Refusal to change and live

 

This image  taken from the Holstee company manifesto, has made its way around the world in the last year or so, and people continue to email, post, tweet and write about it. What makes it such popular topic of conversation? What makes it so worth while sharing over and over again? What makes it get an infinite amount of “likes”?

Is it because individuals like the message? Is it because individuals try to live their lives in manner? Or is it because we want to believe in the message but aren’t willing to change our lives in order to follow the message? If the message being shared is so utopian, why are so many people unable to follow it? Is because we just don’t want it badly enough? Or because it’s unrealistic? Or perhaps because we are scared of change, of the unknown, of being out of control of our own lives?

Something to think about I guess….

 

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Appoggiaturas : musical mechanism or emotional rollercoaster

Music: the universal language. I’ve always found it interesting how certain songs, and up until now, how certain lyrics move people in ways so deep it’s amazing.

Adele’s song Rolling in the Deep is one song, which at this moment has received much radio play and gained outstanding popularity. Personally it’s a song that resonates with me, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I am certain that many people have experienced a love so deep in their past, a vulnerability that they swear to never live again, that by mutual decision or otherwise left them brokenhearted.

Now, what is interesting is the fact that I believed that women, stereotypically the more emotional of the sexes, would identify more closely to this song. And that men, being considered the emotional equivalent of a rock (stereotypically speaking of course), would not or could not identify with lyrics of love and loss. How mistaken I have been! After talking with a straight male friend, who considers himself both manly and metro, I have learned that men are not as solid as a rock as they are perceived to be. They are indeed (and I quote my friend) “nutcases” who have just as many, if not more, eccentricities in emotions as women! Who knew!? So apparently it is not only women who reflect and allow their brains to brave the storm of questioning and inquiry. It is not only women who allow their emotions and feelings to impede certain actions or developments. Perhaps the difference is in the communication of this phenomenon. (Some) women tend to share their thoughts and feelings more openly and readily that (some) men. So perhaps women have given themselves their own reputation for being the “emotional nutcases” because they are more likely to share thoughts and emotions.

This all said I have discovered some interesting research regarding why some songs resonate more with us more than others. Apparently it is not so much the lyrics of a certain tune that affect us, but rather the surprises in volume, tone and harmonic pattern according to a study conducted by Dr. Guhn at the University of British Columbia. A study was conducted where music lovers listened to twenty intense passages in various songs. Researches identified 18 of these passages contained a musical mechanism called an appoggiatura – an inharmonious note which clashes with the melody. According to Guhn, this dissonance generates stress in the listener for a brief moment until the note returns to the predicted melody, alleviating the stress. When these moments occur repetitively they create a cycle of stress and release, generating an even stronger reaction.

This is exactly when listeners start to express their emotions physically. It appears that Adele’s song Someone Like You is filled with these appoggiaturas. Guhn has also commented that the singer slightly alters her pitch at the end of long notes before the melody changes to a new harmony or new key, prolonging the tension and release.

So this being said, depending on the context, the state of stimulation is construed as positive or negative, happy or sad. If the majority of this artist’s songs make people sad, why are they so popular?

My vote is still those heart-braking lyrics.

Rules

Rules. I keep seeing people with books in hand which have the word ‘rules’ in the title. All the Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr.Right; Know and Follow the Rules; Rules of Engagement; Making the Rules, etc.

Why do these books exist? Are we as beings, as members of society supposed to live our lives according to certain guidelines? There are certain rules that members of a civilized society need to follow in order to obey the laws that have been established. But I’m referring to the way in which we live our lives. Do women have to get legally married and have 2.3 children by the time they’re 30? Do men have to make a 6-figure salary, drive a Mercedes and be the bread winners of the family? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not to make a stand for women’s lib, but to challenge the notion that sometimes we don’t need to play with the cards we’re dealt. Breaking from the “chosen” path can be a good thing. It can also be a detrimental experience, but isn’t our right to experience it if it so happens?

We’ve all been dealt a hand. It should be our choice whether play the cards we’re dealt, or turn to the dealer and say ”hit me!”