Why certain types of music "get to us".


#1

People who meditate on a regular basis naturally produce more Gamma brainwaves and this has been linked to higher consciousness and increased flashes of insight. Furthermore; binaural Gamma entrainment is best done over Alpha or Theta binaural beats, so that the brain is already activated in regards to the constant binaural calculation. Gamma brainwaves are not produced when the brain is in a Delta state.

http://unisonicascension.com/benefits/



This site sells “sounds” calculated to supposedly achieve certain desirable effects.

I do not endorse this necessarily but it is part of my reading lately to better understand what makes us enjoy some music more than others.

Some of it may be “what we are exposed to” but I think even the great composers understand this more deeply and probably instinctively.

This is a bit of a follow up on our friend Schumann.


#2
Gordon said: I think even the great composers understand this more deeply and probably instinctively.

Do you have examples of how this is used in music and by what composers. I looked at the site and do not see any connection.

Many have theorized we respond to music with a tempo similar to the rate of a heartbeat, etc. but I assume you are referring to something more complex than this.

#3

http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16722953



The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart’s music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.



Listening to music facilitates the recall of information19. Researchers have shown that certain types of music are a great “keys” for recalling memories. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be recalled simply by “playing” the songs mentally.



Musical training has even better effect than just listening to classical music. There is clear evidence20, that children who take music lessons develop a better memory compared with children who have no musical training.



Note: For learning or memory performance, it’s important that music doesn’t have a vocal component; otherwise you’re more likely to remember the words of the background song than what you’re supposed to be recalling.

http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml


#4

Why Does Music Move Us So?

by Virginia Hughes

http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/18/why-does-music-move-us-so/


#5

Science is trying to figure a lot of this out and once again the FMRI machines are a good beginning since they can measure in real time what is happening in the brain and compare it to feedback from the test subjects,

This is causing some major reversals in past truisms and the realization that “conceptual” thinking is crucial to finding the clues.Who knows better than us?

An example is the findings that “Faith” is the most critical to well being and health.

Also that “COMPASSION” is the strongest and most beneficial emotion.

We do not have to look very far to see that both are treated unfavorably in our society and look where it has gotten us.



“A heart without a brain is useless, A brain without a heart is dangerous”. :-?


#6

Or… from one of my favorite pundits

The following article by Albert Einstein appeared in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930 pp 1-4. It has been reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc. 1954, pp 36 - 40. It also appears in Einstein’s book The World as I See It, Philosophical Library, New York, 1949, pp. 24 - 28.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/aor/einstein/einsci.htm


#7

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/health-benefits-of-music.htm



Music has a special power to move us and stir our emotions. Anyone who has ever wiped tears away from their eyes listening to their favourite sad song will know how powerful simple notes and chords can be.



Now, scientific studies have shown that music really can change our mood and even help us concentrate.



We look at the effects music can have, and we ask the experts what songs are likely to help you run a race, prepare for an exam or relieve stress.



Read more: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/health-benefits-of-music.htm#ixzz2WuYHKmfH

Follow us: @NetDoctor on Twitter | NetDoctorUK on Facebook


#8

Music affects us, of course.



My question was not to this broad topic, but to your comment that great composers understood that which the first website you cited referenced; that is, interference beating. This makes little sense to me and, thus, the question.









#9

Well, let me describe it another way.

there are composers/musicians who PLAY the notes and others who CREATE the notes.

This creation is a way of conveying a message, scenario and/or emotion.

My suggestion is that when this creativity FLOWS and sounds RIGHT, that it is more than cerebral jitter and comes from the “soul” and can be traced all the way back to the neuronal/molecular level where a COMMON language of rhythm,tone and frequency exists among living things.



If you trace us back to the “big bang” it is illogical to opine that we are not all connected.



:smiley:


#10

i think it goes beyond the music itself and includes voices and lyrics.



case and point…woke up feeling good/happy this morning. put on Massive Attack Heligoland and got the song Paradise Circus stuck in my head (Hope Sandoval vocals). soon found myself listening to Mazzy Star (Ms Sandoval again). this ladies voice does something to me that i can’t really explain. it’s a love/hate thing



within in hour…i was mellon collie/depressed :frowning:


#11

Interesting that a similar chat is happening at the same time in today’s PS tracks.

Now, doesn’t that hint at communication via collective and connected energy?

I can see the eyes rolling out there now.



Levi said: i think it goes beyond the music itself and includes voices and lyrics.


Actually the test findings [preliminary] have found that vocals can actually be a distraction to the normal effects of music on the brain.

They certainly can affect emotions in relationship to our “view” of what the words mean to you.

To others the vocals [ an unknown language for example ] could invoke extreme pleasure and this, I believe, is the “conscious” and analytical mind that chooses the effect.



If we take it deeper, certain types and rhythms in “music” can have a widespread effect on multiple parts of the brain, including the nervous system and all the may to the neuronal and chemical communication between our cells. This refers to health and DNA modification.



It is a truly deep subject and one that is recently exploding with new data.

Science and, later, religions used to burn people at the stake for exploring these concepts.

I believe we have come a long way and now even governments are financing more research to encourage the path.



#12
Elk said: Do you have examples of how this is used in music and by what composers. I looked at the site and do not see any connection.


I will look for some written examples [if they exist] but for now let's look beyond the documentation and more to what stimulates us to create music, where it comes from and what it may include that reaches us.
If there are "common" communication factors between sentient beings [maybe even rocks] then it might be logical that these "commonalities" are embedded in our "nature" and some are just more in touch with them than others.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S4aJXcoiNK0
AND
http://musicophilia.com/music_video.htm


#13
Gordon said: I will look for some written examples [if they exist] but for now let's look beyond the documentation and more to what stimulates us to create music, where it comes from and what it may include that reaches us.

Perfectly fine, but this is wholly unrelated to the first website. :) I misunderstood you. I thought the existence of interference beats was somehow a starting point/reference.

You may already know, but the Greeks addressed modes and their relationship to expression thousands of years ago. There was also a great deal of study of modes, keys and timing during the Renaissance.

#14
Elk said: Perfectly fine, but this is wholly unrelated to the first website


Can you explain in more detail what you are asking?


#15
Gordon said: This site sells "sounds" calculated to supposedly achieve certain desirable effects.

The site sells sounds which result in interference beats. What does this site have to do with music?

Gordon said: I think even the great composers understand this more deeply and probably instinctively.

Understood what?

Expressed this understanding in musical terms exactly how?

(The thread certainly does not need to go in this direction. I merely do not understand your first post and how the referenced website has anything to do with music.)

#16

Ah, I think I now understand your question. A good on too. [as usual]

The origin of the thread as well as the “statement” [higher consciousness and increased flashes of insight] were in reference to "Why certain types of music “get to us”. and how “mind exercises” with or without sounds can give us better appreciation and enjoyment in our listening.

Also, how certain sounds, rhythms and frequencies stimulate waves in the brain that can be interpreted as pleasant. This site attempts to short cut some of the benefits of meditation by stimulating similar waves with sounds.[ I’ve never tried that personally]



The term “music” is very broad and means different things to different people but ALL music, that I know of, has sounds.

Even “good news” is often referred to as “music to our ears”.

Science shows us on a TV [FMRI generated] that some sounds and beats are more favorably received than others and some stimulate more impressive brain activity than others.

I believe that many great composers knew this instinctively since it “pushed their buttons” while composing.





You may prefer Vivaldi to interference beats, but your brain actually may not.

Your preference is mostly based on your experience and social conditioning which is a “filter” between your natural self and your ego self. Meaning that you may have a pre-judgement as to the benefits or effects of “non music” and therefore possibly less interest.

EG- my first beer tasted terrible but now… well we know what happens with that one.



Actuaries, accountants and math teachers generally have a hard time figuring out what makes a “creative genius” tick and their abilities to stream one great idea after another or the same for art or musical pieces.

This is because they are tapping into different wells based on their degree of “filters”.

They may all have the same potential but “conditioning” directs the cerebral traffic.

Ever use the expression “it was a gut feeling”?

This is a similar example. “it just felt right”.

Made you feel good to have those and they were potentially better choices than the contemplative alternatives.

Also a great place to compose music, er, or sounds.













#17

Got it. The reference was a springboard only.



I’m not convinced there is anything intrinsically appealing to any type of music. There is remarkably little commonality between different cultural traditions - different scales, if scales are even used - some music does not have a beat or tempo - noises which mimic nature rather than abstract as is the Western tradition - what is ugly, what is beautiful (Korean art song v. Charlotte Church v. Mongolian glottal singing), etc.



The strong preferences people express for the types of music they enjoy is clearly learned, even to the point of the average U.S. listener never letting go of, or moving beyond, the music they listened to in high school and college.



There is however a universal desire to make music, whatever that music may be. Once the tummies are filled and out of the rain, humans like to make and share human created sound.



On a separate note, it has always intrigued me that Western culture is so attractive to the East. Western pop music dominates the East and there are also excellent orchestras playing Western classical music. The reverse is far from the case; few in the West have even heard Eastern music, let alone are fans. Is the appeal based in the materialistic success of the West? Is the music inherently this appealing? (I doubt it).


#18
Elk said: Is the appeal based in the materialistic success of the West? Is the music inherently this appealing? (I doubt it).


another good question
I have spent enough time in Asia and India to get a feel for what they like and perhaps why.
1/ local traditional is always the most popular
2/ western vocals are "hip" to listen to and I suspect a good aide for them to practice their English.
As far as taking it seriously?? I would put most of it in the same category as Movie Soundtracks.
Country and Western being at the top of the pop list.
Classical, or what the Europeans like to call it "European Music, has been around for so long that it permeated the colonies and high brow entertainment circles early on and the music societies continue to encourage it today everywhere.
Jazz is not well understood but has an underground type of following, mostly with people who have schooled in the west or have expat friends.
Why do We not learn their music styles?
Well thanks to the Brit groups of the 60's and 70's we began trying but quickly found that it is much more difficult that appears.
So we just plagiarized what we could figure out.
Indian music for example has a totally foreign intention.

Hopefully this excerpt explains some of it better that I could.


"There are essential differences between the two systems: the first is based on melody-single notes played in a given order, while the second is harmonic: a group of notes called chords played simultaneously [6]. The late Dr. Rabindranath Tagore who was acquainted with both the systems put it thus: "The world by day is like Europeans music-a flowing concourse of vast harmony, composed of concord and discord and many disconnected fragments. And the night world is our Indian music: one purem deep and tender raga. They both stir us, yet the two are contradictory in spirit. But that cannot be helped. At the very root, nature is divided into two, day and night, unity and variety, finite and infinite. We men of India live in the realm of night; we are overpowered by the sense of the One and Infinite. Our music draws the listener away beyond the limits of every day human joys and sorrows and takes us to the lonely region of renunciation which lies at the root of the universe, while European music leads us to a variegated dance through the endless rise and fall of human grief and joy.” Basically Indian music evokes a spiritual sentiment and discipline-a longing for realisation of the self salvation. Vocal singing is an act of worship and not an intellectual display of mastery over raga-technique. In the West, the singing of a song is a secular and formal exercise, not involving devotion or piety as in the case of Indian music [7]. The Guru-shishya tradition responsible for the deep attachment and dedication of the student to the teacher. In the West, usually a music teacher is just a person hired for giving lessons and there is no intimacy between the teacher and the taught.
Indian music, like Western music, is based on melody and rhythm, but it has no foundation of harmony and counterpoint so vital to Western music. Indian music is "modal"-based on the relationship between the permanent individual noted called the tonic, with the successive notes. That is why the drone is played in the background of vocal music to remind one of the tonic note [8]. The Indian system is horizontal, one note following the other, while the European is vertical-several notes at a time. Yehudi Menuhin, the noted composer and musicologist, highlights the difference between the two systems by describing Indian music thus: "The appreciate Indian music, one has to adopt a completely different sense of values... one must orientate oneself and at least for the period concerned, forget there is a time-clock ticking away and merely sink into a kind of subjective, almost hypnotic trance. In that condition, the repetitive features of Indian music, both rhythmic and melodic, acquire an extraordinary fascination and charm... despite the domination of this hypnotic mood, a characteristic of Indian music is that far from deadening the intellect, it actively liberates the mind."
Another notable difference is in the place of "composition" in both the systems. In Western music, a composer first composes the music and puts it in notation: later the players play the music under the guidance of a conductor. There is hardly any improvisation, and the value of performance lies in the uniformity and the pre-determined conduct of tone and speed of music. In an Indian musical performance, while the grammar of melody and rhythm is fixed, the skill and ingenuity of the musician lies in his improvisation and creativity, especially in evocation of the mood and rasa of the particular raga. In this connection an international musicologist writes: "In the West, we construct solid blocks of music. After having carved out geometrically, in large sections, like building stones, the seven degrees of the diatonic scale, lined them up and placed them on top of each other according to cleverly worked out architectural laws which are called counterpoint and harmony. In this way we erected splendid edifices in sound. In the East, no one dreamed of dividing sound into blocks; instead they refined it to a wire-thin thread. They strove meticulously to stretch out the sound, to refine it to the point of extreme delicacy... No standardised materials, no building of two or six or ten floors; rather a simple variegated silk thread which unwinds and rises and falls imperceptibly, but which in every tiniest portion evokes a world of feelings and sensations."[9]

Sounds a bit like a description of our better classical compositions.
HUM, I wonder where we got it from? :D


This part is so true and probably why so many in the west find it difficult to appreciate.
We are generally not programmed to react as intended without the aid of nefarious substances which unfortunately are only temporary.


"In that condition, the repetitive features of Indian music, both rhythmic and melodic, acquire an extraordinary fascination and charm... despite the domination of this hypnotic mood, a characteristic of Indian music is that far from deadening the intellect, it actively liberates the mind."

#19

PART 2



In Indian music, melody and rhythm are more developed and offer a great variety of subtleties, not possible in Western music. Indian notes are divided into small units called shruties (22 microtones in all), whereas Western music has only 12 semitones. The microtones are more subtle then semitones. These microtones adorned with gracetones (gamakas) produce a magical effect. Western music is capable of producing many moods and feelings. While Indian music has generally a principal mood or emotion in a raga. The Indian musician improvises according to his own creative genius within the framework of a raga, but in Western classical music such range of individual improvisation is inconceivable, except in jazz. Moreover, the great use of drums in Indian music emphasises its essential rhythm. It is only by keeping one’s ears and minds open that one can appreciate the special sequences and melodies different from one’s own. This will apply equally to Indian audiences attending performances of Western music, and to Western audiences listening to Indian music. Let us not forget that the two kinds of music are complementary, like two halves of classical music.



Some good reading at this site on the history of this.



http://fateh.sikhnet.com/sikhnet/gurbani.nsf/Table%20of%20Contents!OpenView&Start=1&Count=30&Expand=2#2



#20

Oh, and it all goes back a while.

e were all still living in caves back then.



Vedic Period (2500 B. C. to A. D. 200)

The arts of vocal music, instrumental music and dance were quite popular in this age. Even the common man had some knowledge of these arts. People in general offered their musical prayers to their deities, in the morning and evening. Sessions of music called sman were held frequently and people of all classes participated in these assemblies. Artist were men and women of good character and were neither greedy nor frivolous. Different types of instruments like ban (similar to veena), karkari (somewhat like a lyre), nadi (flute) and aghati (cymbals) were used as accompaniments to vocal music. The two great epics-Ramayana and Mahabharata (c 800 B.C.) contain references to various musical instruments. Marga classical music was popular in these times. Panini (500 B.C.) has mentioned the players of the mridanga, madduba and jharjhira and the concerts of vocalists and dancers[2]. Musical concerts were held in the court of King Chandra Gupta Maurya (322 B.C.)[3]. All this indicates that music was quite popular and was regarded as a valuable achievement.