A researcher talks about the power of music in a crisis. by Emily Abrams Ansari Has the music we listen to, and why we listen, changed during the coronavirus pandemic? Beyond the well-documented evidence of pandemic music-making at a distance and over social media, music critics have suggested there is an increased preference for music that is comforting, familiar and nostalgic. Data from major streaming services and companies that analyze them may support this view. On Spotify, the popularity of chart hits dropped 28 per cent between March 12 and April 16. Instead, Spotify listeners are searching for instrumental and “chill” music. In the first … Continue reading Music helps us remember who we are and how we belong during difficult and traumatic times
“If Mozart ever became wholly comprehensible to me, he would for the first time become wholly incomprehensible to me.” BY MARIA POPOVA “Without music life would be a mistake,” Nietzsche bellowed his unmistakable baritone of buoyant nihilism into the vast chorus of great thinkers extolling the singular power of music. A year before his birth, Søren Kierkegaard (May 5, 1813–November 11, 1855) — another thinker of soaring lucidity, unafraid to plumb the darkest depths for the elemental truths — took up the subject in a portion of Either/Or: A Fragment of Life (public library) — the 1843 masterwork that furnished his insight into transcending the tyranny … Continue reading Kierkegaard on the Spiritual and Sensual Power of Music, the Essence of Genius, and the Key to a Timeless Work of Art
V Venues, festivals and musicians face a precarious future, but could Covid-19 be a catalyst for reform in an industry that seriously undervalues its artists? BY WILLIAM RALSTON At around eight o’clock on the evening of 12 March, Sir Simon Rattle stepped onstage at the Berliner Philharmoniker to an eery silence. It was his homecoming performance, with the orchestra that he’d led as chief conductor for 16 years, before his return to London in 2018. The musicians clapped him to the podium, but the seats surrounding them on all sides were empty.ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW Rattle turned, gazed down the … Continue reading Coronavirus Might Kill The Music Industry. Maybe It Needed To Die
“Opened to the music, I became first the strings… and then the breeze of sound flowing past as it crossed the lips of the instrument and went out to meet the world, beginning its lonely transit of the universe.” BY MARIA POPOVA Some of humanity’s greatest writers have extolled the singular enchantment of music. Walt Whitman considered it the profoundest expression of nature. Maurice Sendak found in its fusion of fantasy and feeling the key to great storytelling. “Without music life would be a mistake,” Nietzsche proclaimed with his characteristic drama of finality. Music can save a life, allay the shock of death, and permeate the living flesh … Continue reading Bach and the Cosmos of Belonging: Michael Pollan on How the Transcendent Power of Music Allays the Loneliness of Being and the Ache of Regret
by Josh Jones An old musician’s joke goes “there are three kinds of drummers in the world—those who can count and those who can’t.” But perhaps there is an even more global divide. Perhaps there are three kinds of people in the world—those who can drum and those who can’t. Perhaps, as the promotional video above from GE suggests, drummers have fundamentally different brains than the rest of us. Today we highlight the scientific research into drummers’ brains, an expanding area of neuroscience and psychology that disproves a host of dumb drummer jokes. “Drummers,” writes Jordan Taylor Sloan at Mic, “can actually be … Continue reading The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain
“The hardest thing is the flying side of things.” by Robin Pomeroy They’re one of the biggest stadium-rock bands in the world, but Coldplay will not be touring for the foreseeable future, as they seek to make their concerts less environmentally damaging. “We’re taking time over the next year or two to work out how can not only our tour be sustainable but how can it be actively beneficial,” lead singer Chris Martin told the BBC at the release of the band’s new record, Everyday Life. Rock concerts and festivals may be joyous celebrations of music and togetherness, but they generate a serious … Continue reading Coldplay stop touring to save the world: Is pop music going sustainable?