Dealing with life’s challenges with the help of music – and understanding it better, to begin with: “Why we love music”, a book by John Powell

“The effect of music on our body chemistry is particularly fascinating to me. Our bodies effectively contain an internal pharmacy that dispenses various chemicals to help us deal with life’s challenges.” – John Powell

More about this book

In “Why You Love Music,” John Powell, a physicist who has also studied musical composition, offers an array of answers that mainly reflect his scientific background. He conveys some basic musical information painlessly, including tuning and scales, the construction of melodies, and elements of timbre and key. His writing is chatty and unpretentious; he is informal and down-home, at times quite funny. If you have ever felt intimidated by music and its terminology of whole and half steps, scales and chords, this book will put you at ease. – Peter Pesic, Wall Street Journal (£)

Buy the book

Why We Love Music is published byJohn Murray at £9.99 and is available from the Guardian Bookshop for £8.49

Source: The science of songs: how does music affect your body chemistry? | Books | The Guardian
Address: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/16/the-science-of-songs-how-does-music-effect-your-body-chemistry
Date Visited: Wed Oct 25 2017 17:39:52 GMT+0200 (CEST)

With chapters on music and emotions, music as medicine, music and intelligence and much more, Why We Love Music will entertain through to the very last minute. A delightful journey through the psychology and science of music, Why We Love Music is the perfect audiobook for anyone who loves a tune.

Source: Why We Love Music: From Mozart to Metallica – the Emotional Power of Beautiful Sounds (Audio Download): Amazon.co.uk: John Powell, Phil Fox, John Murray: Books
Address: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Love-Music-Metallica-Emotional/dp/B01BW3SYDI
Date Visited: Wed Oct 25 2017 17:45:28 GMT+0200 (CEST)

“Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal” in Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien – Rezension in ASIEN 139

Johannes Beltz; Marie Eve Celio-Scheurer (Hgg.): Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien.
Zürich: Museum Rietberg, 2015. 81 S., 23 EUR | Zur Ausstellung in Indien und über die Englische AusgabeCadence and Counterpoint, Documenting Santal Musical Traditions by Johannes Beltz, Ruchira Ghose and Maria-Eve Celio-Scheurer (eds.) >>

Eine einzigartige Würdigung der visuellen Attraktivität und künstlerischen Qualität der Musikinstrumente der Santal in Indien. Mit einem Text von Bengt Fosshag über seine Passion als Sammler dieser Instrumente und einem kurzen Essay von Ludwig Pesch zur Musik der Santal.

ASIEN 139 (April 2016) in print – Rezension von Heinz Werner Wessler (Professor für Indologie an der Universität Uppsala, Schweden) , S. 138-139 | Mehr über den Rezensenten | LinkedIn >>

Der Band ist Ausstellungskatalog (Ausstellung „Klang/Körper“ im Musum Rietberg), Nachschlagewerk und zugleich ein Beitrag zur Erforschung der Saiteninstrumente der indischen Adivasis (Ureinwohner), insbesondere der im östlichen Indien ansässigen Santals. Die hier dokumentierten Instrumente, die zum größten Teil auf eine aktuelle Schenkung an das Museum Rietberg zurückgehen (einige wenige Exemplare wurden vom Rietberg-Kreis aus der Sammlung Fosshag angekauft), wurden im berühmten Zürcher Museum für asiatische Kunst zum ersten Mal ausgestellt und hier im Rahmen des vorliegenden Kataloges dokumentiert.

Die Sammlung geht zurück auf den Designer und Illustrator Bengt Fosshag, der über viele Jahre Indien bereiste und dabei über Jahrzehnte diese einzigartige Sammlung aufbaute. Dies in einer Zeit, in der lokale Traditionen mehr und mehr gefährdet sind und untergehen, wie das auch mit den Musikinstrumenten der Santals und ihrer Musik der Fall ist (vgl. den Beitrag „Eine Instrumentensammlung für ein Kunstmuseum“ von Johannes Beltz).

Das Museum, das als ein Ort für asiatische hohe Kunst eingerichtet wurde, öffnet sich mit der Annahme der Sammlung damit weiter in Richtung Volks- und Stammeskunst. Ursprünglich hatte sich das berühmte Museum Rietberg vor allem als V ermittler und Bewahrer der klassischen hochkulturellen Kunsttraditionen Indiens etabliert. Das Anliegen, klassische Kunstwerke aus Südasien als Exponate der Weltkunst zu etablieren, hat sich durchgesetzt. Inzwischen gibt es andere Prioritäten, die zu programmatischen Annäherungen zwischen der Weltkunst gewidmeten Museen und den modernen Völkerkundemuseen führten.

Ludwig Pesch macht in seinem Beitrag „Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal“ deutlich, dass die Santal und ihre Musik einerseits völlig eigenständig sind, andererseits aber in einem „Dialog im Flüsterton“ ihren Einfluss auf die indische Moderne hatten, vor allem über Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), der seine berühmte Universität Vishvabharati in Santal-Gebiet gründete. In diesem Sinn versteht sich der Katalog, wie Johannes Beltz schreibt, als „ eine spielerische, poetische Annäherung an die Instrumente“ (S.31) als „Klang/Körper“, das heißt als Klang erzeugende Kunstwerke der Santals.

Die Sammlung Fosshag besteht aus 92 Instrumenten aus der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, fast alles Streichinstrumente, deren Saiten entweder mit einem Bogen gestrichen oder gezupft werden. Ihr Formsprache nimmt die Körperteile des menschlichen Körpers auf, so auch in der Bezeichnung der einzelnen Teile des Instruments in der Santal-Sprache. Auch die ornamentalen V erzierungen sind meistens anthropomorph. Leider sind die Instrumentenbauer und ihre konkrete Herkunft bisher weitgehend unbekannt.

Der kleine Band enthält außerdem einige der von Martin Kämpchen in deutscher Übersetzung herausgegebenen Lieder der Santal sowie hochaufgelöste Bilder aller Instrumente der Sammlung.

Heinz Werner Wessler

“If my moon would be your sun” – SAT 27 MAY 2017 (9 P.M.) –  St. MATTHÄUS CHURCH am Kulturforum  – Berlin

//” Wenn mein Mond deine Sonne wär” – SAMSTAG – 27. MAI 2017 –  St. MATTHÄUS KIRCHE am Kulturforum- 21 UHR
Anlässlich des Deutschen Evangelischen Kirchentages im Rahmen der Feierlichkeiten zu 500 Jahren Reformation.
On the occasion of the Evangelischer Kirchentag, celebrating 500 years of Protestant Reformation.
*** FREE ENTRY to the artistic programm ***
*** Eintritt frei für das künstlerische Programm ***

Read more ›

Tip: The Melodic Mystery (on “carrying a tune” when our brains operate so differently) – BBC Discovery radio & podcast

Singing and Navigating – The Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry

Two challenges for the team today involving singing and navigating.

“Why is my mother tone deaf?” asks listener Simon, “and can I do anything to ensure my son can at least carry a tune?” Hannah admits to struggling to hold a tune and has a singing lesson with teacher Michael Bonshor, although it doesn’t go quite to plan.

We meet Martin who hates music because he has the clinical form of tone deafness, known as amusia. Just as people with dyslexia see words differently to other people, if you have amusia you don’t hear melodies in the same way. Adam talks to music psychologist Dr Vicky Williamson from Sheffield University who studies Martin, and others like him, to try and discover why their brains operate differently.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04sqp0d

Video | Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt)

Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt) from Deutscher Chorverband on Vimeo.

Mit „Ode an die Nacht“ gelangte im Rahmen von Chor@Berlin am 24. Februar 2017 im Radialsystem V das letzte Werk von Harald Weiss’ „Darkness Project“ zur Uraufführung.

Kammerchor Berlin (Einstudierung: Stefan Rauh)
Concentus Neukölln – Ensemble der Musikschule Paul-Hindemith, Neukölln (Einstudierung: Thomas Hennig)
Berliner Mädchenchor (Einstudierung: Sabine Wüsthoff)

Indischer Gesang und Tambura: Manickam Yogeswaran
Blues-Gesang: Hanno Bruhn
Bajan: Mateja Zenzerovic
Klavier und Synthesizer: Peter Müller
Violine: Kinneret Sieradzki
Kontrabass: Guy Tuneh
Schlagzeug: Viorel Chiriacescu, Daniel Eichholz und Alexandros Giovanos
Elektro-akustische Vorproduktion: Harald Weiss
Stimme: Andrea Gubisch
Gesamtleitung: Thomas Hennig

Rhythmic patterns and sound that came before sense

why_birds_sing-david_rothenberg_2005Sanskrit is among the oldest languages, of all our Indo-European tongues. Now [Frits] Staal* says mantras, rhythms of sound that do not quite make sense, may lie at the roots of Sanskrit. Here’s an ancient song from the Vedas to be sung in the forest: Ayamayamayamayamayamayamauhova. Literally all it means is “thisonethisonethisonethisonethisonnnnnne …”

You are supposed to sing it when you consecrate an altar out of doors. Staal believes such resonating, repeating measures of sound may be older than human language itself. It may have worked like this: Our ancestors chanted rhythmic patterns of sound long before we ever thought that sounds should signify specific things. Sound came before sense, before we had history, back in the time of birds. Language came out of ritual rather than the other way around.

Why birds sing : a journey through the mystery of bird song by David Rothenberg. New York: Basic Books, ©2005, p. 185.

http://www.worldcat.org/title/why-birds-sing-a-journey-through-the-mystery-of-bird-song/oclc/57557354&referer=brief_results

* Frits Staal. Ritual and mantras: rules without meaning. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1996, 1993. [For the above quote, see other ed., New York: Peter Lang, 1990, p. 305]

http://www.worldcat.org/title/ritual-and-mantras-rules-without-meaning/oclc/38058450&referer=brief_results

No complacency in the search for creativity: Manickam Yogeswaran (The Hindu)

Review by Garimella Subramaniam, The Hindu, January 05, 2017 | Read the full review >>

“The many dimensions of the musical persona of Berlin-based Manickam Yogeswaran of Sri Lankan origin are not easy to fathom just from hearing him sing at one recital. […]

However, a conversation over coffee at Chamiers, days after a performance for Tamil Isai Sangam at Raja Annamalai Mandram, gave a glimpse of the different facets of the disciple of T.V. Gopalakrishnan and his exposure to Hollywood. […]

Yogeswaran’s forays into western classical ensembles, and his key role in global music forums for nearly three decades is a career graph, perhaps, typical of the wider scene in the performing arts these days. At the same time, it is the emotional need to stay anchored to the cultural milieu of one’s roots that probably explains Yogeswaran’s crucial engagement with Carnatic music. […] The challenge now, he says, is to nudge current generation of South Asians from a false sense of security about the future of this traditional art form. The conveniences afforded by technology, in terms of access to the treasure trove of recordings of great masters, ought not to breed complacency in the search for creativity, he argues. The key lies in continued reliance on the rigours of relentless individual ‘sadhana,’ a hallmark of classical music.”

http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/Revelling-in-his-classical-roots/article16992760.ece

Season’s greetings


 

Tagore in 1920 sketched on the occasion of his visit to the Netherlands

We wish you a beautiful New Year, health, prosperity and fulfillment!

By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.  – Rabindrath Tagore*

Yoga & Ludwig

* From Beauty Quotes and Sayings (quotegarden.com)

Indian music in intercultural education – ISME Glasgow 2016

ludwig_isme2016_2

Whatever we understand and enjoy in human products instantly becomes ours, wherever they might have their origin – Rabindranath Tagore*

During this presentation, musical figures from several distinct traditions were explored in a practice-oriented manner. The figures selected are appealing beyond South Asia where they originated many centuries ago and continue to play a key role in classical and applied music.

Our shared goal was to enable young and old to collaborate in a memorable learning process that blends seemlessly into any chosen subject, academic and otherwise.

The criteria for selecting a particular figure were (1) its flexibility as for combining it with another subject, for instance mathematics, geography or history; (2) its appeal going by prior experience with learners from different age groups; and (3) its scope for variation, movement, visualisation and analysis in accordance with learners’ specific needs and abilities.

Click on the above image to view or download and print a sample lesson for free (PDF with mp3 audio and other links)

Click here to view or download and print a sample lesson for free (PDF with mp3 audio and other links)

Scope

As part of integrated music education, Indian music enables even complete strangers to share a useful learning process. This calls for a natural and playful approach to melody, rhythm, hand signs and body movement. In this manner we are prepared to include newcomers – children and adults lacking a common language – to instantly participate in music.

Indian music is valued for fostering memory, analytical thinking, concentration, and cooperation among peers. Its basic concepts are exhilarating and liberating whether or not there is scope for studying Indian culture in its own right. This is a boon in circumstances where verbal or written instructions fail to engage learners. Rather than resigning in the face of such formidable challenges, educators are free to experiment and spread solidarity through instant inclusion – the essential joy of “creating” music oneself. This aspect addresses a common fear among learners, namely to be left behind (again!), be it in music or other subjects – a fear that is all too often justified in competitive modern society.

To help educators to overcome such fears, we build lessons around simple figures that bind tunes, rhythms and movements together into a rounded whole. Some of these may appear familiar enough to “break the ice” if needed; and others are so fresh and mind-boggling as to trigger further experimentation among peers in informal settings – anywhere and anytime. For this to happen, we dispense with technical resources of any kind.

Adaptation is the key to rapidly changing learning scenarios wherein cultural stereotyping, a known stumbling block for educators all over the world, must be overcome. This is easily achieved by integrating Indian music into discussions of academic concepts, or by letting its rhythms enrich social and outdoor activities. Such activities are by definition location specific and all-inclusive.

ludwig_isme2016_1

Educators from Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, India, Singapore and Switzerland were among the eleven participants in this one-hour session. They explored a time proven method suited to the needs of a wide range of abilities and learning goals; and this irrespective of participants’ cultural roots.

Date: 28 July 2016 | photos by courtesy of Dr. Tony Makarome, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Singapore

More information

*Rabindranath Tagore in a letter to C.F. Andrews; quoted by Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity. London: Penguin, 2005, p. 86.

Contribution to the world conference of the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow – ISME 2016

“Yours figuratively: Indian music in intercultural education”

Abstract

Music counts among the proverbial “64 arts and skills” of ancient India where it became synonymous with “leading a fulfilled life”. Thus, having evolved along with other pursuits, Indian music is an interdisciplinary concept that connects people irrespective of age and cultural background. It is in this context that we explore the world of musical figures: figures that convey subtle meaning while symbolizing the very joy of participating in music making of a high order.  Rather than borrowing sounds from a supposedly exotic culture, we apply the building blocks of Indian music for several good reasons: for their accessibility in the context of intercultural education and, of course, for their intrinsic value and beauty.

Learners tap into the mind-boggling world of India’s musical ideas. Tiny musical figures are adapted in a manner that has stood the test of time. While being fun on first hearing they also lend themselves to being visualized and analyzed for non-musical purposes.

This teaching method lends itself to classroom and lifelong learning across the entire social spectrum: it adds colour to other school subjects like maths, languages, geography or physical fitness; and requiring no more than voices, hands and open-mindedness, it kindles communication where there is a lack of time and resources, or even a common language. Figuratively yours, ours truly!

Ludwig Pesch studied at Freiburg University from where he went to India in order to be trained and perform as bamboo flautist. Since then he develops intercultural activities that suit the needs of children, music students and teachers; and also for museum education (e.g. family programmes for Museum Rietberg Zurich in conjunction with Indian art exhibitions).

He authored The Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music and among other writings, contributed to the journal of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung (Goettingen University “Music | Musics. Structures and Processes“) and to Integrated Music Education. Challenges for Teaching and Teacher Training by M. Cslovjecsek and M. Zulauf, forthcoming). Among his research projects are “Sam, Reflection, Gathering Together!” (Bern University of the Arts in collaboration with Natanakairali, Research and Performing Center for Traditional Arts in Kerala). His ideas on collaborative work are summarized by the acronym AIUME for “Adapting Indian Universals in Music Education”. (www.aiume.org)


Find publications by Ludwig Pesch on worldcat.org >> >>

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