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Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Scenes From a Starbucks Cup...
...Yes, it's more wisdom from the side of one of those white and green recyclable cups.

"Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears - it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear. But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more - it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity".
~Oliver Sacks, Neurologist and author of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" and "Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain"~

How true, how true. This also reminds me of the idea of music soothing savage breast. Yes, breast. Go look it up before you start arguing with me that the correct quote is 'music soothes the savage beast'. I'll even make it easy for you - William Congreve, 1697, 'The Mourning Bride' is the play. He's also responsible for 'Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned', but that's neither here nor there.

Sacks' comment is interesting about how people with certain neurological disorders react to music because that same statement can be said for everyone with a brain.

Music is truly a salve for the soul. I know that after a rough day if I spend a few minutes singing along with something on the radio, I will feel better. It calms me down, it builds me up, makes me happy or want to throw all my stresses away and just be.

Different pieces of music bring different reactions, as does the volume at which pieces are played. If you lower the volume so that something is just playing in the background while many might not notice it they will probably be affected by it. If you turn it up to be a focal piece people will notice it more and probably start talking about it and attitudes will change in the room.

It's really noticeable when people are listening to favorite bands. I know I always get a mood lift when I'm listening to Chicago, the Eagles or the Police - maybe lift isn't the right word - change is a better one because some songs don't lift you up - maybe they enhance an already questionable mood.

Music is a luxury and a necessity for everyone, not just the neurologically impaired. It inspires creativity, romance, emotion and relaxation. It can soothe the soul and energize the body and brain. It promotes reaction - either physical or emotional depending on the setting and the sound. I tend to write a lot of my blogs while listening to music and part of my work day is often spent with music floating through the office. It doesn't unfocus me from my work but instead allows my mid to wander into more creative realms where I tend to do some of my best work. That said, I wrote this in a completely quiet environment. I think I'll plug into my Shuffle now...

...and see where the music takes me today.