The Song of the Soul is a 1920 silent film drama directed by John W. Noble and starring Vivian Martin. It was produced by Messmore Kendall and Robert W. Chambers. Goldwyn Pictures distributed the film. The planets aligned in the moment of your birth in a way that they never will again. It’s as if the celestial symphony was performing a heavenly harmony in celebration of your path and purpose on Earth. Every personalized Soul Song is a two-step process: first, Gemini Brett translates the unique astrology of your birth chart into musical harmony by correlating the twelve signs of the zodiac with the twelve tones of a musical octave. Then Erik Deutsch records an improvised solo piano composition inspired and guided by that translation.Every order includes your birth chart musical mapping + the 12-minute composition recorded on Erik’s Steinway Grand Model M. Your Soul Song will arrive via email as a hi-res audio file for your endless enjoyment.Each Soul Song is totally original and based off the tonal palette defined by your birth chart’s occupied signs. Brett and Erik also reference specific harmonic patterns derived from auspicious planetary alignments in your chart.After he was released from the ICU, we had more music therapy sessions. One crisp, blue-sky afternoon, my sister and I were visiting with him on the back porch of the recovery floor, overlooking the sprawling vineyards of Napa Valley. It was a splendid space created for patients and family to gather and breathe in fresh air to assist in the post-surgery healing process. I played my Martin guitar and sang some of my father’s favorite songs. He listened in his wheelchair, smiling and tapping in time on the metal table. Moments after I finished singing, with a delighted smile and a twinkle in his blue eyes, he said, “I can count this as one of the best days of my life.”
What does song of the soul means?
The Song of our soul is the intimate expression of our true nature, the spontaneous sound of our spirit. To truly sing is a journey of remembering, getting out of the way, and trusting in ourselves as we surrender to the spirit of sound in us.
Music has always played a critical role in celebrating cultural traditions, sporting events, holiday celebrations, civil rights protests, and entertainment. Music therapy has been in practice for centuries, but today, is increasingly recognized in the medical community as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and trauma. It is now being administered in hospitals, nursing homes, recovery houses, yoga studios and more.
Bob Marley said it best, “The one good thing about music is when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Like penicillin is a cure for disease, music is medicine for the soul.
The history of music therapy is fascinating. “In 1945, the U.S. War Department developed a program using music to recondition service members recuperating in Army hospitals. In this program, music was used in several therapeutic settings including recreation, education, occupational therapy, and physical reconditioning. This early use of music as a support of multiple therapies for military populations helped the music therapy profession grow. It developed further with research endorsed by the Army.”
What is music therapy? The Mayo Clinic describes it as “an evidence-based treatment that helps with a variety of disorders including cardiac conditions, depression, autism, substance abuse and Alzheimer’s disease. It can help with memory, lower blood pressure, improve coping, reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and more.” And, you don’t need a musical background to participate.
There are many ways to administer music therapy, including but not limited to, listening to a curated (passive) playlist, chanting, improvising with instrument, group therapy, and lyric evaluation.Music continues to be a healing source in my life every day, not only for me, but for my clients and family members. When my father became ill in 2018, he underwent emergency surgery for a ruptured aorta. There were a few days that were touch-and-go while he remained unconscious for endless hours. I instinctively knew to turn to music, so I brought headphones and a music playlist on my next visit to the ICU. The idea was to put one headphone in my ear and one in his so we could listen to our favorite songs together. That was my only option for communication with him at that point. After several minutes, something remarkable happened. His eyes fluttered open; he lifted his heavy hand and pointed to his mouth to say he was thirsty. I handed him a sippy cup and through a straw he was able to drink his first sip of water as he regained consciousness. I felt a flood of emotional gratitude and I was sure it was the music that brought him back to consciousness. We continued to listen to songs that afternoon while he told detailed stories of his life from years ago. It was the music we listened to together, despite his dementia, that brought back his memories. I have witnessed first-hand the remarkable healing power of music in my own life. As a young girl from a broken home with symptoms of mild depression and anxiety, singing, playing guitar, and writing songs became my coping mechanism for emotional turmoil. That turned into a career as a songwriter that survived 20 years in the music business. When rhythm and melody work together, they communicate something beautiful about what it means to be human. Music inspires us to understand one another and to feel compassion. I believe that we may not come by peace for mankind with war, guns, government or religion, but can through music. I don’t know if music can save the world, but it can save your soul. Waltz into a gospel church on any given Sunday, close your eyes, listen to the choir sing and you will know exactly what that feels like.
However, the history of music therapy goes back even further. “Perhaps the earliest account of the healing properties of music appear in the Jewish bible. In it, the story was that David, a skilled musician, could cure King Saul’s depression through music.”
To find meaning we have to reclaim our sense of the sacred, something our culture appears to have overlooked or forgotten. The sacred is an essential quality of life. It connects us to our own soul and the divine that is the source of all that exists.Sadly, today so much of life is covered in distractions, in the addictions of consumerism. The soul’s music is not easy to hear amidst life’s constant clamor, and wonder and mystery have become more and more inaccessible. As a culture we seem to have lost the thread that connects the worlds together: the inner world from which meaning is born, and the outer world where we spend our days. The stories of the soul are no longer told, instead our dreams have become the desires of materialism. Even spirituality is often sold in the marketplace, another drug that promises to placate us, to cover the growing anxiety that something essential is missing. When we feel this music, when we sense this song, we are living our natural connection with the Earth and all of life. Meaning is not something that belongs to us, rather our life becomes “meaningful” when we live this connection, when we feel it under our feet as we walk down the street, in the scent of a flower, in rain falling. I am very fortunate in that I live in nature. Early each morning as I walk beside the wetlands—maybe glimpsing an egret, white in the dawn light—I feel this simple connection: how the Earth breathes together with me, how it speaks the language of the soul and of life’s mystery. Here meaning is as simple as apple blossoms breaking open, as a young hawk, its feathers still downy, the fog lifting across the water. It is the song that sings us into life. Whether we have a meaningful life depends upon whether we can hear this song, this primal music of the sacred. The “sacred” is not something primarily religious or even spiritual. It is not a quality we need to learn or to develop. It belongs to the primary nature of all that is. When our ancestors knew that everything they could see was sacred, this was not something taught but instinctively known. It was as natural as sunlight, as necessary as breathing. It is a fundamental recognition of the wonder, beauty and divine nature of the world. And from this sense of the sacred, real meaning is born, the meaning that makes our hearts sing with the deepest purpose of being alive.The sacred can be found in any form: a small stone or a mountain, the first cry of a newborn child and the last gasp of a dying person. It can be present in a loaf of bread, on a table, waiting for a meal, and in the words that bless the meal. The remembrance of the sacred is like a central note within life. Without this remembrance something fundamental to our existence is missing. Our daily life lacks a basic nourishment, a depth of meaning. We are all part of one living being we call the Earth, magical beyond our understanding. She gives us life and her wonder nourishes us. In her being the worlds come together. Her seeds give us both bread and stories. For centuries the stories of seeds were central to humanity, myths told again and again—stories of rebirth, life recreating itself in the darkness. Now we have almost forgotten these stories. Instead, stranded in our separate, isolated selves we do not even know how hungry we have become. We have to find a way to reconnect with what is essential—to learn once again how to walk in a sacred manner, how to cook with love and prayers, how to give attention to simple things. We need to learn to welcome life in all its colors and fragrances, to say “yes” again and again. Then life will give us back the connection to our own soul, and once more we will hear its song. Then meaning will return as a gift and a promise. And something within our own heart will open and know that we have come home. Just listen to some sof
t melodies before going to bed and trust us, you will sleep like a baby in no time. It is a good idea to listen to jazz instrumental for a sound and restful sleep!
Why does music move the soul?
The limbic system, which is involved in processing emotions and controlling memory, “lights” up when our ears perceive music. The chills you feel when you hear a particularly moving piece of music may be the result of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that triggers sensations of pleasure and well-being.
Many athletes listen to rap music during workouts to increase their performance and energy levels. Fast-paced music will give you an energy rush, accelerates your heartbeat, and fuel you up to maximize your performance. Music is proven to leave a positive impact on your brain function. When your brain is functioning properly, your creativity and productivity will eventually increase. Many artists, primarily painters, designers, and calligraphy professionals, have confessed that they listen to music while working on their projects. It relaxes their mind, uplifts their mood, and gives them a boost of creativity. Listening to music can have a soothing effect on your body and mind. It can help you relax, relieve stress, and unwind. However, you will need calming, relaxing, and soothing music rather than an energetic and cheerful playlist.Going through a rough breakup or losing a loved one can fill your heart and soul with extreme sadness. But did you know that music can enliven your soul and fill all the emptiness in your heart? Yes, that’s true! Listen to songs with lyrics that relate to your feelings and emotions, and you’ll be able to get over your grief. Or maybe you’d want to listen to upbeat music to boost positivity and feel optimistic about your life. As mentioned above, music can help calm your nerves and lower cortisol levels in your body. This, in turn, reduces stress and enables you to deal with anxiety and other mental health conditions. So the next time you feel your anxiety is kicking in, listen to some upbeat or soothing music – both of these genres will help you fight the condition. Music is not only comfort food for your soul but a medicine to heal your heart and mind, too. You have music in all forms around you; just give it a chance to make your life better, happy, and peaceful!Getting a peaceful sleep is hard for some people, especially those with irregular sleeping patterns or insomnia because of stress or other reasons. The good news is that listening to calming and soft music can help you sleep better.
Listening to loud background music while working and doing chores can increase focus and concentration. For example, listening to some upbeat and stimulating music while practicing Mathematics can help build your interest, boost mental performance, and improve your problem-solving skills. Similarly, playing background music while cleaning the house will make the chore more enjoyable and interesting.
Science has already proven that music has an intense yet positive impact on physical and mental health. It can help increase focus, clear our minds, and improve our overall well-being. In fact, music therapy is now a thing, and therapists from all over the world use it to help their patients deal with mental health conditions.Have you ever felt your soul escaping the trap of your mind while listening to music? Yes, we all have been there! Music works like a ‘food’ to your soul and sometimes medicine to heal and comfort your heart. It can boost your mood when you are down, give you energy when you feel low, and inspire you to bring out your creativity.
A peaceful and calming playlist will relax your mind and lower your blood pressure and heartbeat. That’s because it reduces stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol in your body.
Music can provide comfort and support in times of stress, sadness, or anxiety. You can get through tough times by simply listening to your favorite music. Plus, listening to music that uplifts you is an effective way of combating stress. Music has the power to transform our moods and our lives.But did you know that music provides us comfort in more ways than one? Here are some more ways how music can be the ultimate comfort food for your soul:
Research suggests that there is a strong connection between mood and music. Music releases dopamine in our bodies – the ‘feel happy’ hormones that elevate our mood in seconds, leaving us joyful, happy, and excited. So, whenever you feel low and blue the next time, put your headphones on and listen to an upbeat music playlist. It would be better if you danced along to the music too!
Have you ever noticed how music connects so many people in clubs, parties, concerts, and festivals? People with different cultures, traditions, and ethnicities unify and form new friendships during these occasions. Plus, music can also help strengthen existing bonds between friends, family members, and partners.Piano, violin, viola, guitar, bass, voice, clarinette flute lessons in Winchester MA for children, teenagers and adults. Our music school serves also nearby cities including Woburn, Stoneham, Arlington, Medford, Lexington and Burlington MA.
Have you ever found yourself listening to and loving the tunes of Korean, French, Turkish music, or any other language? This is because no matter the language, a good and uplifting piece of music will always make you happy and calm. This way, music will familiarize you with other languages.
Memphis soul is a shimmering, sultry style of soul music produced in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records and Hi Records in Memphis, Tennessee. It featured melancholic and melodic horns, Hammond organ, bass, and drums, as heard in recordings by Hi’s Al Green and Stax’s Booker T. & the M.G.’s. The latter group also sometimes played in the harder-edged Southern soul style. The Hi Records house band (Hi Rhythm Section) and producer Willie Mitchell developed a surging soul style heard in the label’s 1970s hit recordings. Some Stax recordings fit into this style but had their own unique sound.
Chicago soul generally had a light gospel-influenced sound, but the large number of record labels based in the city tended to produce a more diverse sound than other cities. Vee Jay Records, which lasted until 1966, produced recordings by Jerry Butler, Betty Everett, Dee Clark, and Gene Chandler. Chess Records, mainly a blues and rock and roll label, produced several major soul artists, including the Dells and Billy Stewart. Curtis Mayfield not only scored many hits with his group, the Impressions, but wrote many hit songs for Chicago artists and produced hits on his own labels for the Fascinations, Major Lance, and the Five Stairsteps.In Detroit, producer Don Davis worked with Stax artists such as Johnnie Taylor and the Dramatics. Early 1970s recordings by the Detroit Emeralds, such as Do Me Right, are a link between soul and the later disco style. Motown Records artists such as Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson contributed to the evolution of soul music, although their recordings were considered more in a pop music vein than those of Redding, Franklin and Carr. Although stylistically different from classic soul music, recordings by Chicago-based artists are often considered part of the genre.
Soul music dominated the U.S. R&B chart in the 1960s, and many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U.S., Britain, and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had begun to splinter. Some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, and in some cases more politically conscious varieties. Many soul artists gained popularity due to the domination of soul music in the R&B charts. Among these artists were Ray Charles, James Brown and the soul group The Temptations. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic and progressive rock, among other genres, leading to psychedelic and progressive soul. The United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are also several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music.”Between 1962 and 1964 Redding recorded a series of soul ballads characterized by unabashedly sentimental lyrics usually begging forgiveness or asking a girlfriend to come home… He soon became known as “Mr. Pitiful” and earned a reputation as the leading performer of soul ballads.”
Though this hybrid produced a clutch of hits in the R&B market in the early 1950s, only the most adventurous white fans felt its impact at the time; the rest had to wait for the coming of soul music in the 1960s to feel the rush of rock and roll sung gospel-style.
Why is music the soul of life?
Music is the soul of life and gives immense peace to us. In the words of William Shakespeare, “If music is the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die.” Thus, Music helps us in connecting with our souls or real self.
Soul music has its roots in traditional African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues and as the hybridization of their respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation – that began in the 1950s. The term “soul” had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States. According to musicologist Barry Hansen,Psychedelic soul, sometimes known as “black rock”, was a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music in the late 1960s, which paved the way for the mainstream emergence of funk music a few years later. Early pioneers of this subgenre of soul music include Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, Norman Whitfield, and Isaac Hayes. While psychedelic rock began its decline, the influence of psychedelic soul continued on and remained prevalent through the 1970s.According to AllMusic, “Soul music was the result of the urbanization and commercialization of rhythm and blues in the ’60s.” The phrase “soul music” itself, referring to gospel-style music with secular lyrics, was first attested in 1961. The term “soul” in African-American parlance has connotations of African-American pride and culture. Gospel groups in the 1940s and ’50s occasionally used the term as part of their names. The jazz style that originated from gospel became known as soul jazz. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from both gospel and soul jazz in African-American popular music during the 1960s, soul music gradually functioned as an umbrella term for African-American popular music at the time.
The impact of soul music was manifold; internationally, white and other non-black musicians were influenced by soul music. British soul and Northern soul, rare soul music played by DJs at nightclubs in Northern England, are examples.The New Orleans soul scene directly came out of the rhythm and blues era, when such artists as Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Huey Piano Smith made a huge impact on the pop and R&B charts and a huge direct influence on the birth of Funk music. The principal architect of Crescent City’s soul was a songwriter, arranger, and producer Allen Toussaint. He worked with such artists as Irma Thomas (“the Soul Queen of New Orleans”), Jessie Hill, Chris Kenner, Benny Spellman, and Ernie K. Doe on the Minit/Instant label complex to produce a distinctive New Orleans soul sound that generated a passel of national hits. Other notable New Orleans hits came from Robert Parker, Betty Harris, and Aaron Neville. While record labels in New Orleans largely disappeared by the mid-1960s, producers in the city continued to record New Orleans soul artists for other mainly New York City- and Los Angeles-based record labels—notably Lee Dorsey for New York-based Amy Records and the Meters for New York-based Josie and then LA-based Reprise. The key subgenres of soul include the Motown style, a more pop-friendly and rhythmic style; deep soul and southern soul, driving, energetic soul styles combining R&B with southern gospel music sounds; Memphis soul, a shimmering, sultry style; New Orleans soul, which came out of the rhythm and blues style; Chicago soul, a lighter gospel-influenced sound; Philadelphia soul, a lush orchestral sound with doo-wop-inspired vocals; as well as psychedelic soul, a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music. Hits were made using a quasi-industrial “production-line” approach. The producers and songwriters brought artistic sensitivity to the three-minute tunes. Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland were rarely out of the charts for their work as songwriters and record producers for the Supremes, the Four Tops and Martha and the Vandellas. They allowed important elements to shine through the dense musical texture. The rhythm was emphasized by handclaps or tambourine. Smokey Robinson was another writer and record producer who added lyrics to “The Tracks of My Tears” by his group the Miracles, which was one of the most important songs of the decade.Hypersoul is a medley of soul and dance music. It maintains the vocal quality, techniques, and style, but includes a movement towards technology, materialism, heightened sexuality, and sensationalism in the rhythm and lyricism. These values represent a departure from the typical religious and spiritual undercurrents of traditional soul music.
Why is music important for the soul?
Music can provide comfort and support in times of stress, sadness, or anxiety. You can get through tough times by simply listening to your favorite music. Plus, listening to music that uplifts you is an effective way of combating stress. Music has the power to transform our moods and our lives.
Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls, and auxiliary sounds. Soul music reflects the African-American identity, and it stresses the importance of an African-American culture. The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music that boasted pride in being black, and being such a creative genre of music, it emerged from the power struggle to increase black Americans’ awareness of their African ancestry. Soul music also combines different elements of music which includes gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz.Another term is brown-eyed soul, or soul music or R&B created and performed mainly by Latinos in Southern California during the 1960s, continuing through to the early 1980s. The genre of soul music occasionally draws from Latin, and often contains rock music influences. This contrasts with blue-eyed soul, soul music performed by non-Hispanic white artists. Ritchie Valens, one of the original pioneers of brown-eyed soul music, also became one of the first brown-eyed soul artists to bring traditional Latin music and rock and roll influences into the genre. Latino groups on the East and West Coast also drew from the funk-influenced Philadelphia soul, or “Philly” soul. The West Coast Latin rock scene continued to influence brown-eyed soul artists as well. Inspired by Valens, 1960s and 1970s bands such as Cannibal & the Headhunters (“Land of a Thousand Dances”) and Thee Midniters played brown-eyed R&B music with a rebellious rock and roll edge. Many of these artists drew from the frat rock and garage rock scenes. However, the large Hispanic population on the West Coast began gradually moving away from energetic R&B to romantic soul, and the results were “some of the sweetest soul music heard during the late ’60s and ’70s.”By 1968, while at its peak of popularity, soul began to fragment into different subgenres. Artists such as James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone evolved into funk music, while other singers such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and Al Green developed slicker, more sophisticated and in some cases more politically conscious varieties of the genre. However, soul music continued to evolve, informing most subsequent forms of R&B from the 1970s-onward, with pockets of musicians continuing to perform in traditional soul style.The syndicated music/dance variety television series Soul Train, hosted by Chicago native Don Cornelius, debuted in 1971. The show provided an outlet for soul music for several decades, also spawning a franchise that saw the creation of a record label (Soul Train Records) that distributed music by the Whispers, Carrie Lucas, and an up-and-coming group known as Shalamar. Numerous disputes led to Cornelius spinning off the record label to his talent booker, Dick Griffey, who transformed the label into Solar Records, itself a prominent soul music label throughout the 1980s. The TV series continued to air until 2006, although other predominantly African-American music genres such as hip-hop began overshadowing soul on the show beginning in the 1980s.
Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also are often acknowledged as soul forefathers. Cooke became popular as the lead singer of the gospel group the Soul Stirrers, before controversially moving into secular music. His recording of “You Send Me” in 1957 launched a successful pop music career. Furthermore, his 1962 recording of “Bring It On Home To Me” has been described as “perhaps the first record to define the soul experience”. Jackie Wilson, a contemporary of both Cooke and James Brown, also achieved crossover success, especially with his 1957 hit “Reet Petite”. He even was particularly influential for his dramatic delivery and performances.
Berry Gordy’s successful Tamla/Motown group of labels was notable for being African-American owned, unlike most of the earlier independent R&B labels. Notable artists under this label were Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Miracles, the Four Tops, the Marvelettes, Mary Wells, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Jackson Five.
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community throughout the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It has its roots in African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening, where U.S. record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa. It also had a resurgence with artists like Erykah Badu under the genre neo-soul.
Based primarily in the Philadelphia International record label, Philadelphia soul (or Philly Soul) had lush string and horn arrangements and doo-wop-inspired vocals. Thom Bell, and Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff are considered the founders of Philadelphia soul, which produced hits for Patti LaBelle, the O’Jays, the Intruders, the Three Degrees, the Delfonics, the Stylistics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and the Spinners.According to the Acoustic Music organization, the “first clear evidence of soul music shows up with the “5” Royales, an ex-gospel group that turned to R&B and in Faye Adams, whose “Shake A Hand” becomes an R&B standard”.
Writer Peter Guralnick is among those to identify Solomon Burke as a key figure in the emergence of soul music, and Atlantic Records as the key record label. Burke’s early 1960s songs, including “Cry to Me”, “Just Out of Reach” and “Down in the Valley” are considered classics of the genre. Guralnick wrote:
Many artists in various genres of electronic music (such as house, drum n bass, UK garage, and downtempo) are heavily influenced by soul, and have produced many soul-inspired compositions.Dominated by Berry Gordy’s Motown Records empire, Detroit’s soul is strongly rhythmic and influenced by gospel music. The Motown sound often includes hand clapping, a powerful bassline, strings, brass and vibraphone. Motown Records’ house band was the Funk Brothers. AllMusic cites Motown as the pioneering label of pop-soul, a style of soul music with raw vocals, but polished production and toned-down subject matter intended for pop radio and crossover success. Artists of this style included Diana Ross, the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Preston. Popular during the 1960s, the style became glossier during the 1970s and led to disco. In the late 2000s, the style was revisited by contemporary soul singers such as Amy Winehouse, Raphael Saadiq (specifically his 2008 album The Way I See It) and Solange Knowles (her 2008 album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams).”Soul started, in a sense, with the 1961 success of Solomon Burke’s “Just Out Of Reach”. Ray Charles, of course, had already enjoyed enormous success (also on Atlantic), as had James Brown and Sam Cooke — primarily in a pop vein. Each of these singers, though, could be looked upon as an isolated phenomenon; it was only with the coming together of Burke and Atlantic Records that you could begin to see anything even resembling a movement.”
Ben E. King also achieved success in 1961 with “Stand By Me”, a song directly based on a gospel hymn. By the mid-1960s, the initial successes of Burke, King, and others had been surpassed by new soul singers, including Stax artists such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, who mainly recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. According to Jon Landau:
Several terms were introduced, such as “blue-eyed soul”, which is R&B or soul music performed by white artists. The meaning of blue-ey
ed soul has evolved over the decades. Originally the term was associated with mid-1960s white artists who performed soul and R&B that was similar to the music released by Motown Records and Stax Records. The Righteous Brothers, the Rascals, Spencer Davis Group, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison & Them, and the Grass Roots were famous blue-eyed soul musicians in the 1960s. The term continued to be used in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly by the British media to refer to a new generation of singers who adopted elements of the Stax and Motown sounds. To a lesser extent, the term has been applied to singers in other music genres that are influenced by soul music. Artists like Hall and Oates, David Bowie, Teena Marie, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, Frankie Valli, Christina Aguilera, Amy Winehouse and Adele are known as blue-eyed soul singers.
Why is music medicine for the soul?
It can help with memory, lower blood pressure, improve coping, reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and more.”1 And, you don’t need a musical background to participate.
Northern soul is a music and dance movement that emerged in the late 1960s out of the British mod subculture in Northern England and the English Midlands, based on a particular style of soul music with a heavy beat and fast tempo. The phrase northern soul was coined by a journalist Dave Godin and popularised through his column in Blues and Soul magazine. The rare soul records were played by DJs at nightclubs, and included obscure 1960s and early 1970s American recordings with an uptempo beat, such as those on Motown and smaller labels, not necessarily from the Northern United States.As disco and funk musicians had hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, soul went in the direction of quiet storm. With its relaxed tempos and soft melodies, quiet storm soul took influences from fusion and adult contemporary. Some funk bands, such as EW&F, the Commodores and Con Funk Shun would have a few quiet storm tracks on their albums. Among the most successful acts in this era include Smokey Robinson, Jeffry Osbourne, Peabo Bryson, Chaka Khan, and Larry Graham.
After the decline of disco and funk in the early 1980s, soul music became influenced by electro music. It became less raw and more slickly produced, resulting in a style is known as contemporary R&B, which sounded very different from the original rhythm and blues style. The United States saw the development of neo-soul around 1994.
In the early 1960s, small soul scenes began popping up around the UK. Liverpool in particular had an established black community from which artists such as Chants and Steve Aldo emerged and go on to record within the British music industry. As a result, many recordings were commercially released by British soul acts during the 1960s which were unable to connect with the mainstream market. Nevertheless, soul has been a major influence on British popular music since the 1960s including bands of the British Invasion, most significantly the Beatles. There were a handful of significant British blue-eyed soul acts, including Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones. In the 1970s Carl Douglas, the Real Thing and Delegation had hits in the UK. American soul was extremely popular among some youth sub-cultures like the mod, Northern soul and modern soul movements, but a clear genre of British soul did not emerge until the 1980s when several artists including George Michael, Sade, Simply Red, Lisa Stansfield and Soul II Soul enjoyed commercial success. The popularity of British soul artists in the U.S., most notably Amy Winehouse, Adele, Estelle, Duffy, Joss Stone and Leona Lewis, led to talk of a “Third British Invasion” or “British Soul Invasion” in the 2000s and 2010s.The terms deep soul and southern soul generally refer to a driving, energetic soul style combining R&B’s energy with pulsating southern United States gospel music sounds. Memphis, Tennessee, label Stax Records nurtured a distinctive sound, which included putting vocals further back in the mix than most contemporary R&B records, using vibrant horn parts in place of background vocals, and a focus on the low end of the frequency spectrum. The vast majority of Stax releases were backed by house bands Booker T & the MGs (with Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn, and Al Jackson) and the Memphis Horns (the splinter horn section of the Mar-Keys, trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love).
Neo soul is a blend of 1970s soul-style vocals and instrumentation with contemporary R&B sounds, hip-hop beats, and poetic interludes. The style was developed in the early to mid-1990s, and the term was coined in the early 1990s by producer and record label executive Kedar Massenburg. A key element in neo soul is a heavy dose of Fender Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano “pads” over a mellow, grooving interplay between the drums (usually with a rim shot snare sound) and a muted, deep funky bass. The Fender Rhodes piano sound gives the music a warm, organic character.Soul music dominated the U.S. African-American music charts in the 1960s, and many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U.S. Otis Redding was a huge success at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The genre also became highly popular in the UK, where many leading acts toured in the late 1960s. “Soul” became an umbrella term for an increasingly wide variety of R&B-based music styles – from the dance and pop-oriented acts at Motown Records in Detroit, such as the Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, to “deep soul” performers such as Percy Sledge and James Carr. Different regions and cities within the U.S., including New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama (the home of FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios) became noted for different subgenres of the music and recording styles. Little Richard, who inspired Otis Redding, and James Brown both were equally influential. Brown was nicknamed the “Godfather of Soul Music”, and Richard proclaimed himself as the “King of Rockin’ and Rollin’, Rhythm and Blues Soulin'”, because his music embodied elements of all three, and since he inspired artists in all three genres. Mitchell’s Hi Records continued in the Stax tradition of the previous decade, releasing a string of hits by Green, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay, O.V. Wright and Syl Johnson. Bobby Womack, who recorded with Chips Moman in the late 1960s, continued to produce soul recordings in the 1970s and 1980s.
Why is soul music called soul?
The term “soul” had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States.
While the subgenre is still focused on human, often romantic, relationships, it presents them in more artificial, material constructs. These aspects of hypersoul are more in line with the ‘playa’ culture of hip-hop and modern R&B culture. In his 2001 article on the genre, Bat describes it as being “more like an accent than a genre”. Hypersoul is also remarkable for possessing a more European sound influence than the other subgenres of soul. The subgenre provides more roles that may be adopted by the song’s female subjects and more space to express different facets of gender experience as compared to traditional soul, through the reversal of male–female dynamics and the embrace of dominating and confrontational attitudes. These attitudes can be seen as success of the early blueswomen of the 1920s such as Ma Rainey. Performers included Timbaland, Aaliyah, Whitney Houston and Destiny’s Child. Hypersoul maybe also be seen as a precursor to modern R&B.The most important female soul singer to emerge was Aretha Franklin, originally a gospel singer who began to make secular recordings in 1960 but whose career was later revitalized by her recordings for Atlantic. Her 1967 recordings, such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect” (written and originally recorded by Otis Redding), and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn), were significant and commercially successful productions.
By the 1970s, African-American popular musicians had drawn from the conceptual album-oriented approach of the then-burgeoning progressive rock development. This progressive-soul development inspired a newfound sophisticated musicality and ambitious lyricism in black pop. Among these musicians were Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and George Clinton. In discussing the progressive soul of the 1970s, Martin cites this period’s albums from Wonder (Talking Book, Innervisions, Songs in the Key of Life), War (All Day Music, The World Is a Ghetto, War Live), and the Isley Brothers (3 + 3). Isaac Hayes’s 1969 recording of “Walk on By” is considered a “classic” of prog-soul, according to City Pages journalist Jay Boller. Later prog-soul music includes recordings by Prince, Peter Gabriel, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joi, Bilal, Dwele, Anthony David, Janelle Monáe, and the Soulquarians, an experimental black-music collective active during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Stax Records and Atlantic Records were independent labels that produced high-quality dance records featuring many well-known singers of the day. They tended to have smaller ensembles marked by expressive gospel-tinged vocals. Brass and saxophones were also used extensively. Stax Records, founded by siblings Estelle and James Stewart, was the second most successful record label behind Motown Records. They were responsible for releasing hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, and many more. Ahmet Ertegun, who had anticipated being a diplomat until 1944 when his father died, founded Atlantic Records in 1947 with his friend Herb Abramson. Ertegun wrote many songs for Ray Charles and the Clovers. He even sang backup vocals for his artist Big Joe Turner on the song, “Shake Rattle and Roll”.By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres. Artists like James Brown led soul towards funk music, which became typified by 1970s bands like Parliament-Funkadelic and the Meters. More versatile groups such as War, the Commodores, and Earth, Wind and Fire became popular around this time. During the 1970s, some slick and commercial blue-eyed soul acts like Philadelphia’s Hall & Oates and Oakland’s Tower of Power achieved mainstream success, as did a new generation of street-corner harmony or “city-soul” groups such as the Delfonics and the historically black Howard University’s Unifics.
Practice deep listening and Tools of self-enquiry that calm the voices of the mind, quieten the ego, releasing fear and self-judgment and bring you to the power of now. “There is a cry, a call deep within our hearts that wants to be heard. We long for the liberation of our voice and of our soul, to rediscover the grandeur of who we truly are, as a force of the highest vibration and creation”. Our voice brings us immediately into connection with ourselves, each other, and the present moment. Weaving between sound and silence, resting in the stillness from where our sound comes from; we return to the source of Life itself.Being the ‘Hollow Flute’, explore vocal channeling of the elemental and spiritual forces of life and connecting to the energies of nature using breath and sound Bring awareness to blockages within and the stories you carry that hold you back from your true expression. Be held within a container that can support the healing of these parts of the self. “An exceptional experience. We were invited to join with Ayla warmly and honestly. She spoke from a place of stillness and deep connectivity and everyone fell comfortably into expressing themselves in interesting ways”
This is a journey of deep discovery; unveiling our naked and untamed voice and awakening the power of our free expression. We do not ‘learn to sing’, instead we unlearn and release the judgment, fears, and blockages that hold us back from something that is our nature.
Each one of us carries our unique soul voice, a powerful tool gifted to us to connect and communicate with life. The Song of our soul is the intimate expression of our true nature, the spontaneous sound of our spirit. To truly sing is a journey of remembering, getting out of the way, and trusting in ourselves as we surrender to the spirit of sound in us.”The most beautiful experience of connection, divine voices and blissfulnes. The whole weekend was a journey for the soul and a connection to the Divine.
An experience of beautiful heart connection through the calling of our souls song and ritual, sacred practices that leaves you with an open heart and a thriving for life to have more of the gifts that were given
Work with traditions and rituals from various indigenous nations that guide you to focus your deeper intentions, to support you to release, to realign, and to connect to the prayer of your being.
Ayla is a multi-lingual ‘world folk’ singer-songwriter and a visionary musical artist and has spent many years travelling and studying with indigenous traditions across the world, learning from them about the medicine and healing power of the voice and the mystery of sound. A passionate carrier of traditional songs and indigenous wisdom with a vision to inspire others to find their soul and hearts expression, inner guidance and earth connection using the power of sound and voice. She is also a qualified ‘Womb Awakening’ teacher, having trained and studied with ‘The fountain of Life’, and has since developed a unique work of using voice and sound to connect to the womb and awaken the feminine essence.
The Song of Songs gives us an ideal picture of love and family, life and work. Joy in the shared work of the household is a central feature — almost as though sin had never happened. In the Song, work has a beauty that is integrated into a wholesome and joyful life. The Song shows us an ideal for which we should strive. Labor should be an act of love. Marriage and household relationships should support — and be supported by — work. Work is an essential element of married life, yet it must always serve — and never crowd out — the most fundamental element of all: love.
In Song 1:9-2:7, the man and woman sing of their devotion to each other. He speaks of how beautiful she is, and she proclaims how happy she is in love. Then, in Song 2:8–17, they sing of the glories of the arrival of springtime, and he invites her to come away with him. This is in the context of the agricultural economy of ancient Israel, and a trip into the countryside in springtime is not just a picnic. It involves work. Specifically, pruning has to be done to ensure a good harvest (Song 2:12–13; “the time of singing” can also be translated “the time of pruning,” as in the NASB). In addition, Song 2:15 says that foxes, animals that love to eat young grapes, have to be kept from the vineyards lest they spoil the harvest. But the man and woman have light hearts. They turn this task into a game, chasing away the “little foxes.” Their work is so amenable to games of love that it leads to the double entendre, “our vineyards are in blossom.” This glorious picture of agricultural life in springtime hearkens back to the Garden of Eden, where tending the plants was meant to be a pleasure. Genesis 3:17–19 tells us that, because of sin, such labor has become drudgery. But this is not the original or proper meaning of work. This episode in the Song is a glimpse of how God desires life to be for us, almost as if sin had never happened. It is as if Isaiah 65:21 were already fulfilled: “They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” The kingdom of God brings not the elimination of work, but the restoration of joy and delightful relationships in work. See Theology of Work Project article, Revelation and Work for more on work in the ultimate kingdom of God.
Wilder Robles, “Liberation Theology, Christian Base Communities, and Solidarity Movements: A Historical Reflection,” in Richard L. Harris and Jorge Nef, eds., Capital, Power, and Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean, new ed. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2008).
Throughout these verses, we see imagery drawn from the landscape of Israel and its agriculture and shepherding. The woman’s body is a “garden” (Song 5:1). The man’s “cheeks are like beds of spices” (Song 5:13). Enjoying his bride, he is like a man gathering lilies in a garden (Song 6:2). She is awesome like Jerusalem (Song 6:4). Her “hair is like a flock of goats moving down the slopes of Gilead” (Song 6:5). Her teeth are like a flock of ewes (Song 6:6). Her stature is like that of a palm tree (Song 7:7). They desire to go to the “vineyards” (Song 7:12). She rouses her beloved “under the apple tree” (Song 8:5). The joy of their love is intimately connected to the world of their work. They express their happiness with images drawn from what they see in their gardens and flocks.
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This suggests that family and work belong together. In the Song, the whole of life is integrated. Before the Industrial Revolution, most people worked with family members in the households where they lived. This is still true in much of the world. The Song paints an idyllic view of this arrangement. The reality of household-based labor has been marred by poverty, grinding toil, humiliation, bonded service and slavery, and abusive relationships. Yet the Song expresses our desire — and God’s design — that our work be woven into the tapestry of our relationships, beginning with family.
The man then sings of his love for his bride (Song 4:1–15) and their wedding night is described in vivid images and metaphors (Song 4:16–5:8). The woman then sings of her love for her beloved (S
ong 5:9–6:3) and another song on the woman’s beauty follows (Song 6:4–9). The couple then sings of their love for each other (Song 6:10–8:4). The text is frankly sexual, and Christian preachers and writers have tended to avoid the Song or to allegorize it out of concern that it is too racy for polite religious society.The Song begins with the woman speaking of her love for her man and, in the course of this, she speaks of how her skin has been darkened because her brothers made her work the family vineyard (Song 1:6). Work arises only six verses into this song about love. In the ancient world, people tended to look down on dark skin not for racial reasons but for economic reasons: dark skin meant that you were in the peasant class and had to work in the sun. Fair skin meant that you were in the aristocracy, and therefore pale skin (not a tan!) was especially prized as a mark of beauty in women. But here, the woman’s hard work has not really diminished her beauty (Song 1:5; “Dark am I, yet lovely,” NIV). Furthermore, her job has prepared her for the future, when she will tend her own vineyard (Song 8:12). A woman who works with her hands may not be an aristocrat, but she is beautiful and worthy of praise.The Song may pose a challenge to many churches and those who guide Christians, for it is uncommon for Christians to receive much help in arranging their work lives. Not enough churches are able to equip their members for making godly, wise, realistic choices about work in relationship to family and community. Undoubtedly, church leaders will rarely have the on-the-ground knowledge needed to help members land jobs or create workplaces that move towards the ideal depicted in the Song. If I want to know how to better integrate my work as a nurse, for example, with my family relationships, I probably need to talk more with other nurses than with my pastor. But perhaps churches could do more to help their members recognize God’s design for work and relationships, express their hopes and struggles, and join with similar workers to develop viable options.
In a series of songs, the text describes the marriage of the man and woman and their coming together. The woman yearns for the man (Song 3:1–5) and then she comes to him on a lovely palanquin (Song 3:6-11). The man, wearing a crown, receives her (Song 3:11). In an Israelite wedding, a bride arrived in a sedan surrounded by attendants (Song 3:7) and she was received by her groom, who wore a crown. Song 3:11 confirms that this text celebrates “the day of his wedding.”Other possible approaches are discussed in Duane A. Garrett and Paul A. House, Word Biblical Commentary: Song of Songs and Lamentations, Vol. 23B (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004) 59-81. None of these are specifically applied to work, however.
The woman seeks her beloved, whom she regards as the finest of men. Her friends tell her that the obvious place to find him is at his work, where he is tending the sheep. Yet his work is arranged in a way that makes interaction with his beloved possible. There is no notion that work time belongs to the employer, while time off belongs to the family. Perhaps the reality of modern work makes family interaction at work impossible in many cases. Truckers shouldn’t text their families while driving, and lawyers shouldn’t receive a visit from their spouses during closing arguments. But perhaps it is not entirely a bad thing that the separation of work and family that arose with the factory system in the 19th century is beginning to fade in many industries.
But the sex in the text is intentional. A song about the passion between two lovers on their wedding day would be missing something if it failed to mention sex! And the sex is intimately connected to both the household and the work in the Song. Upon their marriage, the lovers create a household, the primary unit of economic activity in the ancient world. Without sex, it could not be populated with workers (i.e. children). Moreover, passion (including sex) between spouses is a glue holding the household together through the prosperity, adversity, joy and stress that characterize a family’s life and work. Today, many couples report dissatisfaction with the amount of time they have for sex and lovemaking. A major culprit is that one or both partners are too busy working. The Song makes it clear that you should not let work push aside time for intimacy and sex with your spouse.
The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is love poetry. Yet it is also a profound depiction of the meaning, value and beauty of work. The Song sings of lovers who court, then marry, and then work together in an ideal picture of life, family and work. We will explore themes of hardship, beauty, diligence, pleasure, passion, family and joy as they are depicted in the wide variety of work seen in the Song of Songs.
The NRSV translation, “I am black and beautiful,” may give the erroneous impression that her dark complexion is due to ethnicity rather than exposure to the sun.
The Song could be an invitation to creativity as the 21 century workplace takes shape. Families might start businesses in which family members can work together. Companies might employ spouses together or help one spouse to find work when relocating the other. Recent decades have seen much innovation and research in this area, both in secular and Christian — especially Catholic — circles.
Song 1:6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, because the sun has gazed on me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have not kept!Love is sacred and a thing to be protected. It cannot be bought (Song 8:7). The woman compares her love life with her husband to her tending of a vineyard (Song 8:12), asserting that although Solomon may have a great many vineyards to be tended by his workers (Song 8:11), her joy is in taking care of her own family. Happiness does not consist in wealth or in having others to do your work for you; it consists in working for the benefit of those you love. Love therefore does not consist only of expressing emotions, but also in doing acts of love.
The loveliness of work, and working people, is often obscured by competing notions of beauty. The Greek world, whose influence is still deeply present in contemporary culture, regarded work as the enemy of beauty. But the biblical perspective is that work has an intrinsic beauty. Solomon builds himself a palanquin (a seat carried on poles) and the Song extols the beauty of the workmanship. It is literally a labor of love (Song 3:10). He puts its beauty to use in the service of love — transporting his beloved to their wedding (Song 3:11) — yet the work was already beautiful in its own right. Work is not only a means to an end — transportation, harvest or paycheck — but a source of aesthetic creativity. And believers are encouraged to see and praise the beauty in others’ — including spouses’ — work.
The Song should also increase our appreciation of unpaid work. In pre-industrial households, there is little distinction between paid and unpaid work, since work occurs in an integrated unit. In industrial and post-industrial societies, much — but by no means all — of the work occurs outside the household, earning wages to support the household. The unpaid work that remains to be done within the household often gets less respect than the paid work done outside. Money, rather than overall contribution to the household, becomes the measure of work’s worth, and sometimes even of individuals’ worth. Yet households could not function without the often unpaid work of maintaining the household, raising children, caring for aged and incapacitated family members, and sustaining social and community relationships. The Song depicts the value of work in terms of its overall benefit to the household, not its monetary contribution.
In developed economies, most paid work occurs outside the household. The Song of Songs does not offer specific means for integrating work with family and other relationships in today’s societies. It should not be taken as a call for us all to move to farms and chase away the little foxes! But it does suggest that modern workplaces should not ignore their workers’ family lives and needs. Many workplaces provide day care for workers’ children, career development that respects parenting needs, time away for family care needs, and — in countries with private health care — medical insurance for workers’ families. Yet these considerations are not available in all workplaces, and some have been cut by employers. Most modern workplaces fall far short of the model of family care we see in the Song. The recent trend towards shifting work from offices to homes may or may not improve matters, depending on how costs, revenues, support services and risks are distributed.
Who said music is medicine for the soul?
Plato Plato remarked that “Music is the medicine of the soul.” But why is it so beneficial? We can all understand how a piece of music can influence our emotions, but one study showed that rhythm may also be important in our development.
Thomas W. Walker, “Who is My Neighbor? An Invitation to See the World With Different Eyes,” in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark Valeri, eds., Global Neighbors (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008).
Shirley J. Roels, “Christian Manufacturers at the Crossroads,” in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark Valeri, eds., Global Neighbors (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008).
Robert D. Austin and Lee Devin, “Knowledge Work, Craft Work and Calling” in Douglas A. Hicks and Mark Valeri, eds., Global Neighbors: Christian Faith and Moral Obligation in Today’s Economy (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008). You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work. Ryan Dixon, Dan Griffith and Stephen Lee started True Vine, a micro brewery in Tyler, Texas. “‘We’re very tied with our family; so we didn’t want something that was going to take us away from that,’ Ryan said. Instead, the trio decided to open as a production brewery, selling their beer to local establishments. Read more about how they seek to live out their faith in their family and work lives here.
There are numerous interpretations of Song of Songs, but we will approach it as a collection of songs that center on the love of a man and a woman. This is the plain sense of the text. It is the most fruitful way to explore meanings that actually arise from the text instead of being imposed upon it. The love poetry celebrates the beauty of a wedding and the joy of love between man and woman.In the ancient world all poetry was sung, and the Song is, in fact, the lyrics to a song collection. It was performed by singers consisting of a male lead, a female lead and a chorus. Song of Songs should probably be thought of as a concert piece created for an aristocratic audience in Solomon’s court. It has strong analogies to the love music of ancient Egypt, which was also meant for such audiences and which was composed in the centuries just prior to the age of Solomon. The lyrics of Egyptian poetry, although in many ways very similar to Song of Songs, are rather light-hearted and often focus on the ecstasy and afflictions of young lovers. The lyrics of Song of Songs, however, are not flippant or casual but profound and theological, and they provoke serious thought, including thought about work.
What does the song of songs means?
The Song of Songs, also known as the Song of Solomon, is love poetry. Yet it is also a profound depiction of the meaning, value and beauty of work. The Song sings of lovers who court, then marry, and then work together in an ideal picture of life, family and work.
What happens when you get a world-renowned scientist and a famous opera singer in the same room? A spontaneous rendition of “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and the establishment of an important collaboration. NIH Director Francis Collins and Renée Fleming, who met a few years ago at a dinner party, realized that they both were curious about how music affects our minds. And so the “Sound Health: Music and the Mind” initiative, an NIH–Kennedy Center partnership in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, was born.One striking example, said Fleming, is the case of Forrest Allen, who was left in an almost lifeless state after a snowboarding accident in 2011 that caused a traumatic brain injury. Allen’s recovery was long and tough, surgeries to repair his skull catapulted him into comas, and he couldn’t speak for two years. His childhood music teacher noticed a tiny movement in Allen’s pinkie finger when music was playing, as if he was tapping along with the rhythm. As part of Allen’s rehab, the music teacher began using rhythm and melody to help his brain heal. Thanks to his doctors, surgeons, and physical therapists, Allen slowly recovered. Thanks to music therapy, he eventually learned to talk again. Today, Allen is a college student at George Mason University (Fairfax, Virginia).
What did Nietzsche say about music?
Friedrich Nietzsche: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
Given that music can affect us to such a degree, Collins asked Fleming how she manages singing professionally during emotional moments. She recollected two particularly emotional moments—singing “Danny Boy” at Senator John McCain’s funeral in Washington, D.C., in 2018, and performing “Amazing Grace” at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City in 2013. She said that it was all about mental preparation before the events. She had to keep reminding herself that the she was singing for everyone else and not just for herself: The singing had to be right. Despite being raised in a musical family, it was not an easy road to becoming a famous singer. Nevertheless, she had the drive to be successful and became fascinated by the skill and practice of singing, observing that “The voice is like a horse: You never know when it will betray you and be off!”Plato remarked that “Music is the medicine of the soul.” But why is it so beneficial? We can all understand how a piece of music can influence our emotions, but one study showed that rhythm may also be important in our development. Fleming showed a video of a study that demonstrated that when a stranger bounced in time with a baby, the infant was more likely to help the stranger complete a task afterwards than if the bouncing was out of sync. This study showed that even from an early age, music can bring us together, but to find out what happens in the brain, we need to be able to observe neuronal activity.Bring in the magnetic-resolution-imaging (MRI) scanner. In 2017, Fleming experienced the feeling of being in such a scanner for herself. She chose the song “The Water Is Wide,” and her brain activity was measured as she spoke, sang, and imagined singing the words. Interestingly, imagining the words produced the most striking brain activity, but she put this down to the fact that singing is natural to her; imagining the words was the hardest.
What did Aristotle say about music?
Like Plato, Aristotle thought music to be fundamentally imitative and agreed that music had the propensity to affect the human soul. “There seems to be in us a sort of affinity to musical modes and rhythms,” he says, which ensures that “we are affected in a certain manner” (Aristotle, 5).
Fleming visited NIH on May 13, 2019, as the featured guest at the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture, named for the former deputy director for intramural research. She and Collins discussed the creative process, the intersection of music and science, and the Sound Health initiative, which aims to expand our understanding of the connections between music and wellness.
Opera singer Renée Fleming visited NIH in May as the featured guest at the annual J. Edward Rall Cultural Lecture. She talked about the Sound Health initiative, an NIH–Kennedy Center partnership in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, and had an on-stage conversation with NIH Director Francis Collins. Afterwards she and Collins sang Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and the spiritual song “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
Music has been part of our lives for millennia and may well predate speech. The earliest known surviving instrument is a bone flute from about 40,000 years ago, and our vocal mechanisms have hardly changed throughout the years. “Can you imagine a Neanderthal opera?” Fleming joked. Because music has been part of our society for so long, it follows that it must have an identifiable impact. Indeed, it has been shown that exposing children to music can enhance reading proficiency and tends to lead to higher rates of career success.Regarding her dreams for the Sound Health program, she hopes music therapy will become more widely covered by insurance and that the arts will be increasingly involved in our general well-being. She concluded by saying that she had been privileged to work with so many amazing people and takes great delight in performing in all sorts of ways. At this, Collins picked up his guitar and they wrapped up this unique event in an unforgettable way. They joined their voices in harmony to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and the spiritual song “How Can I Keep from Singing?” The audience sat spellbound as the music echoed around the room.