Monday, November 24, 2008

Traffic : jam :: music : calm

You may recall my review of Daniel Levitin's book "This is Your Brain on Music" for the Love Affair with Books on the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog. In the book, Daniel talks about the 6 songs that define rock music. He apparently takes that up a notch with his newest book according to an article on how singing music helps calm drivers in traffic that appeared in Sunday's Boston Globe.

Commutes can be made more bearable with satellite radio, where listeners can indulge in very specific fancies, like stations dedicated wholly to Led Zeppelin. Industry surveys suggest more musical options are down the road: Nearly all 2009 cars will come equipped with an iPod or MP3 jack allowing drivers to listen to the songs they choose.

It may seem like a small change, but it's not, said Dan Levitin, a psychology professor at Montreal's McGill University and author of the best-selling "The World in Six Songs; How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature."

"We're coming back in the last few years, listening more and singing more and making music more," Levitin said.

Today's 16-year-old will listen to more music than his "great-grandfather did in a lifetime," he said.

"You can hold in the palm of your hand the library of a large radio station," he said. "Technology has given us freedom."

Read the full article in the Boston Globe here.

Given the success of the Young@Heart chorus, there is something to this idea!

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