Now THAT was music

Resultado de imagem para Music fans at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 27 May 1984Music fans at Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow, Scotland, 27 May 1984. Photo by Daily Record/Mirrorpix/Getty

One grim day (when youth is over) you find that new music gets on your nerves. But why do our musical tastes freeze over?

Lary Wallace is features editor of Bangkok Post: The Magazine. He has written for the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, The Library of America Reader’s Almanac, and others.

Some of us are more susceptible than others, but eventually it happens to us all. You know what I’m talking about: the inability to appreciate new music – or at least, to appreciate new music the way we once did. There’s a lot of disagreement about why exactly this happens, but virtually none about when. Call it a casualty of your 30s, the first sign of a great decline. Recently turned 40, I’ve seen it happen to me – and to a pretty significant extent – but refuse to consider myself defeated until the moment I stop fighting.

I’ve been fighting it for more than 10 years now, with varying degrees of vigour and resolve. Sometimes the fight becomes too much – one tires of the small victories that never break open into anything larger – and the spirit flags. I continually if not consistently stay abreast of what’s deemed the best of the new – particularly in rap and rock and R&B (which I stubbornly and unapologetically refer to, like a true devotee of its 1960s incarnation, as ‘soul singing’). These ventures into the current and contemporary have reaped dividends so small, they can be recounted – will be recounted – with no trouble at all.

But why should I care? Why should any of us care? Maybe it’s about the fear of becoming what we’ve always loathed: someone reflexively and guiltlessly willing to serve up a load of things-were-better-in-my-day, one of the most facile and benighted of all declarations. If you take pride in regarding yourself as culturally current, always willing to indulge the best of everything wherever it’s found, such taste blockages can be pretty frustrating, even embarrassing. And that hoary old consolation for the erectile dysfunction of the slightly older – ‘It happens to everyone’ – is no consolation at all.

For one thing, it doesn’t happen to everyone. Musicians seem particularly immune, for obvious reasons, and so do certain types of journalists, for reasons touched on in the paragraph above. Still, it’s a very real phenomenon, as real as anything that transpires in the mind. Famously, something similar happens to us with sports, particularly spectator sports, and at a much younger age. But no one really feels too badly about that, because of the inherent meaninglessness of watching other humans engage in physical activity. It’s like ruing the day you ever stopped liking porn. But music is different. Denounce the music of the present day, and you’ve instantly become a walking, talking, (barely) breathing cliché, ripe for ridicule, a classic figure of parody and invective.

It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it could certainly happen to you.

It’s axiomatic in our culture that a sense of wonder is something to be encouraged in others and coveted for ourselves. But a sense of wonder is dependent on an ability to experience surprise, and if as an adult you’re still surprised by certain things, then you haven’t been keeping up the way you should.

Most of us stop responding to new music because we know better. You can read that sentence and its last word any way you want; it’s still going to apply. But even if we don’t know better, per se, we still know just as good, and so we know enough to understand that it’s been done before, whatever this is we’re listening to. All of which is another way of saying: you lose your virginity only once.

This is only compounded by another factor, and it’s something I’ve never seen or heard mentioned in any discussion of this topic. It has to do with the callowness (perceived and real) of musicians younger than ourselves. As something that by its very nature appeals to our emotions, music requires that we be emotionally engaged. This can be a very difficult thing to achieve on behalf of someone who hasn’t endured as much of the world as we have…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/why-do-your-musical-tastes-get-frozen-over-in-your-twenties

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Prince Was Only a Father for One Week, but It Changed the Rest of His Life

Photograph by Kevin Mazur

by Tim Grierson

In her new memoir, The Most Beautiful: My Life With Prince, Prince’s ex-wife Mayte Garcia spends nine of her book’s 12 chapters recounting their seven years together. Their relationship began with a friendship when she was just 16 (he was in his early 30s at the time), and it culminated in marriage six years later. Not long afterward, they had a son, Amiir, who died within a week of his birth. By all accounts, it was the most heartbreaking moment of Prince’s life. And Garcia’s book illustrates how his grief — as well as his desire to be a father — was both extraordinarily painful and touchingly ordinary.

For starters, Prince had babies on the brain even on his and Garcia’s wedding day:

We got out of the car, and my husband carried me over the threshold on his shoulder like a sack of coffee beans. The house had been completely redone to make it our home. He took me by the hand and showed me every room. … Upstairs in an anteroom outside the master bedroom, there was a crib. My husband went in and cued up the other song he’d been working on: “Let’s Have a Baby.”

Not surprisingly then, Prince was ecstatic when Garcia told him she’d become pregnant on their honeymoon:

We huddled together in bed, living this perfect moment, knowing we were going to be parents, talking about all the things that needed to be learned and done and prepared. The whole house felt full of love and joy and expectation.

Prince even recorded Amiir’s heartbeat in the womb and used it for a song on his 1996 album Emancipation. But he did super-basic dad stuff, too — even reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting:

We planned to do a home birth in the big bathtub upstairs. We watched educational videos on natural childbirth and circumcision and nursing. How to bathe the baby. How to burp the baby. How to change the baby’s diaper.

We both read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, but there’s really no way you can know what to expect when you see that first ultrasound. We craned into it, fascinated at the murky image of our baby’s body, waiting to catch a glimpse of a hand or little toes. We took home a videotape and watched it over and over.

It was the same thing when Amiir was born:

I don’t know how to describe the look on my husband’s face. Pure joy. Pure love. Pure gratitude. I’d seen his face when he stood in front of a stadium filled with 48,000 screaming fans. I’d seen his face as he scored platinum albums and received the highest awards in his industry. I’d seen him experience the ecstasy of creative genius. None of that compared to the look I saw on his face in this moment, when he became a father.

Immediately, though, Prince and Garcia realized the baby was very ill. Amiir had Pfeiffer syndrome type 2, “a genetic disorder that causes skeletal and systemic abnormalities.” The situation was dire, requiring multiple surgeries to keep Amiir alive. His death a few days later created a fundamental change in Prince:

Imagine a skydiver leaps from an airplane. He has the best equipment and does everything right. At first, there’s euphoria. He sees so clearly — blue sky, green earth, beauty without limit, a higher perspective. He has absolute faith that he’ll land safely and be a better man than he was before. But it turns out his parachute is tangled. He struggles to fix it, but the chute tears away and disappears into the sky. Panic grabs him by the throat, but still — faith. He has faith. In free fall, he flails, trying to pray, but the force of gravity takes his breath away. He sees the hard ground coming at him, and he knows that if he survives this, he will never be the same.

At the end of The Most Beautiful, Garcia thinks back on her relationship with Prince, especially in light of his death. And she quotes from his song “Comeback,” a touching final word on the matter that references the child’s death and the Purple One’s sadness — and his hope that one day they’d be reunited:

Don’t have to say I miss you
Because I think you already know
If you ever lose someone
Dear to you
Never say the words “They’re gone”
They’ll come back

https://melmagazine.com/prince-was-only-a-father-for-one-week-but-it-changed-the-rest-of-his-life-edaf1c3fa5ae

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Tripping in the ICU

Resultado de imagem para At the Robert Ballanger hospital's Intensive

At the Robert Ballanger hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, France. Photo by Amelie Benoiste/SPL

For those suffering the trauma of intensive care, the soothing swoosh of otherworldly ambient music can be a welcome gift

by Charles Fernyhough is a British writer and psychologist, and his latest book is The Voices Within (2016). He is a part-time professor of psychology at Durham University, with interests in child development, memory and hallucinations. Listen here to an excerpt of Darkroom’s concert for intensive care.

It’s an odd gig, even for musicians who are used to some odd venues. For one thing, we can’t see our audience. It’s not that we haven’t attracted many people, so much as that our listeners are in another building. They are lying in hospital beds next door, and they are connected up to machines. Some of them are quite close to death. They are listening – those who have chosen to – on iPads linked to the ward’s WiFi, which is transmitting our live audio stream. Although the music is being broadcast on the internet, it is intended only for one group of people: the patients, carers and staff of the Critical Care Unit at University College Hospital, London (UCH).

The invitations promise ‘a performance of ambient and electronic music’. We had them printed up on good-quality card, and spent half an hour tucking them into cheerful lime-green envelopes. My colleague Nina and I went round the ward earlier, asking those patients who were awake if they wanted to listen, and handing out brand-new headphones and carefully sterilised iPads. The concert has been trailed for several months, but some of the staff need reminders of what is going on. There are emergencies unfolding everywhere. An intensive care unit (ICU), I am learning, is a lively mix of high-tech medicine and the shouty dynamics of a trading floor. We know that the success of our art project is way down the list of priorities.

Darkroom, with Peter Chilvers and Charles Fernyhough, performing for patients and staff of the Critical Care Unit at University College London Hospital, May 2016.

The concert is slated to start at 1pm. At 12:59 some of us are still stuck in the basement of the Wellcome Trust, across the road from the hospital, trying to find a lift big enough to shift a cart of music gear up to the fifth floor. It’s all a bit Spinal Tap. Thankfully, Peter is already plugged in upstairs, and he starts the show with some airy pan drums conjured from his iPad. The rest of us are drilled in setting up quickly, and we are soon wrapping other sounds around his reflective beats. There are guitars, a sax, a flute, a bass clarinet and Os’s modular synth, with cables and switchboard like an old-fashioned telephone exchange. We’re making enough noise to be heard on the adjoining floors, and yet, if we move towards each other, we can still talk while we’re playing. Our audience can’t hear that. Despite stringent tests of the technology, we don’t actually know if anyone can hear anything. All that matters, really, is that we’re doing it. For a couple of hours on a wet Tuesday afternoon, we are putting something out there that is not just about keeping some very sick people alive. It is trivial, ephemeral, vanished into air, but for the moment it feels like the most important thing we could be doing.

Intensive care is no place for the faint-hearted. Improvements in medical technology, particularly the development of the modern positive pressure ventilator, have transformed our efforts at the boundary between life and death. A few decades ago, many of the people in that ward next door would already be dead.

But progress comes at a cost. The noise of life-support machines and vital-sign monitors is a constant background. Phones ring, bin lids bang, staff call for help and doctors are constantly being paged to the next emergency. The racket frequently exceeds World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for safe noise levels. In The Guardian in 2016, Helen Taylor, an intensive care survivor, described a ‘constant, frightening’ noise from which there was little respite at night. It’s one reason why a recent article likened the modern ICU to ‘a branch of hell’.

The chaotic atmosphere was less of a problem 10 years ago. If I had stepped next door then, there would have been few patients awake to disturb. The standard approach, while life-saving procedures were being administered, was heavy sedation. While the machine was being fixed, the patient was put into a coma.

That changed with the recognition that, inside those ravaged, intubated bodies, minds were still working. And those minds were not at ease. The British journalist David Aaronovitch had a stint in intensive care after routine keyhole surgery went disastrously wrong. He heard people behind a curtain railing violently against him. As his disorientation deepened, he started to believe that the sinister officers of the night shift were preparing his body for human consumption. They were feeding him oxygen in order to make his flesh sweeter. He was going to be eaten…

more…

https://aeon.co/essays/how-ambient-music-can-help-ease-the-trauma-of-the-icu

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Mozart’s Daily Routine

How a day is composed in the hours between sleep o’clock and symphony o’clock.

“The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us,” Mary Oliver wrote in contemplating how our routines give shape to our inner lives. This, perhaps, is why we’re so transfixed by the daily routines of great artists, writers, and scientists — a sort of magical thinking under the spell of which we come to believe that if we were to replicate the routines of geniuses, we would also replicate some dimension of their inner lives and, in turn, their outer greatness.

Still, magical thinking aside, without insight into the routines of those who lead creatively fruitful lives, we would have never been able to study the psychology of the ideal daily routine. And few lives have been more creatively fruitful than that of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756–December 5, 1791). In a letter to his father from December of 1777, found in Letters of Mozart (free ebook | public library), 21-year-old Mozart describes his daily routine at Mannheim, where he had traveled in search of employment. Unable to find work, he moved in with the musical Weber family he had befriended and fell in love with Aloysia, one of the family’s four daughters, who rejected his suit.

He describes his days at the Weber house:

I am writing this at eleven at night, because I have no other leisure time. We cannot very well rise before eight o’clock, for in our rooms (on the ground-floor) it is not light till half-past eight. I then dress quickly; at ten o’clock I sit down to compose till twelve or half-past twelve, when I go to Wendling’s, where I generally write till half-past one; we then dine. At three o’clock I go to the Mainzer Hof (an hotel) to a Dutch officer, to give him lessons in galanterie playing and thorough bass, for which, if I mistake not, he gives me four ducats for twelve lessons. At four o’clock I go home to teach the daughter of the house. We never begin till half past four, as we wait for lights. At six o’clock I go to Cannabich’s to instruct Madlle. Rose. I stay to supper there, when we converse and sometimes play; I then invariably take a book out of my pocket and read…

But as he struggled to reconcile the growing demands of his evolving career and with those of his romance with Constanze, the third Weber daughter, his daily routine changed considerably. In a letter to his sister penned in 1782, a few months before he married his beloved, Mozart outlines a routine so intense that it left him a mere five hours of night’s sleep:

At six o’clock in the morning I have my hair dressed, and have finished my toilet by seven o’clock. I write till nine. From nine to one I give lessons. I then dine, unless I am invited out, when dinner is usually at two o’clock, sometimes at three, as it was to-day, and will be to-morrow at Countess Zichi’s and Countess Thun’s. I cannot begin to work before five or six o’clock in the evening, and I am often prevented doing so by some concert; otherwise I write till nine o’clock. I then go to my dear Constanze, though our pleasure in meeting is frequently embittered by the unkind speeches of her mother, which I will explain to my father in my next letter. Thence comes my wish to liberate and rescue her as soon as possible. At half-past ten or eleven I go home, but this depends on the mother’s humor, or on my patience in bearing it. Owing to the number of concerts, and also the uncertainty whether I may not be summoned to one place or another, I cannot rely on my evening writing, so it is my custom (especially when I come home early) to write for a time before going to bed. I often sit up writing till one, and rise again at six.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/01/27/mozart-daily-routine/

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Beethoven’s Lifestyle Regimen and the Secret to His Superhuman Vitality

Beethoven by Joseph Karl Stieler

In praise of “vigorous ablutions with cold water, a scrupulous regard for personal cleanliness, and daily walks immediately after the midday meal.”

Our popular imagination tends to cast creative work as the product of the mind and the disembodied spirit. But any writer who has ever felt neuronally severed from her own cognitive faculties by sleeplessness, any artist whose paintbrush has trembled with the pangs of ravenous hunger, any musician whose strings have thundered with the oxytocin of a kiss, knows how intimately entwined our creaturely conditions are with our creative vitality. Rilke captured this symbiosis beautifully: “I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion.”

But perhaps no artist embodies this interdependence of the creaturely and the creative better than Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770–March 26, 1827), whose outsiderly exceptionalism was the source of both his tragedy and his genius.

In his 1927 masterwork Beethoven the Creator (public library) — that uncommon and impassioned ode to “the joy of suffering overcome” — the French dramatist, novelist, essayist, and art historian Romain Rolland describes Beethoven’s superhuman strength and vigor, as extolled by the composer’s contemporaries:

He is built of solid stuff well cemented; the mind of Beethoven has strength for its base. The musculature is powerful, the body athletic; we see the short stocky body with its great shoulders, the swarthy red face, tanned by sun and wind, the stiff black mane, the bushy eyebrows, the beard running up to the eyes, the broad and lofty forehead and cranium, “like the vault of a temple,” powerful jaws “that can grind nuts,” the muzzle and the voice of a lion. Everyone of his acquaintance was astonished at his physical vigour. “He was strength personified,” said the poet Castelli. “A picture of energy,” wrote Seyfried. And so he remained to the last years, — until that pistol shot of the nephew that struck him to the heart. Reichardt and Benedict describe him as “cyciopean”; others invoke Hercules. He is one of the hard, knotty, pitted fruits of the age that produced a Mirabeau, a Danton, a Napoleon.

Rolland outlines the lifestyle regimen which held the secret to Beethoven’s extraordinary vitality:

He sustains this strength of his by means of vigorous ablutions with cold water, a scrupulous regard for personal cleanliness, and daily walks immediately after the midday meal, walks that lasted the entire afternoon and often extended into the night; then a sleep so sound and long that he thanklessly complained against it! His way of living is substantial but simple. Nothing to excess; he is no glutton, no drinker (in the evil sense of the word) as some have wrongfully described him. Like a good Rhinelander he loved wine, but he never abused it — except for a short period (1825–1826) … when he was badly shaken. He was fonder of fish than of meat; fish was his great treat. But his fare was rough and countrified: delicate stomachs could not endure it.

Rolland bridges these physical habits with the psychological constitution of this visionary artist, whose work ushered in nothing less than a creative revolution:

He who has freed himself from the bonds and the gags of an old rotting world, freed himself from its masters, its gods, must show himself to be worthy of his new liberty, capable of bearing it; otherwise, let him remain in chains! The prime condition for the free man is strength. Beethoven exalts it… There is something in him of Nietzsche’s superman, long before Nietzsche.

Complement the fascinating and beautifully written Beethoven the Creator with the young composer’s stirring letters to his brother about the loneliness of deafness and his passionate love letters, then revisit Mozart’s daily routine and the habits of great writers.

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: The Science of Sound in Health & Well-Being

Lance Schuttler, Guest, Waking Times

While the term psycho-acoustic medicine may be relatively new in our world, the practices of using sound and frequencies to impact the physical and emotional health of the body has been used since the beginning of time. From Gregorian chants in churches, to the chanting of Tibetan monks, to Native American drumming, song and sound have been a catalyst in stimulating health and healing for the body and mind in all cultures. The definition of psycho-acoustic medicine is the science of how music and sound impact the nervous system, psychologically and physiologically. Simply, how it is how sound impacts the mind and the body.

One particular area of this science of sound is that of “binaural beats.” Binaural beats were first theorized in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove but was first scientifically tested and proven in 1973 by Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, when he published his finding in a research paper called Auditory Beats in the Brain. The study opened up a whole new area of science as it showed how sound affects the way and how quickly the brain learns new information, mood control, sleep patterns and healing responses within the body, among many other items.

How Binaural Beats Influence The Brain and Body

To begin, let’s first look at what binaural beats exactly are. Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., who is a speech-language pathologist, states:

“Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).”

The difference of a 200 Hz and 190 Hz frequency results in a 10 Hz binaural beat.

The result of this is called “brainwave entrainment,” which in the examples above, entrain at 10 Hz. Any electrochemical activity of the brain results in the production of electromagnetic wave forms that can be objectively measured with sensitive equipment. Since brain waves change frequencies based on neural activity within the brain, and because neural activity is electrochemical, brain function can be modified by using sound and frequencies. Thus, certain frequencies/sound/music stimulate the brain to produce certain neurotransmitters like serotonin, the “feel good” chemical messenger that helps to reduce pain and increases the feelings of pleasure. More on that and other benefits a bit further down.

Researchers believe that different brain wave patterns are linked to the production in the brain of various neurochemicals associated with relaxation and stress release, increased learning and creativity, memory, and other desirable benefits. These neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

Neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, showed in there experiments how a 10 Hz brainwave frequency (alpha brainwaves), increased the production of serotonin, to help ease pain and increase relaxation. They also showed how a 4 Hz brainwave frequency (theta brainwaves), increases production of catecholamines, which are important for memory and learning.

Dr. Capel explains this mechanism a bit further:

“As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.”

This is also exactly what Dr. Candice Pert has proved, who was a neuroscientist, biophysicist and pharmacologist, who researched at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and taught at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Pert was the first to prove that thoughts and emotions create a direct physiological effect on the body, thus demonstrating the long held beliefs of Mind-Body medicine. In other words, she proved that positive or negative thoughts and emotions are always either improving or declining our health, based on the chemicals that are released and transported to every cell. Dr. Pert had this to say about the effects of frequency in affecting the cells of body:

“Energy and vibration go all the way to the molecular level. We have 70 different receptors on the molecules and when vibration and frequency reaches that far they begin to vibrate [thus allowing the cells to be directly affected by vibration].

Basically, receptors function as scanners. They cluster in cellular membranes, waiting for the right ligand (much smaller molecules than receptors), to come dancing along (diffusing) through the fluid surrounding each cell, and mount them – binding with them and (vibrating) them to turn them on and get them motivated to vibrate a message into the cell. Binding of the ligand to the receptor is likened to two voices, striking the same note and producing a vibration that rings a doorbell to open the doorway to the cell.”

In other words, for any message (vibrating ligand) to be received by a cell, the cell must vibrate at the same frequency as the ligand. Thus, when brainwaves are in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, that vibration or frequency is on par for more serotonin to be created, for example.

Everyday Applications of This Medicine

There are several different applications that this form of medicine can be used to beneficially impact our lives, which might include stress relief, pain relief, headaches relief, reversing and preventing cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, reversing and preventing different cancers, increased memory, learning and recall, as well as better sleep cycles, addiction recovery, enhanced cognitive abilities due to synchronization of the left and right brain hemispheres, and enhanced overall well-being.

It’s known and proven that by exercising our brain, we have better mental and emotional health and increased intellectual functioning. Dr. Robert Cosgrove, Jr., Ph.D., M.D., says:

“[Binaural beats] have been observed by us to be an excellent neuro-pathway exerciser. As such we believe it has great potential for use in promoting optimal cerebral performance. Maintaining and improving cerebral performance throughout life delays for decades the deterioration of the brain traditionally associated with aging…”

As stated above, if one wants to relax and de-stress, listening to a binaural beat that produces alpha brainwaves (between 8 and 14 Hz), more serotonin will be produced as well as more endorphins. This would help to reduce physical and emotional pain, as well as increasing the feelings of relaxation and happiness. Listening to an alpha binaural beat can also help to increase learning abilities. Dr. Georgi Lozanov showed that students in the alpha state can learn as much as five times the amount of information in less time per day, and with greater long-term retention…

more…

About the Author
Lance Schuttler graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Health Science-Health Coaching and offers health coaching services through his website Orgonlight Health. You can follow the Orgonlight Health Facebook page or visit the website for more information on how to receive health coaching for yourself, your friend or family member as well as view other inspiring articles.
Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.
This article (Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: The Science of Sound in Health & Well-Being) was originally created and published by The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission. 

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/01/17/psycho-acoustic-medicine-science-sound-health-well/

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Science Discovers A Song that Reduces Anxiety by 65 Percent – Listen

by Anna Hunt, Staff, Waking Times

Scientists discover that listening to the song “Weightless” by Marconi Union can results in a striking 65 percent reduction in a person’s overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates.

The Anxiety Pandemic

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”Arthur Somers Roche

Anxiety is a growing pandemic in our society. The mainstream solution is a trip to the psychiatrist and an indefinite prescription for pharmaceuticals. As a result, many anxiety sufferers find themselves dependent on psychotropic drugs but still searching for relief.

Because of this, it begs the question if a pharmaceutical solution even works. Many believe that treating anxiety with a holistic approach may be more effective than expensive, addictive and sometimes even dangerous psychotropic drugs. Holistic alternatives range from treating anxiety with foods that fight inflammation, to exercise, yoga, and meditation. People also like to use age-old tricks for calming nerves, such as breath exercises.

Music is Effective at Reducing Anxiety

Music therapy is already an accepted alternative therapy for stress and pain management. It has also been shown to help improve immune support system function. Historically, indigenous cultures have used sound to enhance physical and mental well-being, as well as enrich spiritual experiences.

Now, neuroimaging has proven that playing music can substantially reduce anxiety. Scientists in the UK have identified what can be called the most relaxing song on earth song. By playing the song “Weightless” by Manchester trio Marconi Union, these researchers reduced anxiety by 65 percent in individuals who participated in their clinical study. Have a listen:

Science Discovers the Most Relaxing Song on Earth

Researchers at Mindlab International, led by clinical psychologist Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson, were commissioned to find out which song is the most effective at helping someone to relax. They played songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay, among many others, to 40 participating women.

The researchers discovered that the song “Weightless” resulted in a striking 65 percent reduction in participants’ overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in their usual physiological resting rates. Dr. Lewis-Hodgson stated:

“The results clearly show that the track induced the greatest relaxation – higher than any of the other music tested.

“Brain imaging studies have shown that music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions.”

Sound therapist Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, explains the process of how the song affects the body:

“[The song] contains a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50.

“While listening, your heart rate gradually comes to match that beat.

“It is important that the song is eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for this process, known as entrainment, to occur.”

The study was conducted on participants who were asked to solve difficult puzzles, as quickly as possible, while connected to sensors. Participants listened to different songs while researchers measured brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, and the rate of breathing.

Anxiety and Overall Health

Lowering anxiety can be one of the most important steps a person can take towards improving overall health and well-being. Stress can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, depression, gastrointestinal ailments, asthma, and even obesity. It can also exacerbate these problems if they are preexisting.

Furthermore, researchers continue to discover that anxiety and stress can be fatal. Here are the findings published in a 2015 working paper out of Harvard and Stanford Business Schools:

The paper found that health problems stemming from job stress, like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and decreased mental health, can lead to fatal conditions that wind up killing about 120,000 people each year—making work-related stressors and the maladies they cause, more deadly than diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or influenza.

Top 10 Songs for Helping Reduce Anxiety

Here’s the full list of the top 10 relaxing songs discovered by Mindlab International during their research.

  1. We Can Fly,” by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)
  2. Canzonetta Sull’aria,” by Mozart
  3. Someone Like You,” by Adele
  4. Pure Shores,” by All Saints
  5. Please Don’t Go,” by Barcelona
  6. Strawberry Swing,” by Coldplay
  7. Watermark,” by Enya
  8. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix),” by DJ Shah
  9. Electra,” by Airstream
  10. Weightless,” by Marconi Union
About the Author
Anna Hunt is co-owner of OffgridOutpost.com, an online store offering GMO-free healthy storable food and emergency kits. She is also the staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here. Visit Offgrid Outpost on Facebook.
Sources:
http://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/neuroscience-says-listening-to-this-one-song-reduces-anxiety-by-up-to-65-percent.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8830066/Band-creates-the-most-relaxing-tune-ever.html
This article (Science Discovers A Song that Reduces Anxiety by 65 Percent – Listen) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Anna Hunt and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.
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