Tag Archives: concert

in synch.

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The scientific power of live music

We’re all familiar with the sense of wonder and joy we experience when we hear a song or piece of music we love, but there’s something even more magical about hearing that song performed live. Although many artists offered streamed performances online during the pandemic, these didn’t quite leave us with the same enchanted feelings as concerts. So what makes live music different? Columbia associate music professor, Mariusz Kozak explains why live music is so powerful.

Live music allows us to experience what philosopher Alfred Schütz called a “mutual tuning in” This term refers to the phenomenon where we experience the passage of time and emotions with others. This is part of the reason humans need social interaction to thrive. When we attend a concert, we’re experiencing the tone of the music—fast, slow, happy, sad—with others around us. This creates a sense of intimacy with the crowd around us. This is also why babies who are bounced in time to music with an adult display more altruism towards that person.

This pleasurable effect gained from synchronizing with those around us is what makes live music and dance so powerful. Although most people probably relate to this feeling when remembering their favorite concert, this feeling is not limited to conventional music. It can also be experienced through collective visual synchronization. In the deaf community, facial gestures and movements are to convey emotions in music performance. The collective interpretation of the emotions behind these facial gestures also promotes a sense of unity.

The Blackfeet in North America use the same word to refer to music, dance, and ceremony, indicating the essential role of gathering to fully appreciate the benefits of music. Close friends can even experience this synchronization when walking or talking together.

Experiencing music in the presence of others cultivates a feeling of unity and empathy within us which exceeds anything we could experience by ourselves. As we head back to in-person concerts and relish this feeling once again, know that the true power of the music you’re hearing might not come from the artist, but in fact your fellow concert goers.

“There is a high that comes from live shows,

a collective energy in a large group of people all gathered for one reason.

The beat slices through the melodies and then drops;

the crowd bounces and undulates like ripples of water.” 

  • -christina lauren, roomies

 

credits: the conversation, beth daly, Columbia University Mariusz Kozak

*concert!

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“Tonight! A big forest concert under the direction of Musical Director Woodpecker!”

*(just because we all need a fluffy forest concert break about now)

“i’m afraid concerts spoil people for everyday life.” 

-l.m. montgomery, anne of green gables

image credit: Peter Gray’s Delightful vintage art, from an old German children’s book

hangin’ tough.

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unexpected fun
when my friend won tickets
  to a new kids on the block concert
‘the mixtape tour”
with other ‘retro’ bands of that era
salt-n-pepa, rick astley, and en vogue
bands i haven’t seen or heard
since i took my daughter and her friend
30ish years ago
not my dream music but great to be 
in the midst of a  really happy crowd who still loved them
and who knew i’d spend my friday night dancing with nkotb?
“keep calm and hang tough.”
-new kids on the block

mutual tuning-in.

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pat metheny, side-eye tour, orchestra hall, detroit, michigan

detroit symphony orchestra paradise jazz series

october 2021

amazing experience

We’re all familiar with the sense of wonder and joy we experience when we hear a song or piece of music we love, but there’s something even more magical about hearing that song performed live. Although many artists offered streamed performances online during the pandemic, these didn’t quite leave us with the same enchanted feelings as concerts. So what makes live music different? Columbia associate music professor Mariusz Kozak explains why live music is so powerful.

Live music allows us to experience what philosopher Alfred Schütz called a “mutual tuning-in.” This term refers to the phenomenon where we experience the passage of time and emotions with others. This is part of the reason humans need social interaction to thrive. When we attend a concert, we’re experiencing the tone of the music—fast, slow, happy, sad—with others around us. This creates a sense of intimacy with the crowd around us. This is also why research shows that babies who are bounced in time to music with an adult display more altruism towards that person.

This pleasurable effect gained from synchronizing with those around us is what makes live music and dance so powerful. Although most people probably relate to this feeling when remembering their favorite concert, this feeling is not limited to conventional music. It can also be experienced through collective visual synchronization. In the deaf community, facial gestures and movements are to convey emotions in music performance. The collective interpretation of the emotions behind these facial gestures also promotes a sense of unity.

The Blackfeet in North America use the same word to refer to music, dance, and ceremony, indicating the essential role of gathering to fully appreciate the benefits of music. Close friends can even experience this synchronization when walking or talking together.

Experiencing music in the presence of others cultivates a feeling of unity and empathy within us which exceeds anything we could experience by ourselves. As we head back to in-person concerts and relish this feeling once again, know that the true power of the music you’re hearing might not come from the artist, but in fact your fellow concert goers.

– Mariusz Kozak, Associate Professor of Music and Music Theory, Columbia University

 

dark side of the moon.

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sitting

in total darkness

 absolute silence

very slowly

one by one

notes

chords

pinpoints of light 

pierced the air

  sitting in my seat 

48 years ago

in detroit

pink floyd

unfolded their new album

dark side of the moon 

right before my eyes and ears

in real time

playing full out

the crowd

mesmerized 

just taking it all in

vibrating

then roaring in appreciation

one of my most memorable live concert experiences ever.

 

“it was like being in the eye of a hurricane. you’d wake up in a concert and think – wow how did i get here?”

-john lennon

 

48 years ago Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon.

It remained in the US charts from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history.

 

album cover photo: harvest records

grand symphony.

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sonic lunch

a free concert series

thanks to a collaboration between

a local radio station and a local bank

always brings the city together

for a shared experience

the light, the music, the bubbles, the dancing, the company

the break from work, stress, life, worries, routines

 at least for a little while

once each summer week

shaed performs for a welcoming crowd

 

“we are each but a quarter note in a grand symphony.”

-guy laliberte

 

 

 

 

 

liberty plaza, ann arbor, mi, usa – august 2019