Secret Garden Party 2009, Friday: Music
July 24, 2009 by Zoe
Of all things human, music may be by far the most mysterious – it defies definition. Whatever it is, it took three billion years to evolve, affects us like nothing else, and is the ultimate reason festivals happen at all. So why not devote a day to it?
Music on the Brain 1200-1300 Jessica Grahn, University of Cambridge
Why do your feet move spontaneously when you hear a beat? Will listening to Mozart really make you smarter? Could musical training actually enhance your intelligence? We all have music on the brain, and it makes us undeniably happy, but why? Neuroscientist Jessica Grahn and music psychologist revealed how music affects our brains, alters our moods and changes our world.
Mood Music 1300-1400 Gianna Cassidy, Glasgow Caledonian University
Every day of our lives music is all around us, whether working out or making out, shopping or gaming, music is a constant soundtrack in our lives. But can it actually influence our everyday behaviour, perceptions and emotions, from how we drive and what we buy to why we cry? We surrounded ourselves with sounds to fiddle with our feelings and explored the sonic landscape with music psychologist Gianna, a lecturer in the psychology of gameplay and a singer-songwriter.
The Evolution of Music 1400-1500 Zoe Cormier, Guerilla Scientist
Making music is one of the weirdest things we do. But every human culture does it. Could it be something that we evolved to do for a reason? Zoe explained how science has revealed that music affects the brain like nothing else: it releases a cascade of sumptuous chemicals (the same released by drugs and sex), stimulates more parts of the brain than any other activity, and makes all our neurons all tingle in synchrony. Not only could music predate language, it could even be integral to what makes us human in the first place.