Crowdsourcing Music!

Dec 30 2013 Published by under Harebrained ideas

Many people run to music. I do sometimes. Mostly for races, when I need something to keep my heart rate up. For practice runs, I prefer the company of a friend, or an audiobook. I've gotten through many, many audiobooks that way (including the unabridged Les Miserables, which is not for the faint of heart. Did you know it inclueds an entire chapter on the history of sewers in general and the Paris sewer system in particular? Riveting).

But I need some more music suggestions! I've got a dependable playlist, but often you need something new and fun to inspire you.

Some of my favorites:

Any suggestions?

4 responses so far

The music of the species

Jan 11 2010 Published by under Behavioral Neuro

It's all about the music. Gill and Purves. "A biological rationale for musical scales" PLoS ONE, 2009
So you might think that music like this:
(HOT STUFF. Go to 0:35 for the real hotness. It's Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium)
or this:

(Also some killer hot stuff, 3:50 has the real chills. The Lauridsen version)
Don't have much in common with THIS hot stuff:

(That'll wake you up! No idea who this guy is, but he's hilarious, and the dancers wearing body suits under skimpy outfits are the best!)
Or even much in common with this:

(That never gets old. MWAH HA HA HA!!!)
But you would be wrong. They have a lot in common. Most songs in both eastern (including Indian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern music) and western music are based on a limited series of musical scales (there are lots of exceptions, but the most popular songs tend to be based on common musical scales). And the question for years has been: why? These scientists have put together a new theory, which Sci will allow you to judge on yourself.

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15 responses so far

The Music of the Brain

Jun 18 2009 Published by under Neuroscience

First of all, remember that post I wrote on the serotonin theory of depression, and how it was probably wrong? I was right it is at the very least incomplete. Another one bites the dust. It's sad, as we are so desperate to find SOME theory on which we people who like to study depression can hang our hats. But the serotonin one was not to be. Check out the blog coverage. It is incisive. I don't know that we should be THAT hard on the researchers who invented the idea. After all, it was a good idea at the time, and the good news is that everyone is willing to accept better evidence and move on. The scientific method at work.

Ok, I'll admit, when Sci first saw this publication, she went "LOL wut?!" Why would anyone DO this? I mean, cool, but WHY? Kind of like putting a really sensitive measurement apparatus for brain wave activity in a freely-flying bat. Cool? Yes. Useful?'s COOL!
But this paper IS cool, and the more I think about it, the more I think there might be something to this, following some more refinement and development down the line. Wu, et al. "Scale-free music of the brain", PLoS ONE, 2009.

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22 responses so far