Category Archives: Music and the Brain

Music, minds and band battles

Music is a purely psychological construct. It exists only in our minds. Loudness, pitch, timbre, tone, reverberation, rhythm and melody according to Daniel Levitin, the author of the World in Six Songs, are not just mechanical elements but are higher order concepts with a ‘deep, neurological basis.’  As a matter of fact, neuroscientists think that our brain react and interact with music. These assumptions become more evident when we sing the melodies that are most salient in the mind. According to the experts, music can alter mental and emotional states, perception, and consciousness.

Last night, I was able to attend the event staged by Big Box Productions, an Ilocos based events organizing group, dubbed as Ylocos Bands at the Dawn of Peace Battle of the Bands contest. Oh! It’s a battle of the bands contest. My ears usually sound out every time I hear the word battle. For this purpose, I will call this type of rock gala as B-O-B. That would be my acronym for Battle of the Bands contest. Big Box is a production group that aims to provide young prospects the stage they need to showcase their fav genres music. Salus Tiedra, a budding local artist and guitarist, organized the group and kudos to his efforts for making it possible. Organizing rock events is pretty mind-numbing unless you have the ‘itch’ for it.

As I arrived at the Bistro at around 10pm, I noticed a flock of youth that colonized the venue. The atmosphere was great and you can almost smell the sonic vibrations stacking at the cafe.  The genre of music was not the usual I will entertain you as gobble up your liquotine to distress you, what moved me was the uproar that made the rhythms of rock and roll a dangerous thing in the 1960s. The distorted sound that blanketed the ambiance and the bang of percussions abundant that night can actually augment the senses. This rock and roll hubbub was actually what the Catholic Church tried to ban for the fear that people would doubt the unity of God.  The polyphony and the musical interval of an augmented fourth, a key prominent in rock and roll music was believed as diabolical that the Church labeled it as the Diabolus in musica. These assumptions are now but ridiculous and silly.

In 2010, Pope Benedict also known as the Brit Pope would include rock artists in the list of Vatican’s Top Ten of essential   listening. The Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said that Oasis were the protagonist of the 90s Britpop and  described the album What’s the Story Morning Glory as a masterpiece. Said paper also included Pink Floyd with their album Dark Side of the Moon and described it as extraordinarily enjoyable. Beatles Revolver album, Supernatural by Santana,  FleetwoodMac and U2′ s Acthung Baby were in the list. Today, you have the Christian Rock genre.

Now going back to the roaring subwoofers and raging reverbs, seventeen bands showed up and six bands qualified to compete on the 13th of August. Dubbed as the Ylocos Bands at the Dawn of Peace, the event begins even before the Lord Krishna blows his mighty conch shells at 4am. The bands Hymnus, Better than Noize, AfterFive, Shamisens and the Elements will be competing in the finals.  For those who failed to make it, I am sure the experience will alter their conservative rock mental schema. They will improve and they will come back. To the frontrunners, congratulations. Keep it up! Keep the rock vibes flowing and minds floating!

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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Music and the Brain


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