Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Focus On the Music

November 6th, 2017 Comments off

People view music in vastly different ways. For some it is something to play in the background whilst getting on with other tasks. Others find it next to impossible to concentrate on anything but the music if it is playing, and still others use it as a specific focus. The first two options don’t entirely lend themselves to clearing the mind but the latter group most certainly will find the intensity within the music to be cleansing to the point of meditation. Many people might argue that a focus on the music is, in fact, a distraction but this state is already part of the process of removing other physical distractions.

There will be the issue of emotional states affecting the success of such attempted clarity. Angry or depressive emotions may not be calmed by music; indeed they may simply amplify them causing, even more, distraction than before. In addition, if it is music that is not liked by that person then the effect will once again be negative or perhaps non-existent. Therefore it is important to choose music that does not evoke too many emotional responses and yet is something the listener prefers.

With this in mind, music has been known to create focus. For example, when higher focus is needed such as at a poker table, classical lyric-free music can help to relax the player. A relaxed player will, by default, become less stressed and therefore more able to focus on the game at hand. Other instances include using music to create a soothing atmosphere in which to learn. In fact learning a language along to a song has proven exceptionally helpful and sped up the learning process.

Whilst there is no specific conclusion that music does or does not help with concentration, there is no doubt that it does help to relax people both physically and mentally which, at the end of the day, is no bad thing.

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Getting Classical

August 27th, 2017 Comments off

Many modern day music lovers, particularly the younger generation, are known to turn their noses up somewhat at music dubbed to be classical. Classical music conjures up images of Mozart, Bach or Beethoven and, for a number of us, endless hours after school squeaking on a recorder or violin as our teacher desperately tried to create magic through a group of ten-year-olds. Therefore classical music never stood a chance against the coolness of rock groups or the beauty of girl groups. However, there is an easier way into this more classical world and that is through movie soundtracks.

The Soundtrack to Our Emotions

Everyone loves a good movie; the drama and emotion move us. What many viewers fail to realize is that it is through the music that our feelings are heightened, and, guess what? The music is, for the most part, classical. Movie soundtracks are full of full-piece orchestras creating harmonies and melodies that lead the viewer into a specific frame of mind. Take John Williams’ iconic score in Jaws. There is almost not a soul on earth that doesn’t get chills hearing that distinctive da, dum, da, dum sound. Think how much poorer the movie would be without it.

Enhancing the Theme

Epic scores such as Hans Zimmer on Gladiator, Howard Shore for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Jerome Moross’ The Big Country, all serve to enhance the movies and propel them forward. Each, however, also adheres to the theme of the film. Zimmer’s theme features a more traditionally classic sound to reflect ancient Rome. Shore could be more fantastical and use stranger instruments, and Moross sticks firmly to tried and tested western themes. Other soundtracks may be less majestic in scope but nevertheless are still just as important to creating emotions within a film.

More and more, listeners are branching out and listening to these movie tracks in their own right, proving that classical music is making a comeback. It is really only a small transition from the Lord of the Rings theme over to Mozart.

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Top New Bands of 2017

August 22nd, 2017 Comments off

There are always the old favourite bands and artists that remain popular throughout the years, but it can be rather refreshing to hear someone new that can put a new spin on a musical genre. Every year there are thousands of new artists, but most disappear without a trace soon after. Here are just a few new artists of 2017 that you should definitely be listening out for as they are bringing something new to the world of music.

Girl Gang

This year girls are on top as there is a new girl group making waves. The Aces, from Utah, is a pop group with a few rock themes threading through it. Harking back to the 70s, it still has a rather summery light feel to it. Their album was out in June of this year, and their all-roundedness looks like it will take them far – the drummer also directed the music video for their debut song ‘Stuck’.

The Japanese House sees another female artist, Amber Bain, going solo. A rather unusual name, it is in an effort to remove any preconceptions anyone might have towards her. Full of synthetic sounds and strong electronic beats, the songs are nevertheless poignant and emotional. She wrote her first song at the tender age of 12 and her music has just been going from strength to strength since then.

Only Human

Now known as Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Rory Graham from Sussex has long been lending his soulful voice to a number of collaborative efforts in various hip hop groups. Some of you may have heard his voice in the Wolves EP but it wasn’t until late 2016 that he had a major breakthrough with his song ‘Human’. His deep blue soul voice has now become highly popular, particularly with the release of his much-anticipated album at the beginning of the year. He is on the scene and most likely here to stay.

A number of other bands are worth mentioning too such as Magic Gang playing with a classic 60s vibe, 17-year-old Declan Mckenna emerging at this year’s Glastonbury as the new talent to watch, and synth duo The Rhythm Method, well worth a listen.

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