Music and Us
Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who has ever lived. A little known fact about Einstein is that when he was young he did extremely poorly in school. His grade school teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was “too stupid to learn” and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labor job as soon as they could. His mother did not think that Albert was “stupid”. Instead of following the school’s advice, Albert’s parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men who has ever lived. Einstein himself says that the reason he was so smart is because he played the violin. He loved the music of Mozart and Bach the most. A friend of Einstein, G.J. Withrow, said that the way Einstein figured out his problems and equations was by improvising on the violin.
Bodily Responses to Music
In general, responses to music are able to be observed. It has been proven that music influences humans both in good and bad ways. These effects are instant and long lasting. Music is thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the universe. Music can also be used to change a person’s mood, and has been found to cause like physical responses in many people simultaneously. Music also has the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions from a particular event such as a funeral. (From http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n15/mente/musica.html)
“Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness and a gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, true and beautiful.” Plato (Thanks Ainslie for letting us reference this quote from your website.)
Music and the Brain. Oliver Sacks and Norman Swan, ABC Radio National, The Science Show, 5/7/08 “I think music certainly has expressive powers and evocative powers which language doesn’t have, which nothing else has. I think we have a need…you know, ………pressure on the heart of the incommunicable, and some of that incommunicable I think can be communicated with music, and that’s very important. And, as you say, we sing together, we dance together, music is a tremendous bonder and I think especially the rhythmic part of music. And I think our present notion of composers and performers on the one hand and audience on the other is very late and secondary. Basically music is a communal activity…..” You can listen or read this in its entirity by going to www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow – 5th July 2008.
Chris Berry recently toured eastern Australia with Brisbane based Spankinhide as support musicians. Spankinhide and Dobbin and Drum stalwart, Aidan (on kora, middle), and Chris (imbera, right) seen here in a first warm-up. Also seen Dobbin and Drum design maestro, Joan, soaking up the ambience. For more on Chris Berry (and his usual band) Panjea, just go the Google: Chris Berry picked up where Paul Simon left off: “The conscious lyrics are a road map for humanity and Chris is one of the few people able to carry this message to a wide audience…….”
Aidan (centre) has recently spent time in Guinea pursuing his interest in the kora. Performing recently with friends at a fund raiser for a health centre in rural Uganda (visit them at www.Mukwano-Australia.org).
Dobbin and Drum drummers since birth, Aidan (centre) and Piers (left) take their fun seriously. Here as regular performers of west African percussion, with long term friend and mentor,
Elliott Orr (right).
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(Picture at right) Aidan had the privilege of living with BK (left) in Conarkry, Guinea, in 2006 while studying music. See here playing together. More about Bangourake at: www.djembekan.net/welcome/