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Hip-Hop Artists Have Been Writing About Mental Health For Decades | The Huffington Post

But Jordan Simpson took exception to this idea. A writer and slam poet, he wanted to remind everyone that musicians and rappers have been talking about – and experiencing – mental illness for decades. “To say that hip-hop artists don’t talk about mental illness is wack,” Simpson posted on Twitter. “They do, y’all just don’t listen.”

Men should avoid rock music when playing board games, say scientists -- ScienceDaily

Researchers gave the volunteers headphones that played one of three tracks -- Andante from Sonata for Two Pianos by Mozart, Thunderstruck by AC/DC, or the sound of an operating theatre. The team then timed them how long it took the participants to remove three body parts, as well as tracking their mistakes. The results revealed that men who listened to AC/DC were slower and made more mistakes, compared to men who listened to Mozart or the sound of an operating theatre. Thunderstruck triggered around 36 mistakes on average, while the Sonata and operating theatre noises caused 28. It took volunteers around one minute to complete the task. Women, however, did not seem to be distracted by the rock music, and none of the three tracks made any difference to performance or speed. Generally, women took longer to remove the body parts, but made fewer mistakes. The researchers are unsure why rock music affected men more than women. One explanation, they said, could be that rock music causes more auditory stress -- a state triggered by loud or discordant music -- in men.

Did you miss that musical beat? Your pupils didn’t | Science | AAAS

Even if you don’t have rhythm, your pupils do. In a new study, neuroscientists played drumming patterns from Western music, including beats typical in pop and rock, while asking volunteers to focus on computer screens for an unrelated fast-paced task that involved pressing the space bar as quickly as possible in response to a signal on the screen. Unbeknownst to the participants, the music omitted strong and weak beats at random times. (You can listen below for an example of a music clip they used. If you listen carefully, you can hear bass and hi-hat beats omitted throughout.) Eye scanners tracked the dilations of the subjects’ pupils as the music played. Their pupils enlarged when the rhythms dropped certain beats, even though the participants weren’t paying attention to the music. The biggest dilations matched the omissions of the beats in the most prominent locations in the music, usually the important first beat in a repeated set of notes. The results suggest that we may have an automatic sense of “hierarchical meter”—a pattern of strong and weak beats—that governs our expectations of music, the researchers write in the February 2017 issue of Brain and Cognition. Perhaps, the authors say, our eyes reveal clues into the importance that music and rhythm plays in our lives.

Cohen's first performance

Cohen has always found performing unnerving. His first major attempt came in 1967, when Judy Collins asked him to play at Town Hall, in New York, at an anti-Vietnam War benefit. The idea was that he would make his stage début by singing “Suzanne,” an early song of his that Collins had turned into a hit after he sang it to her on the telephone. “I can’t do it, Judy,” he told her. “I would die from embarrassment.” As Collins writes in her memoir, she finally cajoled him into it, but that night, from the wings, she could see that Cohen, “his legs shaking inside his trousers,” was in trouble. He got halfway through the first verse and then stopped and mumbled an apology. “I can’t go on,” he said and walked off into the wings. Out of sight, Cohen rested his head on Collins’s shoulder as she tried to get him to respond to the encouraging shouts from the crowd. “I can’t do it,” he said. “I can’t go back.” “But you will,” she said, and, finally, he acceded. He went out, with the crowd cheering, and finished singing “Suzanne.”

How long does it take to write a song?

Cohen went to see Dylan perform in Paris, and the next morning in a café they talked about their latest work. Dylan was especially interested in “Hallelujah.” Even before three hundred other performers made “Hallelujah” famous with their cover versions, long before the song was included on the soundtrack for “Shrek” and as a staple on “American Idol,” Dylan recognized the beauty of its marriage of the sacred and the profane. He asked Cohen how long it took him to write. “Two years,” Cohen lied. Actually, “Hallelujah” had taken him five years. He drafted dozens of verses and then it was years more before he settled on a final version. In several writing sessions, he found himself in his underwear, banging his head against a hotel-room floor. Cohen told Dylan, “I really like ‘I and I,’ ” a song that appeared on Dylan’s album “Infidels.” “How long did it take you to write that?” “About fifteen minutes,” Dylan said.

Life begins and ends with music

He took some informal guitar lessons in his twenties from a Spaniard he met next to a local tennis court. After a few weeks, he picked up a flamenco chord progression. When the man failed to appear for their fourth lesson, Cohen called his landlady and learned that the man had killed himself. In a speech many years later, in Asturias, Cohen said, “I knew nothing about the man, why he came to Montreal . . . why he appeared at that tennis court, why he took his life. . . . It was those six chords, it was that guitar pattern, that has been the basis of all my songs, and all my music.”

The mathematics of music history: Patriotism in music is expressed through use of speech rhythms from the composer's native language -- ScienceDaily

Together with colleagues from London and Amsterdam, MIB postdoc Niels Chr. Hansen, analysed thousands of musical themes composed by French, Italian, and Austro-German composers living in 1600-1950. During these years, rhythmic variability in French music was initially low -- just like in Italian music and language. Later on, it increased towards the natural equilibrium for Austro-German music and language before the rhythms of French music finally diverged into two separate stylistic schools of composition.

How the brain produces consciousness in 'time slices' of .4 seconds

The new model proposes a two-stage processing of information. First comes the unconscious stage: The brain processes specific features of objects, e.g. color or shape, and analyzes them quasi-continuously and unconsciously with a very high time-resolution. However, the model suggests that there is no perception of time during this unconscious processing. Even time features, such as duration or color change, are not perceived during this period. Instead, the brain represents its duration as a kind of "number", just as it does for color and shape. Then comes the conscious stage: Unconscious processing is completed, and the brain simultaneously renders all the features conscious. This produces the final "picture", which the brain finally presents to our consciousness, making us aware of the stimulus. The whole process, from stimulus to conscious perception, can last up to 400 milliseconds, which is a considerable delay from a physiological point of view. "The reason is that the brain wants to give you the best, clearest information it can, and this demands a substantial amount of time," explains Michael Herzog. "There is no advantage in making you aware of its unconscious processing, because that would be immensely confusing." This model focuses on visual perception, but the time delay might be different for other sensory information, e.g. auditory or olfactory.

Physicists Detect Gravitational Waves, Proving Einstein Right - The New York Times

If replicated by future experiments, that simple chirp, which rose to the note of middle C before abruptly stopping, seems destined to take its place among the great sound bites of science, ranking with Alexander Graham Bell’s “Mr. Watson — come here” and Sputnik’s first beeps from orbit.

Awesome album falls between the cracks

hough now considered a classic, The Gilded Palace of Sin sold dismally. Rolling Stone critic and fellow Waycross native Stanley Booth gave it a rave review and Dylan said the album “instantly knocked me out,” but the Burritos’ music was still too rock for country audiences and too country for the rock set.

Nudie and the Cosmic American

In the late 1960s, Nudie’s son-in-law and head tailor Manuel Cuevas met Parsons and enticed him into Nudie’s shop. In addition to working for Nudie, Manuel, who goes by his first name professionally, was working on crafting the Grateful Dead’s skeleton-and-roses insignia and designing the suits for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album. Soon after, Parsons began sporting Nudie’s outlandish creations as the visual corollary to his unique sound. Nudie would hop in his custom Western-themed Cadillac convertible, with pistols for door handles, a hand-tooled leather dashboard covered in silver dollars, horseshoe hood ornaments, and steer horns jutting forth from the front grill, and drive to the clubs to hear the band play. Parsons had started a new band called the Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman, another ex-Byrd. “Nudie loved seeing Gram up on the stage, sparkling and looking so beautiful in his designs,” said photographer Raeanne Rubenstein. When it came time for the Burritos to record their debut album, The Gilded Palace of Sin, Nudie was the obvious choice to help put together their look.

Your body is your brain

"We have now uncovered an unforeseen role of motor neurons in the elaboration of the final program for motor behaviour," says principal investigator Abdel El Manira at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Neuroscience. "Our unexpected findings demonstrate that motor neurons control locomotor circuit function retrogradely via gap junctions, so that motor neurons will directly influence transmitter release and the recruitment of upstream excitatory interneurons."

Mind of blue: Emotional expression affects the brain's creativity network: Study of jazz pianists finds 'happy' and 'sad' music evoke different neural patterns -- ScienceDaily

"There's more deactivation of the DLPFC during happy improvisations, perhaps indicating that people are getting into more of a 'groove' or 'zone,' but during sad improvisations there's more recruitment of areas of the brain related to reward," said McPherson, a classical violist and first-year graduate student in the Harvard-MIT Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology. "This indicates there may be different mechanisms for why it's pleasurable to create happy versus sad music."

Improving musical synchronization with mathematical modeling

In a recently-published paper in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics, authors Donald Drew, Kevin Dolch, and Maury Castro propose a stochastic differential equation model that simulates how musical performers in a large ensemble sustain tempo and phase while responding to a conductor, other musicians, and additional distractions modeled as "noise." In an ideal situation, musicians would be able to perfectly coordinate the rate of change at which pitch and relative loudness occur while simultaneously ignoring noise and the distractions of the other musicians. However, the authors recognize that the aforementioned stimuli cause execution errors from each individual.

Keith Richards on creativity under pressure

Because you’ve been playing every day, sometimes two or three shows a day, ideas are flowing. One thing feeds the other. You might be having a swim or screwing the old lady, but somewhere in the back of the mind, you’re thinking about this chord sequence or something related to a song. No matter what the hell’s going on. You might be getting shot at, and you’ll still be “Oh! That’s the bridge!” And there’s nothing you can do; you don’t realize it’s happening. It’s totally subconscious, unconscious or whatever. The radar is on whether you know it or not. You cannot switch it off. You hear this piece of conversation from across the room, “I just can’t stand you anymore”… That’s a song. It just flows in. And also … to provide ammo, you start to become an observer, you start to distance yourself. You’re constantly on the alert. That faculty gets trained in you over the years, observing people, how they react to one another. Which, in a way, makes you weirdly distant. You shouldn’t really be doing it. It’s a little of Peeping Tom to be a songwriter. You start looking round, and everything’s a subject for a song. The banal phrase, which is the one that makes it. And you say, I can’t believe nobody hooked up on that one before! Luckily there are more phrases than songwriters, just about.

Music not just good for the soul, it's also good for the body - Yahoo News

To assess the impact of music on surgical outcomes, Vetter and colleagues analyzed data from 47 studies, including 26 that looked at the effect of music before procedures, 25 looking at music in the operating room, and 25 looking at music during recovery. Overall, music was linked to about 31 percent less pain, 29 percent lower odds of using pain medication, and 34 percent less anxiety. In addition, music was tied to 40 percent lower blood pressure and 27 percent lower heart rate. When patients choose their own tunes, the benefits sometimes increased, the researchers report in the Annals of Surgery. For example, self-selected music was linked to 35 percent lower pain levels than no music, while music chosen by study personnel was linked to a 26 reduction in pain levels.

Tony remembers Born to Run

how about this for the funniest joke in the world: springsteen was about to be fired from Columbia. his first two records (the wild and the innocent, and greetings from asbury park) were not really flops, but the label were disappointed with their sales. they wanted to give Bruce just one. more. chance. and that last chance turned out to be the mona lisa: born to run. the joke is today labels dont give bands three records. you get one. one and done. theres no vision theres no patience. theres no artist DEVELOPMENT. as much as i love bruce’s first two records, and trust me LOVE is the word, theyre not born to run.

The Effects of Music Before, During and After Running | Runner's World

On average, the runners covered the 5Ks faster when they listened to music before and during. The time differences weren't considered statistically significant, but what's significant in a research paper and in a runner's log can differ. In the no-music condition, the average 5K time was just under 27:20. In the pre-run condition, it was 26:45. When the runners listened to fast music during the 5K, their average time was just over 26:00. In what's perhaps a counterintuitive result, the fastest average time, 26:00, came when the runners listened to slow music during their 5Ks.

Repetition creates music

They had heard enough sequences that they all tended to blend together; they didn’t explicitly remember which segments they’d heard as loops, or even whether they’d previously heard the sequence at all. Nevertheless, they consistently found the sequences to be more musical when they’d heard them in looped form. Even without the aid of explicit memory, the repetitions of the random sequences had imbued them with a sense of musicality. No matter the constituent material, whether it’s strings of syllables or strings of pitches, it seems that the brute force of repetition can work to musicalise sequences of sounds, triggering a profound shift in the way we hear them.

Repetition creates music!!!

In fact, repetition is so powerfully linked with musicality that its application can dramatically transform apparently non-musical materials into song. The psychologist Diana Deutsch, at the University of California, San Diego, discovered a particularly powerful example – the speech-to-song illusion. The illusion begins with an ordinary spoken utterance, the sentence ‘The sounds as they appear to you are not only different from those that are really present, but they sometimes behave so strangely as to seem quite impossible.’ Next, one part of this utterance – just a few words – is looped several times. Finally, the original recording is represented in its entirety, as a spoken utterance. When the listener reaches the phrase that was looped, it seems as if the speaker has broken into song, Disney-style.

The brain as orchestra, with each system listening to the others

"each structure in the brain contributes its own resonance, and all these oscillations are monitored and integrated by the basal ganglia or striatal circuits. It's like a conductor who listens to the orchestra, which is composed of individual musicians. Then, with the beat of his baton, the conductor synchronizes the orchestra so that listeners hear a coordinated sound." Thus, in essence, the entire brain is an intricate interval timing machine, in which individual structures busy with their own neural tasks, generate resonances that integrate to become ticks of the neural clock.

Career as a Venn diagram

Jad Abumrad’s carefully planned vision came undone when he realized he wasn’t suited for the job he thought his major pointed toward. He had studied music composition and creative writing at Oberlin College and Conservatory, intending to score films. “That didn’t really work out. I just wasn’t very good at it. And so, at a certain point, I just gave it up. I thought my plan was wrong.” […]He was ready to start from scratch when his girlfriend reasoned that he didn’t have to abandon what he’d worked toward. “She made the suggestion, ‘You kind of like to write. You kind of like to make music. You’re not really good at either on their own terms, but maybe you could somehow find the middle ground. Try out radio.’ ” It wasn’t a seamless transition — he began by working for free — but he stuck it out, creating a style of radio that fuses science and storytelling with music and sound. As a producer and host of WNYC’s “Radiolab,” his job is eerily close to what he originally imagined for himself, scoring films; he just had to stretch his thinking to get there.

Letter of Recommendation: Egg Shakers -

On the other hand, get a load of the Band, with their fury of twang and jangle and notes splattering out of a Wurlitzer like tracers of lard from a hot pan — all that noise careening precariously around the downbeat, like a pub full of drunks slurring half-remembered lines of iambic pentameter. Plenty of room for me and my egg shaker — not a chance to pilot the plane through that turbulence, or even co-pilot it, but just to be one whirring turbine blade in an engine somewhere on the wing.

Music's unconscious beat

Recent studies suggest that—even if someone is sitting perfectly still—listening to enjoyable music increases electrical activity in various regions of the brain important for coordinating movements, including the supplementary motor area, cerebellum, basal ganglia and ventral premotor cortex. Some researchers think that this neural crosstalk underlies people's instinct to move in time to music. "We have also known for decades that there are direct connections from auditory neurons to motor neurons," explains Grahn, who enjoys working out to cheesy techno-music. "When you hear a loud noise, you jump before you have even processed what it is. That's a reflex circuit, and it turns out that it can also be active for non-startling sounds, such as music."

Music has a hardwired mood?

People's emotional response to music is visceral: It is, in part, ingrained in some of the oldest regions of the brain in terms of evolutionary history, rather than in the large wrinkly human cortex that evolved more recently. One patient—a woman known in the research literature as I. R.—exemplifies this primal response. I. R. has lesions to her auditory cortices, the regions of the cortex that process sound. When I. R. hears the normal version of a song and a horribly detuned version, she cannot tell the difference, explains Jessica Grahn, a cognitive neuroscientist who studies music at Western University's Brain and Mind Institute in Ontario. But when I. R. hears a happy song and a sad song, she immediately distinguishes them from one another.

Dance like one person is watching.

“If you haven’t seen David dance, it’s amazing,” Michael recounted. “I can’t tell if he’s the worst dancer I’ve ever seen or the best dancer I’ve ever seen. But he’s the least insecure dancer I’ve ever seen. So he was dancing around the kitchen, singing and mouthing words, pointing at me, and I was so...uncomfortable...It was so intimate. There were only two of us in the kitchen...But it was such a gift to have that moment. I’ll forever think of that moment with David.”