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david bowie – in memory of a great artist

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Sinatra sings louder than ever


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Merry Christmas!

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (13...

The Flight into Egypt by Giotto di Bondone (1304-06, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To celebrate Christmas I worked on a tune that started out as an exercise in exotic scales. There’s an app at Reaper.fm, the digital workstation that I use, that has countless scales. Probably more than anyone could ever use. So I picked a few that sounded good, tried to blend them together, and soon after realized that it was turning into an unconventional Christmas Story (musically speaking).

Just tonight on Christmas Eve I was watching a show about the flight into Egypt. How Joseph and Mary had to flee from the paranoid King Herod, who was killing all the firstborn because he got wind from the Magi that a King had been born. After a while, sitting in front of our Christmas tree, I felt that this tune sort of captured the flight.

Unconventional, yes. But then, so was Jesus Christ, who continues to be more radical (in a good way) than any other figure to have walked this Earth.

Merry Christmas to all who wish to celebrate this hallowed holiday. The lights and gifts are great. But they’re just symbols of something far greater.

Enjoy!

–Michael Clark


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What your musical taste says about your personality

English: Tenori-on is an electronic musical in...

Tenori-on is an electronic musical instrument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David Greenberg, University of Cambridge

We’re exposed to music for nearly 20% of our waking lives. But much of our musical experience seems to be a mystery. Why does some music bring us to tears while other pieces make us dance? Why is it that the music that we like can make others agitated? And why do some people seem to have a natural ability to play music while others have difficulty carrying a tune? Science is beginning to show that these individual differences are not just random but are, in part, due to people’s personalities.

My colleagues and I have published research showing that people’s musical preferences are linked to three broad thinking styles. Empathisers (Type E) have a strong interest in people’s thoughts and emotions. Systemisers (Type S) have a strong interest in patterns, systems and the rules that govern the world. And those who score relatively equally on empathy and systemising are classified as Type B for “balanced”.

Research from the past decade has shown that 95% of people can be classified into one of these three groups and that they predict a lot of human behaviour. For example, they can predict things such as whether someone studies maths and science, or humanities at university. For the first time, we have shown that they can predict musical behaviour, too.

Matching music with thinking style

To study this phenomenon, we conducted multiple studies with over 4,000 participants. We took data on these participants’ thinking styles and asked them to listen to and indicate their preferences for up to 50 musical excerpts, representing a wide range of genres. Across these studies, we found that empathisers preferred mellow music that had low energy, sad emotions, and emotional depth, as heard in R&B, soft rock, and singer-songwriter genres. For example, empathising was linked to preferences for “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones and Jeff Buckley’s recording of “Hallelujah”.

On the other hand, systemisers preferred more intense music, as heard in hard rock, punk and heavy metal genres. Systemisers also preferred music with intellectual depth and complexity as heard in avant-garde classical genres. For example, systemizing was linked to preferences for Alexander Scriabin’s “Etude opus 65 no 3”. Importantly, those who are Type B, had a tendency to prefer music that spans more of a range than the other two thinking styles.

In our most recent study, published in the Journal of Research of Personality, we found that people’s personality traits can also predict their musical ability, even if they don’t play an instrument. Our team worked with BBC Lab UK to recruit over 7,000 participants and assess them for five distinct personality dimensions: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism/emotionality stability. We also asked them to conduct various tasks that measured their musical ability, including remembering melodies and picking out rhythms.

We found that, next to musical training, the personality trait of openness was the strongest predictor of musical sophistication. People who score highly for openness are imaginative, have a wide range of interests, and are open to new ways of thinking and changes in their environment. Those who score low on openness (or who are “closed”) are more set in their ways, prefer routine and the familiar, and tend to have more conventional values. We also found that extroverts who are often more talkative, assertive, and excitement-seeking had greater singing abilities.

Furthermore, we could apply this even to people who did not currently play a musical instrument, meaning there are people who have a potential for musical talent but are entirely unaware of it.

Music therapy

These new findings tell us that from a person’s musical taste and ability, we can infer a range of information about their personality and the way that they think.

This research shows there are factors beyond our awareness that shape our musical experiences. We hope that these findings can be of help to teachers, parents, and clinicians. Based on information about personality, educators can ensure that children with the potential for musical talent have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Music therapists can use information about thinking style to help tailor their therapies for clients, too.

We are also interested in how knowledge gained from science can help children and adults on the autism spectrum who have difficulties with communication, as we recently wrote in the journal Empirical Musicology Review. This could also help people process emotions after experiencing a psychological trauma and when grieving a loss. In fact, initial findings from our lab suggest that people who experienced a traumatic event in childhood engage with music quite differently in adulthood than those who did not experience a trauma.

If you want to find out how you score on musical ability, preferences, and personality, you can take these tests at www.musicaluniverse.org.

The Conversation

David Greenberg, PhD candidate, psychology, University of Cambridge

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


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Hovering

Listening to this today, I finally put my finger on what it sounds like to me. An ethereal time machine… spinning thru the centuries, hovering over different eras. Funny thing about this time machine is that it’s sorta got a personality. So that’s why I tagged it “mad computer” and “man machine” at SoundCloud.


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“Power” by Jim Morrison

Stuff Jeff Reads

WildernessMorrison

I love The Doors and I am a huge fan of Jim Morrison’s writing, but I have to admit that some of what was posthumously published as “poetry” is really nothing more than the scribbled thoughts of someone who was way too stoned for his own good. Much of what is in Wilderness Volume 1: The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison falls into this category. The following poem, though, is one of the better pieces in the collection.

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

I can make myself invisible or small.
I can become gigantic & reach the
farthest things. I can change
the course of nature.
I can place myself anywhere in
space or time.
I can summon the dead.
I can perceive events on other worlds,
in my deepest inner mind,
& in the minds of others.

I…

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Rock and Roll in Church

What some people say! – Image via Tumblr

By Verona Raymond

Why do some churches have old time hymns and others have several guitars, drums and other types of instruments that weren’t in churches twenty plus years ago? Are we getting away from what a Christian church should be, and forming something else that maybe isn’t acceptable to God today?

I know some conservative churches that never allow anything but a piano and a church organ for their music. They sing the old time hymns (from when I was a child in church), of which many are still beautiful and really nostalgic.

Other churches allow most any musical instrument. Christian songs by new Christian artists of today are played and sung as well. I’ve got to admit that some of the music that is popular is really beautiful, and touches my heart. One of them is “I can Only Imagine” by MercyMe. It describes what we will feel when we are standing before Jesus someday. It gives me goose bumps every time it’s played! There are many more beautiful Christian songs that are out right now as well.

Do you ever feel the Lord’s presence within you at church when you are singing? According to the Bible, singing and praising the Lord is what he loves for us to do.

Here is a verse from the Bible that talks about David:

David and Saul

David and Saul (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 2 Samuel 6:5

It seems like there was quite a collection of instruments! I don’t recall any drums mentioned in the Bible, but cymbals were mentioned and timbrels which are similar to tambourines. Psalteries were stringed instruments that were made out of a flat wooden box.

I really believe that when you are in church and praising the Lord with singing, it doesn’t matter what style it is as long as you are joyful in doing so. Singing feels good and makes your heart glad that God loves us, and at the same time you are thanking God for all he has done and continues to do. Singing out loud is a perfect release!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalm 98:4

About The Author

Verona Raymond – Living Life with God’s Purpose in Mind

Verona maintains Christian websites filled with uplifting Christian articles and information.

This article may be reprinted freely as long as all links remain active.

http://christianarticles.christianrhapsody.com

Article source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/religion/article_283.shtml

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