Music and the human body

This post consists of a list of questions and remarks on how the body produces and recieves musik. I will rewrite passages when I find new insights.

For remarks on the brain read “Music as a memory game”

The ear

  • Physiology of the ear: what frequencies do we hear well, and why?
  • Read the book on this and add more informations…

The eyes

  • What we see overrules what we hear, so what do we show people while they are listening is important. Just seeing the orchestra does not put you in the best state of listening. I close my eyes to listen best.
  • The mind projects the movements of others as if you were moving yourself. This is why watching ballet is to great, your brain makes you think that you did that yourself. So watching the conductor makes your brain pretend you are doing that, but should you be doing that while watching music played?
  • Fotosync is a way to display pictures with music, based upon the rhythm of the music. the pictures are played by a percussionist. This way of displaying images strengthens the impact of the music. the rhythm of images and sound reinforce each other.
  • Fotosync should work well for brass-band/fanfare. Because there is less difference in orchestration, the composition counts. It get’s boring sooner than a windband.
  • Fotosync: When the orchestra is not that good, the images can be designed to distract the audience during difficult passages. It will help the family and friends having a better expecience.
  • Fotosync will help sell pieces, because you provide visuals to committees organizing. It saves them a lot of time from making a slide-show.
  • Designing fun looking percussion instruments and putting them in de front will also add to the experience of the audience. This also helps committees organize a nice concert.

The muscles

  • How long can people play? Muscles, tension, instrumentweight, fingers, standing, age related: children? Elder?
  • How are we seated: Hall, outside, casual, formal, architecture of the venue, feeling of the chairs, room temperature,
  • Music has an influence over our urge to move: what are our preferred walking tempi (120 bpm?). The mind projects movement when hearing a rythm.
  • Tai Chi helps standing properly, grounded. Use that for yourself to stay balanced while composing emotionally difficult passages.
  • People who move a lot are better at planning and logistics. Many succesfull composers/musicians have a healthy sport thing. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

The bodyfluids

  • Blood pressure: does music have an effect on our bloodpressure, heartrate?
  • Being comfortable while listening: what about food, drinks, toilet?
  • Hormones: I find that male music is often overdone with testosteron movements. But life is not like that, there is a lot of friendliness around us. How does that come? Do we need more oestrogen oriented music? How will that sound?
  • Do harmonies and emotions (level of stress-hormones) have a correlation? That is probably a nurture thing, because what sounds sad is different all over the world. But some composers say that certain keys just have a certain emotional effect. That F major sounds bright and G minor sounds dark.

By Anneloes Wolters

Composer

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