The connection between music and meditation

Music and meditation: Taking the mind to a meditiative state

Music and meditation have a crucial connection. Research says that the human mind works at frequencies between 4 and 45 Hertz. The sound waves have been categorised in four categories Alpha, Beta, Theta and Delta taking a cue from Greek letters. The usual state of awakening when we hear normal sounds have been classified as Beta waves. These waves ranging from 15 Hz to 32 Hz are supposed to be the most responsive form of stimuli. The Alpha waves range from 7 Hz to 15 Hz and is the state of alert meditation. The Theta and Delta waves have a much lower frequency and are said to promote relaxation of the mind. This is the area of music and meditation coming together. The chanting of mantras arrives in this realm and so does the humming of the Pranayama. The 3 biggest myths about meditation music are, (1) Relaxing music entices meditation (2) Certain music types can lead to deep meditation and (3) Music is essential for meditation. Now let us examine the text that introduced the concept of meditation “Sama Veda”. It says that meditation should be focused towards reducing the mental frequency and reach out for frequencies that are outside the scope of a normal human. Now, this single sentence quashes the myth. Music can aid meditation by lowering down to lesser frequencies but by no means is an essential. It is just shifting the mind from audible to inaudible sound that takes the mind into the meditative state. The best example is the singing bowls used by the Tibetan Buddhist monks.

Music and meditation
Educational

Why Political messages and Music gel together

Political messages in Songs

Political messages and music have a long standing relationship. Many songs have been written with political messages. Over thousands of years, the power of songs and music have been seen on the political front. Music and songs have more memorability than speeches and newspaper columns. This is the reason for bands being included in every army. Social change is brought about by music, and there are m,any instances in history supporting this. The song ” We shall overcome” is one of the examples of political music which took the US Civil rights movement forward. Even in the politically controlled environment in China political messages have been put forward by songs. The Tiananmen-square remembered in Cui Jian’s music is another example of music’s influence on politics. ” Blindfold my eyes and cover the sky” the song that was sung by Cui Jian stirred the protestors and made them fearless on May 20, 1989. The singer even covered his eyes to show the political leaders that they were blind. Another song by the same singer “Nothing to my Name” became an anthem of the protest movement.

Downloading music: Is it on its way out?

Downloading music loses market shares to streaming services

You only have to think back a couple of years to find a time when downloading music was the standard way of procuring new music for your music library – whether this was done through legal or illegal channels. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. By and large most people nowadays make use of streaming services when listening to music. At first, people got used to the thought of not owning a physical copy of their music anymore, when they went from physical CDs to downloading music. But now, people appear not to care too much about owning music copies at all, and are instead entirely satisfied by streaming music off the Internet where it is easily and readily accessible on demand. Figures from the US even show the massive rise of music streaming, where revenue has gone up from 1.450 million USD in 2013 to 2.407 million in 2015! I think we just have to get increasingly used to the thought of not owning things in the same way as we once did, but instead pay through subscriptions for our favourite services.

Best soundtracks to movies

Whenever I watch a movie, I always pay attention to the kind of music being used. I believe that movies can illicit the right emotion from us, only if they use the right music. After all, who does not want to hear swelling, inspirational music when a speech is being delivered, or a match is being won? Who does not want to shed a tear when there is sad, emotional music playing during a scene depicting loss?

There are some people who only prefer fresh compositions in movies. And there are some who believe that compilation soundtracks are better. I am of the opinion that both are amazing- it depends on what kind of movie is being made, and how good the end product is. It would be difficult to imagine a Tarantino movie without a good compilation of existing sountracks. It would also be impossible to imagine a Woody Allen movie without the atmospheric soundtracks taken from various decades.

Movie Soundtracks

On the other hand, I would not be able to imagine a movie like Star Wars, or Harry Potter without their original soundtracks and swelling music. Those are also classics, and those are tunes that have stayed with us for such a long time that they have become a part of the public consciousness.

Another example of fresh compositions for movies would be Disney movies. Their songs are the most integral part of their movies, and it would be impossible to imagine a Disney movie without the catchy tunes!

What are your favourite soundtracks in movies? Do share!

Music and its relation to intelligence and Emotions

Music and emotions

Music is part of everyone’s life invariably. It is all around us. So I sometimes wonder how it affects us personally. Every culture has rhymes and poems for children. So actually we are being trained in music right from our childhood. But why music in schools? Well having this thought I decided to delve deeper and research this topic. It was an arduous task and ultimately I found some truth if not all.

Many research in this field has indicated that music training is directly related to brain development and becoming intelligent. What I found out was mind-boggling. A research in UK involving 1000 subjects revealed that intelligent and less intelligent have different music tastes. Intelligent people like soulful slow music while less intelligent like loud music. In some cultures people were trained to become aggressive for military purpose by making the listen to loud music. There are many tests which link intelligence to music but they are inconclusive.

Then comes the connection of music and emotions. Well folks music and emotions have obvious connection. You can feel for yourself. Don’t you feel relaxed and energised when you listen to your favorite music? You will certainly do. There is no test required to prove this!

Spiritual and Playful: Beirut

Beirut has not released a lot of music- they have been around since mid-2000s and in this entire time, they have released only four full albums (Gulag Orkestar, The Flying Club Cup, The Rip Tide, and No No No). I find myself visiting and revisiting their music entirely too many times. Over the years, Beirut has developed a rather faithful and strong following, and hopefully, that will keep them coming up with new music.

Beirut- Indie Music at its best

Beirut’s first album was Gulag Orkestar, which was heavily influenced by Eastern European cities and music. The feel of the album is extremely spiritual- almost like a modern retelling of ancient prayers and chants. Zack Condon’s lilting voice makes every song sound more like an anthem- like a call of joy. Beirut makes music that is joyful and playful, while at the same time being soothing and melancholic. This indie band also thrills audiences in their live performances, for the dynamism and energy of their song certainly translates well during the live performances.

What I enjoy the most about their work is the fact that they are not scared of going out of their way with the use of instruments. The six members of the band (Condon, Nick Petree, Paul Collins, Kyle Resnick, Ben Lanz, Aaron Arntz) play 13 instruments. It makes their songs so much different than the ones we usually hear on the radio.

No No No, their fourth album released in September, 2015, and is their first album in four years.

Effect of Music

Happy Music

Music is a part of human life since we evolved as a species. A larger brain and the power of imagination gave us mental powers. However with thinking came complex worries and mood swings. The best answer to the problems of mood and worries is music. Yes friends research has shown that music can enhance good or bad mood. With music comes happiness and better health as per the research. Following the research it was applied successfully at McKenzie institute in New York. They put up upbeat music in the office area and productivity increased by 100 percent. payday247 helps you get enrolled at various programs of McKenzie. Economists would not agree to this but it is true. Here are some of other benefits of Music.

The preference of music actually shows the state of mind you are in. If you are going through a personal loss you would prefer sad music. loud music was preferred by youth as they were frustrated with their current situation ( Some part of it goes to the Hormones). Classical music was preferred by people who wanted to de stress after a day of work. It works wonders for the mind. Music of all kinds has a positive impact on the individual. Let me explain with the above illustration. If you have lost a dear one music will tone down the mood for you. Extreme cases like suicide is prevented. This is where music works. Now let us take the frustrated youth. The loud music will soak all his frustration which could have resulted in vandalism and violence. So cheer up and enjoy the music you like, it will help you think better.

Music – The Healer

I was reading about various healing therapies recently and came across this article which talked about music being used medically to heal different ailments, especially Alzheimer. I was not surprised. I always have been a believer in power of nature, and reading about music having power to heal our brain and body didn’t come as a surprise to me.

heal

We always knew that when moms sing soft lullabies to their babies, they feel relaxed and fall asleep. This itself proves that music does bring about some chemical changes in our body that result us in feeling de-stressed and relaxed.  Indigenous people have been using healing power of music since ages, and they use it for everything from sacred ceremonial rituals to daily life and healing practices. If we talk about Native American healing, it is certain to include music as the major component of their practice.

However, not all music is same. We do need the right music. The rock and roll and loud modern music actually does more harm than good.  You may want to experiment with different sounds that you hear around you; you can then try to recognize the sounds that strike the right chord with you, make you feel relaxed and at ease, and those which don’t. Setting some time aside to listen to harmonious or natural sounds are also sure to uplift your mood.

As for me, I love soft flute sound or classical Indian raagas. What about you?

The Ultimate Guide to Eurovision Contest 2015

The unique anchoring style and format makes Eurovision the most awaited contest in Europe and also watched all over USA and Australia.The 2015 contest will take place in Vienna between May 18 and 23.

Vienna Stadthalle
Vienna Stadthalle

 

The Event and Participants

The main event will take place at Vienna Stadthalle.Pop will meet Opera on 17th may at the opera house at a special screening. The artists will try to build a bridge between various Music cultures.

39 countries will vie for four spots in finals. They will meet the automatic qualifiers to final – The Hosts (Austria), The Debutant (Australia) and The Big Five (Germany, France, Spain,UK and Italy).

 

 

Guided Tours
Special Guided Tours

 

 

 

Eurovision will keep the tourists pouring in. The event organisers have made arrangement for guided tours between May 19th and May 23rd> Each tour will show a different shade of the contest and the city of vienna. The cost of each tour is € 15 for two hours.The tours will be in German,French and English.

 

 

 

Australia
Australia

 

 

 

Australia is in as a debutant directly into the finals. The representative singers from Australia will be performing on the Eurovision stage for the first time. It is another first for a country outside Europe participating. Eurovision keeps on springing such surprises. So go ahead and watch the spectacle live.

 

 

 

Gay Paradise
Gay Paradise

 

 

 

Unlike most countries Vienna is the place for LGBT. The gays will be there at Eurovision 2015 much so after Conchita Wurst winning the contest last year. Let the world watch how Vienna and Eurovision build bridges across cultures. Three Cheers!!!

 

 

 

 

What Motivates Acoustic Artists to Make Music?

I have been thinking a lot about acoustic musicians lately and what is it that motivates them to make music? With so many musicians out there, some making it big, some making it little, some barely making it, one asks, “What motivates acoustic artists to make music?”   There are several different answers, but it all comes back to one solid point: there is something about music that makes the artist want to be a performer.
acoustic
For some acoustic artists, the call of performing is to make money. Many talented musicians find that they are able to make a little extra money on weekends by booking small, local gigs. As they begin to gain appreciation and fans, the musician may find himself or herself making even more money as time goes by. The dream of earning a living by doing something one loves calls strongly to these musicians.

For other artists, the reason for making acoustic music is to gain credibility. These people want their name to be known for their music. These artists look for audiences who can relate very closely to their music, who will be able to appreciate it, and will become loyal followers to the musician. Money does not matter quite as much to these artists, but rather the fame.

The third reason an artist may make acoustic music is to simply touch people. Some musicians really only want to make people feels emotions. Their acoustic music comes from deep within the soul, and can be very emotional. These musicians rarely use their real names, book gigs or post their music to any place that will make money. Instead, these musicians post their music to sites that will reach listeners worldwide, free of charge, in hopes that their acoustic music will touch at least one life.

What determines which category an acoustic artist will fall in? There are as many answers as there are musicians. Each person has their own reasoning for making music, and each individual artist will find their needs fulfilled in different ways, for different reasons.