Listening to music. Humans. Apes.

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In the eternal search for understanding what makes us human, scientists found that our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey. The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, highlights the promise of Sound Health, a joint project between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that aims to understand the role of music in health.

“We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains,” said Bevil Conway, Ph.D., investigator in the NIH’s Intramural Research Program and a senior author of the study published in Nature Neuroscience. “The results raise the possibility that these sounds, which are embedded in speech and music, may have shaped the basic organization of the human brain.” (1)

Yes, we are the only ones listening to music.

Because our mind is never here.

We love traveling to the stars.

Only because we detest the Earth on which we were born.

We will learn one day.

When we reach the stars.

That those bright small dots we will see.

Is our home.

Which we have left a long time ago…

Stop listening to the music…

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How listening to music ‘significantly impairs’ creativity: The popular view that music enhances creativity has been challenged by researchers who say it has the oppositeeffect. Psychologists investigated the impact of background music on performance by presenting people with verbal insight problems that are believed to tap creativity. They found that background music ‘significantly impaired’ people’s ability to complete tasks testing verbal creativity – but there was no effect for background library noise. (1)

If you want to create music, you must stop listening to music…

If you want to write a great novel, never spend much time reading great novels…

Listen to the whispers in the wind.

If you want to understand them, just stop whispering yourself…

There is wisdom in the silence of the ocean…

But you must drown in it in order to hear it…

And only then will you be able to swim to the shore.

Stop listening to the music.

And your feet will start dancing…

Art for… Science? How sad…

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Arias for the Anthropocene? In a new opera inspired by environmental catastrophe, the Anthropocene is not just the geological epoch that bears our grubby fingerprints; it is also the name of an Arctic research ship that becomes trapped in ice and uncovers a mystery. Reviewer Patrick Goymer, chief editor of Nature Ecology & Evolution, lauds the music but questions the depth of enquiry offered by the tale. (1)

Art in the service of science.

How sad…

In the old days science used to be irrational.

Mixed with religion, it saw the cosmos as a whole.

Now we have rational science.

And we try to also draw art into the abyss of logic as well.

But you cannot see the cosmos through a clear window.

Because the cosmos is not outside.

And the more you see, the less you pay attention to the essence of the world.

Listen to the 9th of Beethoven.

Can’t you feel it?

No, you do not like it because of what you hear…

Move… Think… Dance…

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Boys with good motor skills are better problem-solvers than their less skillful peers, a study shows. In contrast to previous studies, the researchers found no association between aerobic fitness or overweight and obesity with cognitive function in boys. (1)

Moving into the dark forest.

Perceiving.

But do you move in order to perceive?

Or do you perceive because you move?

Stand still.

And you will see everything.

For the cosmos is not out there.

But inside you…

A man alone.

Dancing on the brink of existence.

Making the whole world go around…

Trained in music. Trained with the heart.

How your brain responds to music listening can reveal whether you have received musical training, according to new Nordic research conducted in Finland (University of Jyväskylä and AMI Center) and Denmark (Aarhus University).

By applying methods of computational music analysis and machine learning on brain imaging data collected during music listening, the researchers we able to predict with a significant accuracy whether the listeners were musicians or not. These results emphasize the striking impact of musical training on our neural responses to music to the extent of discriminating musicians’ brains from non-musicians’ brains despite other independent factors such as musical preference and familiarity.

The research also revealed that the brain areas that best predict musicianship exist predominantly in the frontal and temporal areas of the brain’s right hemisphere. These findings conform to previous work on how the brain processes certain acoustic characteristics of music as well as intonation in speech. The paper was published on January 15 in the journal Scientific Reports. (1)

Once upon a time music was the expression of our soul. Harmony was our way to reunite with the cosmos. We listened to the planets wandering through the dark skies. We slept with the company of joyful notes while we sat by the sea. We wept while we listened to the tragic music of Aeschylus. Our heart became captivated by the sounds filling the air and our spirit travelled to unknown and yet so familiar lands of being and existence simply by standing still.

Once upon a time we had music.

Once upon a time we had people who listened to the cosmos speaking.

Now we have people trained in music.

People who can understand every single note.

And yet, being deaf with their heart…

The world is still speaking. All you have to do is un-train yourself…

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