Wednesday, February 13, 2013
MUSIC AND THE HUMAN BRAIN
By Namakando Nalikando-Sinyama “Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and quits the memory with difficulty. Magical music never quite leaves the memory.” -Sir Thomas Beecham quoted Lord Booth by ‘My Yesterday, Your Tomorrow.” ... We no doubt all have different genres of music we enjoy, some plain and gentle, some mellow and just and others coarse and offensive even vulgar at times and others exquisitely sublime and heavenly. In order to fully enjoy music, a genuine connoisseur is really never that fixated about what genre a musical piece is. For as long as it appeals to their inner spirit, then they will respond to its rhythm. I do completely agree with this assertion however, truth be told, you will never ever catch me dead walk into a music shop with any reputation to speak of and come out with a copy of some of this racket that we are treated to which now passes as music. What we must be alive to, is the fact that, as shocking as it may be,there are actually human beings who do this and we are forever indebted to the great fashioner of human natures for this diversity of interests in all things artistic. After having said all this, you will perhaps appreciate how I have,in my cherished humble collection, New Age tunes, Nature Sounds, The music of The Brave i.e Hard Rock, Native American Chants, Gregorian Chants, Radical & Dub Poetry Yiddish(Jewish)& Arabic folk Tunes, hypnotic Barotse Royal Drum beats. We must however respectfully admit that, for most, their taste is but a cacophony of incoherent unintelligent din.The only consolation is that, and this is true, to those who are keen lovers of music, somehow we all have a particular piece or pieces of music we can play over and over ad infinitum but still enjoy them the same way as if playing them for the very first time. I will give examples of a few of the many songs I cannot seem to stop playing back. 1. Zahara’s Loliwe,an eternal ballad sang in Si Zulu. 2. Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D 3. Giacomo Puccini’s Nessun Dorma ; well ,really most other Classical symphony pieces by great composers just whisk me away to another spiritual plane I never thought existed. 4. Antonio Vivaldi’s "The Four Seasons" or like I would say in the scanty Italian I picked up from my brief Tuscany connections, ‘Le Quattro Staggionni.’ 5. The Celts and their Gaelic Tunes mostly on flute and Harp. 6. Barotse Royal Drums-Sikota Mutumwa litondo lya linene/ Ngoma ya Lume 7. Mzwakhe Mbuli(The People’s Poet’s) poetic renditions 8. Linton Kwesi Johnson’s Dub Poetry 9. Mutabaruka’s (Which is Burundian or Rwandese meaning ‘The Unconquerable One’) his Agitative Propaganda usually delivered as Radical Poetry. 10. Scottish Highland Bagpipes Etcetera et cetera ……….. The simple explanation is that one may just like the song, period. The truth though, is deeper rooted than that. The inner workings of the mind and brain are more involved than earlier realized. This perhaps is why left handed people using the dominant Right side of their brain have an upper artistic advantage. If you are interested in knowing just what happens to your brain under the influence of music I urge you to read up on this subject matter on (http://io9.com/5837976/what-happens-to-your-brain-under-the-influence-of-music) The personality which we are born with or the one we have acquired or attained because of being shaped by the external environment we find ourselves in has a lot to do with which music we lend an ear to as well. To most, the music they choose to listen to is reflective of a certain mood they are in and it keeps them that way for as long as they want. What I can state here with a great degree of certitude is that, whoever we are and whatever we listen to, any music is by its very nature spiritual. I may not be an acclaimed neuroscientist or anything but, I am quite curious to know just which parts of our brains get excited for us to respond to different types of musical pieces differently from other people. I will here give an example of situations when a certain song is loved by a surprising huge number of listeners and manages to maintain its followers. Are we to say these people were touched the same way when they first listened to it? Unless you are wired like me and are not afflicted with Herd Mentality and have not thus succumbed to the Lemming Hood Effect then you would understand what I mean. If you have had to suffer the misfortune of being born in a part of the world replete with overzealous Christian fundamentalists who are perpetually on a high of religious excess where we get all manner of half thought through explanations for certain physical or psychological phenomenon then you will miss my point. From them, you will even get to hear nonsensical talk of certain songs having great appeal because they were composed under the sea by some mythical mermaids! What balderdash indeed, these folks may be abusing substances seriously! I have never done anything because everyone is doing it no matter how strong the urge becomes and i have realized that sometimes I have done this out of sheer stupid pride. The saddest thing is, most pieces of music no matter how nice after they are first released, have been spoiled from being over played to obsolescence. I have, on countless number of occasions, simply kept away from and avoided things that every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane have taken to like a bear to a honey pot just to be different. I will never be painted with the same brush as my surface is a bit coarser than your average bloke. You may need brushes with wire bristles to achieve this artistic feat. This is exactly what I did when James Cameron show cased Kate Winslet and Leonardo Di Caprio as they treated us to that epic romantic nautical disaster that The Titanic was. This apparently also applies to certain movies I find irresistible to sit down and watch over without ceasing. You just cannot seem to get enough of them. So there are Mermen or satanic directors at Holy Wood right? Please get a life! Those who have had an encounter with me know that I am a keen follow of global Illuminati activity and the extent of their reach in influencing events on the planet past and present, but we are now over stretching issues to dizzy heights if we ever started thinking like this. I hope you had sufficient attention span to go through my rumblings which a brother called unsolicited verbiage! Mwiice, I will bring a train on you Mudaala…..