Muzak is functional music, around since 75 years. It affects those who hear it but doesn’t require a conscious listening effort. The key to Muzak’s effectiveness is “stimulus progression,” which offers a psychological “lift” to its listeners – a subconscious sense of progress/results achieved via fifteen-minute block soundbites.
Research on physiological/psychological effects of Muzak have shown that it increases the work rate metabolism, increasing or reducing muscular energy, fatigue and attention.
The Muzak corporation deliberately use popular music – pop, jazz and classical – in order to produce the impression of familiarity, which is underlines friendliness.
Hip-hop, an artistic expression/culture formed during 70s in Bronx, is a combination of terms — “hip” was used in African-American vernacular English starting in 1898, meaning current or in the know, and “hop” from “to hop.”
Hip-hop was the creative coalescence of the then popular funk music, self-appointed disk-scratching DJs, break-dancing MCs, improv lyricist-rappers and complementary street art (graffiti) which visualized a culture tinged with social bias, racism and ethnic rebellion. It went mainstream in 1979 by “Rapper’s Delight.”
Creativity in street (hip-hop) and classic (jazz) musical traditions is now being employed by neuroscience in exploring brain performance during creative processes.
At 5, Einstein began violin lessons but soon found drills trying, once throwing a chair at his teacher. At 13, he discovered Mozart‘s sonatas.
Einstein thought that Mozart’s music “was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master.” According to him, laws of nature (relativity theory) were waiting to be plucked out of the cosmos by someone with a sympathetic ear.
Passionate/accomplished violinist, Einstein often performed at musical evenings.
Mozart helped laying groundwork for Romanticism. Similarly, Einstein’s relativity completed the era of classical physics and paved the way for atomic physics.
This isn’t a review of Goedel Escher Bach (GEB) but a vivid recommendation for all polymaths/curious types.
The book not only details interesting life episodes of Kurt Goedel, M.C. Escher, and J.S. Bach, but also exposes the unifying framework of mathematics, art and music, while attempting to contextualize the “self” as a result of a strange loop.
Is “This sentence is false” true or false?
All chapters start with dialogues of Achilles and the tortoise and “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles“, so interwoven as to feature musical pieces, mathematical theories or art.
More GEB resources here and here.
Did you know that music can teach about life and history?
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, pan, was originally used for communication between enslaved Africans during the British colonial rule and acquired its modern form in the guise of used oil barrels made of steel.
To quote from the launching event of Pan Camp 2011 (during which participants were also taught spirituality and conflict management)
…learning pan… develops qualities of persistence and consistency… for achieving anything in life that is worthwhile.
P.S. Steel-pans are the only instruments in the world that follow the musical cycle of fourths-and-fifths calculated by Pythagoras.