Tunisian oud player and composer. He is widely acclaimed as an innovator in his field, fusing Arab classical music, folk music and jazz. This world jazz piece has hypnotic motifs that can seem almost meditative.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/c2S8LpvZrnQ"></iframe></div> <p><strong>8</strong> <a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&amp;rls=en&amp;ei=hq7OXekQpYbV8A_vxaUw&amp;q=stefan+nilsson+composer+wilmas+tema&amp;oq=stefan+nilsson+composer+wilm&amp;gs_l=psy-ab.3.0.33i22i29i30.2182.3289..4456...0.0..0.99.402.5......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i22i30.I3sNgC11uJY">Wilma’s Theme</a> by Stefan Nilsson, a Swedish composer and pianist who is well known in is home country. This piece, which seems somehow familiar, has a simple melody and harmonies that provide a safe landing place.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ytBW9x6Zvcc"></iframe></div> <p>This list offers some suggestions of music that could be used to help people relax. A favourite of mine, which I haven’t included, is the slow movement from JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. It never fails to give me a sense of feeling safe and grounded, something that can be so important when we may be feeling anxious.</p> <p>It should be said, though, that many <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218017">studies</a> emphasise the importance of finding your own selection of music that works for you. Whatever your musical taste is, you have the edge on any prescribed playlist in finding what is best for you.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/121655/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/elizabeth-coombes-754445">Elizabeth Coombes</a>, Senior Lecturer in Music Therapy, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-south-wales-1586">University of South Wales</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/anxiety-a-playlist-to-calm-the-mind-from-a-music-therapist-121655">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Rod Stewart confirms fall out with long-time pal Elton John

<p>Longtime pals Elton John and Rod Stewart have had a falling out after a seemingly innocent joke didn’t take very well. </p> <p>Rod told a Scottish radio station he had made a harmless joke after it was announced in March of last year that Elton John was having a<span> </span><em>Farwell Yellow Brick Road </em>tour. </p> <p>The<span> </span><em>Maggie May</em><span> </span>rocker suggested Elton’s farewell jaunts were becoming somewhat of a habit - after he performed another show three years earlier, dubbed<span> </span><em>The Final Curtain. </em></p> <p>"I did email her (Elton) and said: 'What, again, dear?'" Rod said. </p> <p>"And I didn't hear anything back."</p> <p>Rod revealed the comments he made landed in him hot water with John. saying: "I do love Elton, only we're not talking at the moment. We've had a spat."</p> <p>“...I criticised his tour as being money-grabbing."</p> <p>The pair's disagreement ramped up last year, when Sailing star Rod said Elton's retirement tour "stinks of selling tickets".</p> <p>"It's dishonest. It's not rock 'n' roll," he added.</p> <p>The star also slammed the box office smash musical biopic<span> </span>Rocketman, which told the story of Elton's life, suggesting it "didn't quite live up to" Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, which he labelled as a "great rock 'n' roll film".</p> <p>Rod previously told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/mailonsunday/index.html" target="_blank">Britain's Mail on Sunday's</a></em><span> </span>Event magazine he admits he was "a bit unfair" to his friend of over 40 years.</p> <p>“I wish I hadn't said it. I think he's very upset with me. (Wife) Penny keeps saying, 'Send him an apology.' So I should really."</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Rod Stewart and Elton John over the years. </p>

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Why you turn down the radio when you're trying to park your car

<p>You’re driving down an unfamiliar street on a clear spring evening. You’ve been invited to a friend of a friend’s party, at a house you’ve never been to before.</p> <p>Tracking the street numbers, you see you’re getting close, so you (almost automatically) turn the radio down. Finally, with all that music out of the way, you might actually be able to <em>see</em> the house.</p> <p>Why is it that Cardi B must be silenced so you can better see the address of your party? For that matter, why do we have a convention to read silently when in a library?</p> <p>One response might be: “When we need to concentrate a little more, like when we’re looking for a house in the dark, we often try to get rid of distractions so we can focus.”</p> <p>This answer is intuitively appealing. It’s also exactly the kind of answer cognitive psychologists try to avoid.</p> <p>The words <em>concentrate</em>, <em>distractions</em>, and <em>focus</em> all point towards something (attention) that is left undefined. Rather than detailing its properties and how it works, we just assume people intuitively know what it means.</p> <p>This is a little circular, like a dictionary using a word in its own definition.</p> <p><strong>Hashtag nofilter</strong></p> <p>When you have a problem that seems inseparable from intuition, one way to get a handle on it is to a use a metaphor.</p> <p>One of the most important metaphors for attention was provided by psychologist Donald Broadbent in 1958: <a href="http://www.communicationcache.com/uploads/1/0/8/8/10887248/d_e._broadbent_-_perception_and_communication_1958.pdf">attention acts like a filter</a>. In his metaphor, all sensory information – everything we see, hear, feel on our skin, and so on – is retained in the mind for a very short period simply as physical sensation (a colour in a location, a tone in the left ear).</p> <p>But when it comes to bringing meaning to that sensory information, Broadbent argued, we have limited capacity. So attention is the filter that determines which parts of the torrent of incoming sensation are processed.</p> <p>It might seem like this broad description of a filter doesn’t buy us much in terms of explanation. Yet, sadly for Broadbent, he gave just enough detail to be proven incorrect.</p> <p>A year after the publication of Broadbent’s book, the psychologist <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/17470215908416289">Neville Moray found</a> that when people are listening to two simultaneous streams of speech and asked to concentrate on just one of them, many can still detect their own name if it pops up in the other stream.</p> <p>This suggests that even when you’re not paying attention, some sensory information is still processed and given meaning (that a mass of sounds is our name). What does that tell us about how this central bottleneck of attention might act?</p> <p><strong>Radar love</strong></p> <p>One answer comes from <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225765926_Divided_attention_between_simultaneous_auditory_and_visual_signals">a remarkable 1998 study</a> by Anne-Marie Bonnel and Ervin Hafter. It builds upon one of the most successful theories in all psychology, <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/signal-detection-theory">signal detection theory</a>, which describes how people make decisions based on ambiguous sensory information, rather like how a radar might detect a plane.</p> <p>One of the basic problems of radar detection is to work out whether it is more likely that what is being detected is a signal (an enemy plane) or just random noise. This problem is the same for human perception.</p> <p>Although apparently a metaphor like Broadbent’s filter, signal detection theory can be evaluated mathematically. The mathematics of human identification, it turns out, largely match those of radar operation.</p> <p><strong>A perfect circle</strong></p> <p>Bonnel and Hafter recognised that if people have a finite amount of attention to divide between vision and hearing, you could expect to see a particular pattern in certain experiments.</p> <p>Imagine attention as an arrow of a fixed length that can swing back and forth between sight and hearing. When it’s pointing entirely towards sight, there’s no room for any focus on hearing (and vice versa). But if a little attention is taken up by hearing, that means there is less directed towards sight. If you graph this relationship, the tip of the arrow will draw a neat circle as it swings from one to the other.</p> <p>Sure enough, the data from their experiments did indeed form a circle, but only in a certain case. When people were asked simply to <em>detect</em> whether a stimulus was present, there was no trade-off (paying more attention to vision did not change hearing performance and vice versa). It was only when people were asked to <em>identify</em> the specific stimulus that this circle appeared.</p> <p>This suggests that while do we indeed have a limited capacity to process information, this is only the case when we’re processing the information for meaning, rather than being aware of its presence.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25222469">own research</a> suggests this pattern indicates some deeper constraint at the heart of the way we perceive the world.</p> <p>The circle represents a fundamental limit on processing. We can never leave that circle, all we can do is move forwards or backwards along it by choosing to focus our attention.</p> <p>When our visual task becomes difficult – like finding a house number in the dark rather than simply scanning the road – we move along that circle to optimise the signal from our visual system. In many cases, we can only do that by turning down the input to our auditory system, by literally turning down the radio. Sorry, Cardi B.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126263/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/simon-lilburn-871974">Simon Lilburn</a>, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/philip-smith-879796">Philip Smith</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/turn-down-for-what-why-you-turn-down-the-radio-when-youre-trying-to-park-your-car-126263">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Céline Dion originally didn't want to record hit song My Heart Will Go On

<p>It apparently took a little coaxing to get Céline Dion to get on board with the soundtrack to the 1997 film <em>Titanic</em>.</p> <p>On a chat with Andy Cohen on <em><a href="https://youtu.be/conBmLdtUEw">Watch What Happens Live</a></em>, Dion admitted that she wasn’t initially a fan of <em>My Heart Will Go On</em>.</p> <p>“It is true,” she confirmed to Cohen, 51, and his audience members, after being asked about her original thoughts on the song, adding that she’s “glad they didn’t listen to me” and recorded the song anyway.</p> <p>“It didn’t appeal to me. I was probably very tired that day — <em>very</em> tired,” Dion continued. “My husband [the late René Angélil] said, ‘Let’s hold on.’ He talked to the writer and he said, ‘Let’s try to make it, like, a little demo.'”</p> <p>“I sang the song once and they built the orchestra around it. I never re-sang it for the recording. So the demo is the actual recording,” she recalled, joking, “But after that, I’ve sang it about three gazillion times.”</p> <p>The song debuted at Number 1 on the <em>Billboard</em> Hot 100 chart on February 28<sup>th</sup>, 1998 and propelled the soundtrack of the film to a 16-week run at the top spot. The album sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and won Best Original Song at the 1998 Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Record of The Year.</p> <p>However, Dion has since come around to the song and says that it now “means a lot to me”.</p> <p>“This song means a lot to me, and it has played such a huge role in my career,” <a href="https://people.com/music/billboard-music-awards-2017-celine-dion-performs-my-heart-will-go-on/">she said in a statement prior</a> to the ceremony that year. “I’m so grateful to the late James Horner, and to Will Jennings, for writing it and creating the opportunity for me to be part of <em>Titanic — </em>an amazing film whose legacy will continue for generations to come.”</p>

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