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This issue! profiles on undisocvered artists. p. 29 March

MAJOR

ARCADE FIRE Is Rap Music? p. 60

What made their fans go wild?

What's hot right now p. 11 1


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table of contents What’s Hot

march

Adele p. 12 Get the scoop on the recent grammy sweeper. Fun p. 18 Chances are, their hit single has been stuck in your head at least once. Read more about how it became a hit.

THe Underground Thomas Andrews p.24 Newest YouTube sensation. the blind pilot p. 28 See how the folk band has earned a place in the world of music Right away, Great captain! p. 28 Discover their lyrical album.

Local Music

cover article

psychology of music

OK, sweetheart p. 28 Find them in Rexburg at their next show.

music in movies p. 48 Read about how bands like Arcade Fire and The French Kicks gained popularity through movies.

music through the ages p. 56 How has your taste changed? Is rap music? p. 60 Is music emotionally stimulating? p. 64?

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letter from the editor M

usic is something that is influential in almost everyone’s life, especially in mine. What this magazine strives to do is bring music into the lives of those who already apprecaite it, and into the lives of those who are new to the world of music. We carefully spotlight unknown or underground musicians so that those already knowledgeable in music get a fresh new perspective. Each underground artist is chosen based off of genuine musical talent and potential. Major magazine also has an area of focus on trendy music today. Especially within this issue, Adele and Fun. are profiled. Their growth in popularity is astounding, and their potential is great.

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What makes this magazine especially different is the area dedicated to local musicians. This issue focuses on Ok, Sweetheart. Though they are not located in Rexburg, they perform here often. Lastly, we focus on the psychological effects of music. In this issue, we question whether music really does affect listeners emotionally, if rap is music, and how our taste in music changes as we age. Major is dedicated to all fans of music, and we hope you enjoy our first issue. We have worked to mold this magazine into something that is accessible to all music-lovers, especially those located in Rexburg and fond of indie music.


contributors Editor in Chief LuLu DeHaan

sponsoring editor Jill Mugleston

sponsoring editor Jason Williams

Writers Evi Figgat Mirinda Bassett Lauren Haddow Alex Pinkham Bekka Fogle McKenzie Livingston Carolyn Lott Ally Toth

Special thanks to Elaine Hawker and Rodney Keller for their contributions to this magazine.

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What’s Hot

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What’s Hot

Written by: Bekka Fogle

ADELE S

assy. Soulful. Successful. Six for six at the Grammys in February, Adele took Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Short Form Video. Her passionate sophomore album, 21, has earned her critical acclaim and an ever-growing fan base in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rumour Has It,” leave her fans burning for more. Adele, born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins in Tottenham, north London, England, began her career shortly after graduation from BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in May 2006. She had recorded a three-song demo for a class project that was consequently posted on MySpace by a classmate and became wildly popular. Then she received a call from XL records. After a little skepticism, since the only record company she’d ever heard of was Virgin Records, she signed with them, and they set her up with a manager. She started as a back up singer for Jack Peñate, and then released her breakout single “Hometown Glory” in the UK in October 2007. Her first album, “19,” was released October 28, 2008, and in its first week debuted at number one on the UK charts. In 2008 and 2009 combined she was nominated for 20 music-related awards for “19,” “Hometown Glory,” and “Chasing Pavements.” She writes in the biography on her official website, “My debut album is about being between 18 and 19; about love,” she continues. “‘Daydreamer’ is about this boy I was in love with, like proper in love with. All the things I wanted from my boyfriend, he was never going to be. It’s quite a sad album, [with songs about] being cheated on and not getting what

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you want.” Many of her fans can relate to her honest lyrics about relationships and love. Her second studio album, “21,” was released mid-January 2011 in the UK and mid-February 2011 in the US. This album was inspired by a break-up with her former companion and had a new sound. During her previous tour of the southern United States, she was introduced to contemporary country music, which heavily influenced her writing. When she released the single “Set Fire to the Rain,” she became the first artist ever to have an album hold the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart concurrently with 3 number one singles. It seemed that Adele was this unstoppable force of musical mastermind. However, last October Adele and her fans were given a pretty big scare when she was forced to cancel performances of her Adele Live tour due to vocal cord hemorrhage. In early November she had microsurgery on her vocal cords at Massachusetts General Hospital. She performed again live for the first time at the 2012 Grammy Awards, where she gave an expressive and impressive performance of “Rolling in the Deep.” When she was once again brought onto the stage to accept the award for Best Pop Solo Performance, she said, “My life changed when I wrote this song, I felt it before anyone heard it. I need to thank my doctors who brought my voice back.” Billboard announced that Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” is the biggest crossover hit of the past 25 years, topping rock, pop, AC, R&B/ hip-hop, dance and Latin charts and that Adele is one of four female artists to have an album chart at number one for more than 13 weeks. She has become a household name over the past six years and I, along with millions of others, can’t wait to see what else she has up those incredibly talented sleeves of hers.


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Written by: Carolyn Lott

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ndie-pop group fun. has struck gold with their chart topping single “We Are Young” from their recently released album Some Nights.

What’s Hot

Fun. piano, bass, and keyboards as well as back up vocals (Billboard.com). All three brought the influence of their former bands to fun. resulting in a lot of experimentation during the first few months. The trio soon discovered they shared an “affinity for vintage pop music and quirky, melodic hooks” (Billboard.com). This unique sound carries over from their debut album Aim and Ignite (2009) into their sophomore effort Some Nights (2012).

“We Are Young” first gained national recognition when it was covered by the cast of Glee on an episode which aired in early December 2011 (Smith). The song hovered in the lower half of the Billboard charts for a few weeks. The song suddenly leaped from #41 all the way “‘We Are Young’ has “We Are Young” has become the to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 after it was prominently featured unexpected “de facto anthem” become the in the Chevrolet Super Bowl ad of fun. Antonoff explained in unexpected “de campaign (Smith). Fun. also has an interview with MTV News, facto anthem” of fun.” their iconic slow-motion music “it’s saying all the things to video to thank for the continpeople that we want to say [as ued success of “We Are Young” (Montgomery). a band]” (Montgomery). Antonoff also revealed that the song was the launching point for the rest On March 5, the song sat at #6 on Billboard’s Hot of the album, providing inspiration for the other 100 list (Billboard.com). This unexpected hit has tracks and the various directions in which they spent the past nine weeks in the Hot 100 topping sprout lyrically and musically (Montgomery). the chart at #3, the past eleven weeks at #7 on the top rock songs chart, and has spent eight weeks at Creating “We Are Young” was a group effort Dost #1 on the digital downloads chart (Billboard.com). explained in an interview with Seattle Pi’s blogger Kristen Coachman. Ruess was “responsible for the So, just what is the recipe fun. used to go from a lyrics” and the “vast majority of the melodies.” relatively unknown band to an overnight success? Dost and Antonoff would take theses melodies and “structure the music around that altogether.” It all started a little over four years ago, back in 2008. After The Format broke up in February of “It’s pretty rare, because any other projthat year, the lead singer and song writer for the ects that we’ve done, I don’t think any of us band, Nate Ruess, moved to New York City and have ever had that song that was like, ‘This began writing what he considered to be his best is our band,’” Antonoff said to MTV News. lyrics. Fun. was formed a short while after when “We’re proud to say, ‘Listen to this one song, Ruess convinced his good friend Jack Antonoff, and then come listen to the rest. Here it is.’” formerly of Steel Train, to play the lead guitar and “We Are Young” as well as its parent album Andrew Dost, of Anathallo’s fame, to provide Some Nights is available now for purchase from various instrumental accompaniments including any music store in digital, CD, or vinyl format.

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the underground

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Written by: Cara Aucoin

Thomas a

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t was a lazy summer afternoon. My sister was watching covers of Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” on Youtube, since it was her favorite song at the time. Occasionally, she would show me some of the covers she thought were good, but I was getting sick and tired of the song since she played it repeatedly.

mended link that took her to yet another cover of the song, but I was still thinking about the one that I had just watched. Unlike the others, I thought this cover was performed by someone who had serious talent, and he didn’t make a single mistake throughout his performance. This art-

“I thought this cover was performed by someone who had serious talent.”

After a while, she had another cover that she wanted me to watch, so I reluctantly did. This cover, however, was better than any she had shown me previously. When ist improved the song and fixed the parts it was over, my sister clicked on a recom- that I found particularly annoying, mak24


the underground

andrews ing the song much more enjoyable. I liked the youtuber’s cover so much, I asked my sister to go back and find that video because I wanted to watch it again. When my sister found the video, the two of us watched it again and again. We really liked his cover, so we went to his channel to see what else he had posted. It was like finding buried treasure. We watched all of his videos and we wanted more. The more we saw, the more we liked him, and we realized how talented he was. After searching Youtube some more, my sister and I found that this youtuber’s name was Thomas Andrews, and he was from Manchester, England. Thomas was, at one point, in a band called The Mandigans. He was the lead vocals of the group. The band was popular in England as they played gigs, and even got to be a guest on a live radio show. The band, however, made the decision that if they never got signed by the time they graduated from high school, they would break up and go to college. Sadly, this is what happened. As good as they were, The Mandigans never got

the real break that they needed, so they are now disbanded, although they do offer a few of their songs to be downloaded for free online, which is a small comfort now that they are not together. Even though their band was great, I think Thomas is talented enough to be successful on his own. I have noticed that he often improves songs to the

“I think his covers are better than the original songs.” point where I think his covers are better than the original songs. Not only can he sing, but his guitar playing skills are phenomenal. They’re flawless. His videos are unedited, so it’s obvious he never makes mistakes. He plays with such control that it is soothing to listen to. Thomas is, in my opinion, one of the most talented, undiscovered musical artists out there on the web today. I hope someday he will receive the recognition he deserves and finally get signed. If not, I can only hope that, in the least, I have brightened someone’s day and given them the enjoyment that Thomas Andrews’s videos provide. 25


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Written by: McKenzie Livingston

the underground

The Blind Pilot

“This folk movement had been a long time coming by the time I got around to listening, and I surprised myself when I started putting each of these artists (and many more like them) in heavy rotation.� 30


I

first heard a band called “Blind Pilot” drifting through my speakers in the summer of 2010. I had started listening to similar bands such as Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, and Damien Rice. Each of these musicians or bands has a few things in common: their unmistakable folksy melodies and distinct voices. It doesn’t hurt that most of them also have at least one band member with facial hair. This folk movement had been a long time coming by the time I got around to listening, and I surprised myself when I started putting each of these artists (and many more like them) in heavy rotation. I’ve always been able to hear music a little bit differently; for example, as a kid, I taught myself songs on the piano by hearing a song once and then picking out the notes. My ears knew what they liked to hear; they knew what sounded good. I began taking formal piano lessons a few years later, followed by violin, harmonica, and of course, the recorder (a dreaded 3rd grade ritual, at least for me). Fast forward about ten years, and I still can’t go a single day without playing an instrument or listening to music that speaks to me. I don’t want to sound cliché, but I believe music really does that—really uses its unique language to get to us, and each person responds to it differently. That’s why there are so many different music genres, and it just so happens that folk rock is the music my soul likes most of all (or maybe it’s my right brain…who can know for sure?). Before I listened to Blind Pilot and their musical counterparts, I balked at the word “folk.” I didn’t know what the genre entailed, but I was sure it wasn’t for me. I imagined men wearing turtleneck sweaters with curly ‘fros and ethereal voices like Paul Simon or Nick Drake. I didn’t think

anyone should try to resurrect folk from the 60s and 70s—I figured Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel had done a pretty swell job the first time. Why should anyone try and make it their own? Then, I was introduced to Mumford & Sons. They were folksy alright, but they were also Mumford & Sons. That is, they had their own sound, not to mention lyrics that spoke to my poetic-minded heart (man that sounded cheesy, but it’s true). I created a station on Pandora based on their music, and that’s where I first heard Blind Pilot. I’ll admit, I liked them pretty well when I heard their song “Poor Boy,” but when I found out they were from Portland, Oregon, I felt a kinship to them (I’m a Pacific Northwest girl myself) and listened closer. I loved what I heard. Just like the stereotypical “indie music fan,” most music I listen to isn’t on the radio. Blind Pilot is no different, but they sound a bit like other musicians you might’ve heard of: The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Decemberists. After releasing their album “3 Rounds and Sound,” they embarked on a tour--by bicycle--from Washington to California. Now, if that doesn’t make them ten times cooler in your eyes, I don’t know what will. If you haven’t listened to Blind Pilot before, I’d suggest jumping on that proverbial bandwagon as soon as possible. It’ll make you want to take up guitar or at the very least, bike across insanely far distances just for kicks. 31


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34 Andy Hull, lead singer of Right Away, Great Captain!


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hen my friend first showed me the album “The Bitter End” by Right Away, Great Captain!, I had just graduated high school. We sat outside in my car and listened to the entire CD from start to finish. A couple minutes into the first song, the tears started rolling down my face. Halfway through the album, I knew it was going to become one of my all-time favorites, and I was right. To this day, I am moved every time I listen to Right Away, Great Captain!’s masterpiece that is “The Bitter End.” Right Away, Great Captain! is the solo project of the band Manchester Orchestra’s (another one of my favorite bands) frontman, Andy Hull. The album “The Bitter End” is the first work released by Hull’s side project and it is, in my opinion, his

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strongest creation. The album has a bit of a low-fi, raw feel to it, as it was recorded in a 100-year old cabin over a period of only three days in rural Virginia. As you listen to the emotionally-charged lyrics being sung over each carefully plucked guitar string, you realize that you are being told a story. The album details the story of a 1600s sailor who is embarking on a journey across the sea right as he witnesses his wife having an affair with his brother. Each song is from the man’s point of view, coming in the form of a journal entry, a letter to his captain, a distant memory, a flashback, or otherwise. The range of emotions expressed in the album hit the listener hard. By the end of the album, I felt as if I had established a true connection with the character of the man. I found myself wishing him a brighter future.


the underground

Written by: Alex Pinkham

right away, great captain! on the bed/I can see a candle burning, wax dripping, Bible burning/Woman that I once called friend/Don’t you bleed out an apology/You’ll always be a liar to me.” The man’s inner conflict is further explored as, in some songs, he regrettably still longs for his wife, and yet in others, he sinks to the lowest depths of his depression and hatred. In “Sacred Heart,” he writes to his wife, “Why do I keep falling back to you?/You’re a sacred heart if I’ve ever missed one/You were the last reason I was waking up each morning/What a dirty love if I’ve ever tasted one.” In the brutal “Gasoline Family,” he sings with a broken, murderous tone, “You, do you forget why I’ve killed myself out here at sea?/Why? Why? Why?/To help my family?/To help a family who’s been replacing me?/Well, I just might replace you with a matchstick and gasoline.” This song is particularly powerful.

All in all, I was completely riveted by the emotional honesty with which the story was being told to me. Each word is more said than sung and it was recorded The listener is fully exposed to the speaker’s every with the rain falling hard in the background. As I listhought and feeling. Right from the beginning of the tened to it, I felt as if I too were living the man’s heartalbum, the story is never break, trying to gain closure sugarcoated. The man "Halfway through the album, I knew from a harrowing situation. frankly addresses his unIt seems like no matter what it was going to become one of my faithful wife and disloyal point I am at in life, I can brother in the opening all-time favorites, and I was right." relate to the intense feelsong, “Oh, Deceiver,” ings being communicated when he sings, “Oh brother/Our blood was so thick/ through the songs on the album. The largely acoustic Can you still smile/Into my daughter’s eyes?” Even album penetrates the heart of the listener with subtle the moment when the man discovers the affair and the sounds rather than with overblown music, leaving the ensuing feelings of betrayal are recounted in the song, listener haunted. Some recommendations I have to give “Memories On a Deck Part II,” when he sings, “I can see in particular include the songs, “Like Lions Do,” “I’m a white blouse hanging on window sill/A naked body Not Ready to Forgive You,” and “Haunt While I Sleep.”

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local music

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Erin Austin, lead singer of OK Sweetheart.

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Written by: Evi Figgat

local music

k o

sweetheart O

ne gorgeous brunette bombshell plus two very good-looking men accompanying the aforementioned brunette beauty? Music or not, the question is who wouldn’t mind looking at OK Sweetheart for an hour? OK Sweetheart band members include Erin Austin, Rob Gungor, and McKenzie Smith. OK Sweetheart formed in 2008 and, using a unique pop sound, they have found success.

"Attending one of OK Sweetheart's shows never results in disappointment." Their unique sound includes the voice of Erin Austin, who has a sweet, yet vintage sound that recently regained popularity. Her vocal range is incredible, as she hits some very high notes with absolute clarity. The pop band has won numerous awards, including the 2008 John Lennon Songwriting Contest (for pop). OK Sweetheart is not specific to any one city as they split their time between Tulsa, Denton, and New York City. The band’s first CD released early last year, and has since found great success. While

OK Sweetheart is not local to Rexburg, they do play here often. With Sammy’s Restaurant acting as their host, they visited Rexburg three times in this last year. It is not difficult to listen to OK Sweetheart. In fact, I have found myself scavenging their YouTube channel, which features fun updates from the band and their enjoyable music. As seen on their MySpace music channel and in their appearances here in Rexburg, the band has a great personality, which really shines through in their music. This has been apparent to the rest of the music scene, as their music has been used on the show “One Tree Hill,” a popular television show on the CW television network. Attending one of OK Sweetheart’s shows never results in disappointment. So next time they are in Rexburg, you should go. If the music doesn’t motivate you, the pie shakes and sweet potato fries at Sammy’s should. If you’d like to listen to some of their music, you can visit their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/oksweetheart or their official site at OKsweetheart.com. 45


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The French Kicks49


music in movies

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here are those once in a lifetime moments that happen for some artists. Those moments when Barbara Streisand struggles over the album title to announce that Arcade Fire has won the Grammy for album of the year, with Dr. Dre’s nervous disbelieving eyes darting around the room. How did Arcade Fire—a relatively unknown band—reach such heights and win such an important award? It really comes down to one thing. Remember that little production called Where the Wild Things Are? The excitement of a childhood favorite being brought to the big screen fueled excitement across the country, and the charming feature song for the movie was “Wake Up” by Arcade Fire.

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Artists Made Popular by Movies

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Regina Spektor

Arcade Fire

Still from the movie 500 Days of Summer

It’s hard to tell whether it was the strong guitar lick in the intro or the moment when the band belts out, “someone told me not to cry,” that completely sold all listeners on Arcade Fire’s musical ability, but once the trailer hit the networks, Arcade Fire’s popularity rose rapidly. In all honesty, the soundtrack was the best part of the movie, and that seems to be the case for many others. Artists like Regina Spektor, Belle and Sebastian, The French Kicks, The Moldy Peaches, Peter Bjorn and John, and Empire in the Sun have all found greater popularity because of their songs being featured in movies. For example, Regina Spektor was relatively


cover article Written by: LuLu DeHaan, Jill Mugleston, & Jason Williams

s known amongst indie artist lovers and musical communities. But it wasn’t until her songs appeared in movies like Prince Caspian and 500 Days of Summer that she became mainstream. The same thing happened with The Moldy Peaches and Juno, and many others. Once we hear music in a movie, we generally go out and look for it. The scene provides a story for us, and the music is the means by which it is expressed. You can even go watch any trailer on YouTube, and it is almost guaranteed that somewhere in the top ten comments, someone is asking which song is playing in that trailer. Movies have a way of making music universal and known, even if the music is by an unknown artist.

fornia, Los Angeles, he discusses the conclusion that “the harsh, discordant and unexpected sounds used in horror soundtracks imitate the screams of frightened animals” (dailymail.co.uk). These sounds are used to tap into the subconscious, connecting with primal fears that humans have (dailymail.co.uk). When one watches as the villain creeps closer and closer to the victim, such as the oft-referenced shower scene in Psycho, the shrill, discordant sounds produced then induce the flight-or-fight- heart-pounding-

Music is an emotional thing, and its use in movies and ties directly into our emotional responses. Directors know this and use it to enhance their products, drawing from their audiences the results that they want. Fear, happiness, joy, terror, all are enhanced by the effective use of music. Music for Emotional Response 3 High pitched string instruments can produce fear, such as in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Odd sound effects, such as the strange percussion sounds heard in Planet of the Apes, help produce tension and suspense. Sounds meant to elicit suspense and terror are often a discordant sound, explains MailOnline writer David Derbyshire. Citing a study performed by the University of Cali-

blood-pumping-choking adrenaline rush that producers want to accompany that scene. Not all music intended to drive a dark or scary scene is loud and fast. Fiona discuses the film score of Jaws, right in the opening scene, where

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a simple double bass softly starts and builds up into the loud pulse of the attack (filmsound.org). Whether it is along the same principles discussed by Dirbyshire,or if they are simply culturally embedded in our psyche is unsure, but those low, thrumming sounds produce the unsettled, nervous reaction in the audience that the directors want.

we go see a movie. Remove the sound score from a film, and most likely our emotions would in a sense become unplugged from the movie. We would not enjoy the movie nearly as much. Krumhansl stated, “musical sounds may inherently have emotional meaning” (Krumhansl 45).

Movie music mixer Carmen Borgia explains that “music should fit the world of the film. The amount and style of music used in a film or documentary may depend upon the audience for which it is intended” (digitalfilmmaker.net). As consumers of movies and video games, most everyone is familiar with this concept to some degree. Most people can tell, even if only subconsciously, when the music does not fit the scene playing on the screen or is used wrong, such as being too loud or soft.

Movies are completely enhanced by the sounds that reside in their key scenes. Music creates in the audience reactions of all kinds. It is what drives a movie, what brings it to life, what causes emotions to adapt and fluctuate with the scenes being portrayed. Happy, sad, angry, scared, terrified, sensuous, music taps into all these feelings and reactions and emotionally connects consumers to what they are seeing occur on-screen.

Take Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On Forever,” used in Titanic. The tragic love in the story becomes emotionally connected with that song for viewers and keeps its ability to dredge up sympathy and sorrow for the couple even outside the movie setting. Imagine taking that song and replacing it with “The Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back. The reaction would be completely different. W hy Music in Movies is So Important Why do we respond to music in this way? The words of the song can bring about some of the emotional reaction, but we also “respond to songs in languages we do not understand” (Krumhansl 45). We all know songs without lyrics that stir the emotions in us. This type of music plays with our emotions every time

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pyschology of music

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Music

through

th

e

ages

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Written by: Ally Toth

pyschology of music

I

more into rap, though.” Taken by surprise, I asked her why that was. She stated, “Rap has changed, there’s more of a beat to it, like Nicki Minaj.”

The nursery rhymes and childhood songs of the past become undesirable as we reached the stages of pre-teen and eventually matured into that of a young adult. As we grow and change, our musical preferences change as well. But why is that? Is it because of society and what’s popular at the time? The mood we’re in and the people we hang out with…or are we just going through a phase?

The next girl, Angelique*, is from Los Angeles and just barely turned 18. She said that during her time in middle school she was very depressed, and her music reflected her mood. She would listen to the kind of music that would make her forget her sorrows. “I learned early on though, that the music I was listening to at the time wasn’t actually helping me or making me happy. It just made me feel worse.” In high school the people around her would mostly listen to hip-hop, rap, and reggeaton, so she’d listen to it too. “Those were my gangster days, when I thought I was so cool. The music I listened to back then really affected the way I acted, and even the way I dressed,” she claimed.

t has been said that music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired. Music is everywhere; it surrounds us from birth when our mother crooned that first lullaby, and remains with us even until death, when that last song is played at our funeral. As children, we listened to nursery rhymes and sang songs about going to a “Whole New World;” our lives were innocent and full of promise.

For the sole purpose of finding out why our preferences for music changes so much, I met and interviewed two girls in their late teens and asked them questions about their tastes in music. The first girl I interviewed, Kiara*, was 18 (soon to be 19), and from Denver. When I asked her what type of music she liked to listen to as a pre-teen, she simply said, “pop,” with her favorite artists being Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson. As a pre-teen, Kiara didn’t really go through phases until she hit high school. What started out as just pop, eventually changed to hip-hop, R&B, alternative, and some country (more specifically, Taylor Swift). I asked her what she thought about her musical choices and why she made them. She said that it “depends on who[m] you hang out with. If you’re constantly surrounded by people who listen to a particular type of music, then eventually you get used to it and start to like it too.” What type of music does she prefer now? “Everything is still the same. I’m starting to get

When she transferred to another high school by the beach, Angelique said that music became a lot more chill and indie, with an organic vibe about it. Now that she’s in college, Angelique’s musical preference has changed to foreign music, such as: French, Indian, Persian, and Spanish music. “Maybe it’s the fact that I’m more accepting of my culture now and where I’m from, but I just feel that foreign music is really about the unity of us all. Not only that, but Spanish music makes me feel spicy.” Angelique is Guatemalan, so for her culture is important. The way she’s lived her life has affected her musical preferences as well as the phases of music she’s gone through. How does our taste in music change? According to these girls, it’s everything. Our mood, society, the people we’re around—all of these elements come together to shape our taste in music. If we look at the 90’s alone, what was popular back then? Pop. Fast forward to today and what do we have? Synthpop. How do you think this is affecting teens today?

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Jay-Z 62


Written by: Lauren Haddow

pyschology of music

rap is music There is a conflict in the vast musical arena over what is and is not considered ‘music.’ One of the more popular debates focuses on rap music and whether it meets certain categorical requirements to be termed ‘music’ or not. Let’s take a look at what makes rap music. Music is defined as “the art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” We can see that rap is a combination of vocal and instrumental sounds. Rap, by definition, is “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics.” It is different from spoken word poetry because it is delivered on a beat (and generally with backing instrumentals).

part, which is to honestly open their minds to different forms of music and realize the amount of dedication and emotion it takes to compose anything artistic, whether it’s music, art, photography, or theater. While some ‘purists’ may claim that rap doesn’t qualify as actual music, they are mistaken. By literal definition rap is music. The cultural definition is more vague, but as people take the time to actually listen to and try to understand rap, they will see that rap does indeed have a place in the broad definition of music.

Missy Elliott

Popular rap artist Jay-Z explains in his book Decoded that all too often people make snap judgments about rap music. He wants listeners to realize that “rap is poetry. It’s thought-provoking; there’s thought behind it.” He urges people to just listen to the song and the words being said (Horowitz). This requires a commitment on the listener’s

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pyschology of music

Written by: Mirinda Bassett

Is Music Emotionally Stimulating?

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magine yourself at home lying on your bed, flipping through the songs on your iPod. A good tune comes on and you turn the volume up a little and just listen. You recall one summer night with your friends, holding a can of Mountain Dew in one hand and your other hand waving side to side with the music. You were young, happy and carefree, and remembering that night brings back all those happy emotions.

fected accordingly (Juslin & Sloboda, 2001). It is also evident that empathy plays a part in music and emotions. For example, some movies make people cry, others make people laugh. These emotions are introduced when the audience relates to the story through empathy. Justlin points out, “one can argue that listening to expressive music is very close to this example. Rather than an actor playing out You keep listening to the song. It tells a story, a script, we have a musician performing a munot only with the words, but with the form of sical score” (Justlin & Slodoba, 2001). Have the music. The story is thrilling and exciting, you ever plugged your ears through a suspenseand your heartbeat quickens a little in reaction ful scene? This is most likely because the muto the story. The song has a deep bass beat that sic evoked an even more suspenseful emotion. makes you feel jittery. You want to get up and dance. While lying still on your bed you have Music can stimulate original emotion. The indemonstrated the three main ways research has fluence of different musical techniques and shown that music can affect your emotions: composition on emotions is clear when a physimemory, empathy, and original stimulation. cal reaction, such as dancing, takes place. Jus tlin suggests that Music can stimulate original emotion. The One recent article “one potential caninfluence of different musical techniques by Patrik Justlin, a didate for such influmajor researcher in and composition on emotions is clear when ence is rhythm. We the study of music a physical reaction, such as dancing, takes all know the contaand emotions, exgious effect strong place. plains that “recall musical rhythm of past emotional experiences from memory has” (Justlin & Sloboda, 2001). A fast paced and imagination can evoke similar emotional beat can provoke excitement, while a slowreactions as in the original experience” (Juser paced beat may provoke relaxation. lin & Sloboda, 2001). In our brains, memoThere is still much research to be done in ries are often stored in connection with one or the field of music and emotions, but you can more emotions. As we listen to music, memocome to a basic conclusion on your own. The ries surface bringing with them the emotions next time you listen to music, just ask yourlinked to the event. Thus, music stimulates self, “How does this music make me feel?” emotions through memories and we are af-

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