Entries Tagged 'other' ↓

Earworms & mental itches

From the Discover blog: Why do songs get stuck in our heads?

Having a song, tune, or commercial jingle stuck in one’s head is a phenomenon known as having an earworm. Most people have had an earworm at one time. The experience is harmless and unrelated to both obsessive-compulsive disorder and endomusia, the hearing of music that is not really there. Certain songs—simple, repetitive, or oddly incongruous—have properties that act as mental mosquito bites in that they produce a cognitive “itch.” The condition also arises when people struggle to remember forgotten lyrics or how a song ends. To scratch a cognitive itch, the brain repeats the song, which then traps the hapless victim in a repeated cycle of itching and scratching. Everyone has his or her own list of demon tunes that haunt. Earworms occur more often among women, musicians, and individuals who tend to worry. (OK, so that makes my brain a perfect haven for earworms). Earworms also vary across situations, striking when people are tired or under stress. How can you make an earworm go away? Thinking of something else or actually listening to the song in question are thought to help, but there is presently no research evidence showing what works best. Fortunately, most episodes eventually dissipate on their own.

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Bollywood Piano (?)

No really. At Boosey & Hawkes, the classical music business behind Stravinsky and Prokofieff.

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Jazz improv and the brain

A study shows jazz improvisers brains in an ’altered state’, high on creativity with decreased inhibition when performing.

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Blindfold test

Pit your jazz listening skills against featured artists at JazzTimes.

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Webcast from Winter NAMM

Cakewalk is broadcasting special events live over the web from NAMM 2008. You need to register prior to the event. More info.

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Keep Internet Radio alive

Internet radio companies are preparing for a battle with the Copyright Royalty Board that could lead to the Congress and – many fear, the end of streaming music stations in the United States. Most Internet radio stations are independent from major media companies that own the majority of traditional radio stations. As a result, webcasters play a far more diverse selection of music than broadcast or even satellite radio. Several Internet radio companies are arguing that a recent decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (a three-member panel under the Library of Congress), would make it almost impossible for them to stay afloat. Under the ruling released on March 2, web broadcasters must pay every time a listener hears a song, at a rate that began at 0.08 cent in 2006 (the ruling applies retroactively) and rises to 0.19 cent in 2010. Besides increasing the charge for each song, the ruling established a $500 minimum payment for each Web channel. In all likelihood, many stations will be bankrupt if forced to do this.

More infoAs an independent recording artist, I have had my music played over several internet radio stations, thus reaching a wider audience. As a listener, I am able to check out new music from Europe and other continents besides the US, and be introduced to newer artists, whose music I buy if I like, and whose performances I will attend if they are in my neck of the woods. These internet radio stations support my music, and let me in turn, support other artists. They also support new music and artists that in all probabilty will never be played on traditional radio stations because their music doesn’t fit the stations’ format, or because they are unknown. Click on the link to the right if you would like to know more, and if you want to help, please sign the petition.

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Classical scores

With the expiration of classical music copyrights, a few sites are offering sheet music as free downloads. Among them the Mutopia Project and the Petrucci Library. Be sure to wise up to copyright issues before you use it to copy, distribute or record it.

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