2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life


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5 Amazing Benefits of Classical Music🎼

MakeItUltra™

By Eric Charles, MA., PhD-c

Audio version | Click here


“Music is the universal language of mankind” ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Around my house I am known as the music man. I have the habit of walking around with my iPhone in my pocket playing music on Spotify. I love all music because it makes me feel happy and alive. Research shows that classical music is exceptionally beneficial for your brain and overall health. The way classical music affects the brain is universal regardless of gender, class or nationality. Wouldn’t it be great if listening to Beethoven or Mozart could unite us all?

Here are  5 ways classical music benefits us all:

1. Improves your focus
Numerous studies have shown that listening to classical music such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven can improve focus. Complex and continuously changing melodies can help the mind focus by keeping it engaged. When your brain is expecting…

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Silence is Golden for shopkeepers, maybe

The value of music in retail is still a matter of opinion. Recently researchers in Stockholm examined the impact of different music at 16 branches of the same fast food chain over a 5 month period.

They found that having no background music raised sales by 4% compared to a random selection of pop songs.

Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, the lead researcher, says the problem may not be the songs but the type of music.  “Silence is better than the wrong music but a carefully selected mix of brand-fit music can lift sales by 9%”.

In fast food chains music that is welcoming and modern encourages people to spend more. Ed Sheeran‘s Shape of You boosted sales of desserts by 11% and smoothies by 15%.

Rolling Stones music had the opposite effect as their music was considered too traditional. How times and tastes change!

Soundtrack your Brand, a company which provides bespoke song selection to stores, said they chose based on the core customers. Bombastic arena music doesn’t fit in a luxury boutique and Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody should never be played in any store. It is too dynamic and changes styles throughout distracting customers from actually doing any shopping.

And there has been a backlash against piped music in stores with several large retailers stopping providing it.

Previous posts on music and shopping here and music in restaurants here


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Ain’t no love any more when it comes to pop songs

If the Righteous Brothers lost that loving feeling back in 1965 then its got worse ever since.

Pop songs now are less likely to be about love and are increasingly likely to be about sex.

An analysis of the top 50 songs in the US Billboard charts from 1960 to 2008 found that almost 60% of songs were about romance.Since then the proportion has dropped to 49%.

And male singers are increasingly singing about sex – up to 40% from only 7% in the 1960s.

No longer the Beatles vanilla “I wanna hold your hand” but Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous“, “Birthday Sex” by Jeremiah, and “Love Sex Magic” by Ciara.

And on of the greatest modern songwriters Marvin Gaye progressed from being crazy about his baby in 1963 but demanding sexual healing ten years later.

And the researchers – from 3 universities in America – blame it on male R & B and rap artists. They say “Over these five decades relational content became somewhat less common and sexual content, including objectification of women, became more common. These trends were slightly more apparent in songs performed my males rather than females.

The changes seem driven by the rap genre which did not place a song in the top 50 until the 1990s”(I would argue that rap doesn’t have songs but that’s my traditionalist view).

Song lyrics inevitably reflect the language we all use to express ourselves said a British Phonographic Industry spokesman. “Back in the fifties and sixties public morality made it difficult for people to speak as openly as they wanted and it’s likely that love was simply a euphemism for sex“.

And were songs any worse for that? Using allegory and imagery rather than misogynistic, in your face, puerile language?

I’ll leave you with a song from the great Bobby “Blue” Bland ” from 1974 (also Whitesnake’s first hit)

 


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Little Richard………comes to Manchester in 1963

I played in a support band at one of his shows.Management pulled us off as the Teddy Boys in the audience, jiving with each other, didn’t appreciate our Motown covers. Not quite as bad as The Blues Brothers being bottled but you get the idea!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

In 1963 I was fifteen years old and just getting into my stride with pop music. There was little opportunity to listen to pop music as the BBC rigidly controlled the airwaves and looked down on popular music with considerable distaste. The best we could aspire to in those days was “Family Favourites” on the radio (on Sunday dinner time, thats midday for those who live in the south), which would very occasionally play something “new”. Most of the time it was music requested by families (many in the forces) and was of the 30s, 40,s and occasionally 50s eras.

In 1963 the Beatles had begun to make waives and not long after the “beat boom” exploded with bands pouring out of many major cities, but particularly Liverpool.

Many of the British bands had been influenced by American R&B, country blues and gospel music (It was Bonnie Raitt who said…

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Scott Walker…………a wondrous voice

My favourite Scott song too written by Tom Rush and in our repertoire. Rush said this song, although not one of his best but made famous by an “English” group, (common misconception by Americans as Walker Bros weren’t known in US and more successful over here) paid for his kids’ college tuition.

Annoyingly since this was posted the video owner has blocked playback of the video other than on YouTube!

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

During a recent bout of redecorating the house (not by me I might add) I had to move all my CDs and store all 800 of them, into boxes for safekeeping. This was an onerous task and one I had been trying to avoid but the painter phoned me and said he would be coming to start work in a couple of days……….so I could no longer put off the task.

So one morning I began taking CDs off the storage shelves and carefully placing them in cardboard boxes. It was quite remarkable what I discovered in my collection, CDs I had bought and then never played, stuff I had bought on my trips to Vilnius and Copenhagen (remember the Jazz CDs we bought here Mike?) and not to mention Tel Aviv (that was one hell of a record shop).

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One of the CDs I came across was “The Best…

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