Articles on Music

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Minami Minegishi, member of Japanese pop group AKB48, made a tearful public apology on AKB48’s YouTube channel. YouTube

AKB48, headshaving and the sexual politics of J-Pop

Japanese pop star Minami Minegashi made headlines worldwide after shaving her head and making an dramatic public apology on Youtube for violating her pop group AKB48’s strict no dating policy. While shocking…
It’s easy for uninhibited humans to elicit vocal responses from gibbons by imitating their song. Jerome Ludmann

Gibbon song may be music to the ears of human language students

Gibbons and humans have more in common than might immediately seem apparent. Among many behavioural traits shared by our two species is singing. Not just that – the songs of gibbons have the potential…
Music can create a vortex – and a coupling of cortexes. AlicePopkorn

Motion slickness: music moves makers and listeners alike

Music is an emotional business. But is it also a natural law, bound in with our bodies and ideas of motion we’re only beginning to understand? I am in the unique position of studying with both Professor…

Musical brains delay cognitive ageing

Musical instrumental training at a young age may reduce the effects of memory decline and cognitive ageing. A range of cognitive…
Does music feel and talk like we do? John Mallon Iphoneography

While my guitar gently speaks: talking up the talk box

A fine musician complemented by a fine musical instrument can communicate a range of strong emotions. But even the best of these combinations cannot speak in the sense of transferring textual information…
The Higgs boson is alive with the sound of music. rafeejewell

Higgs the musical: the sound of the ‘God particle’

The July 4 discovery of a particle that closely resembles the Higgs boson opens a new era in science: it should help us understand some fundamental mysteries, such as how microscopic particles attain their…
“Physics permeates the language we use to describe music, and the concepts we use to understand it.” Ravages

Music and physics – the connections aren’t trivial

My ANU colleague John Rayner’s excellent recent article on the physics of music seemed to touch a nerve with the readership of The Conversation. Although beautifully framed by the personal and anecdotal…
Music is the language of love – and it exemplifies some principles of science. Roxanne Milward

This is a love song: the physics of music and the music of physics

My wife Theresa represents many things for me – in addition to being my partner, I see her as a 17cm-long quarter-wavelength resonator (which I hope you’ll understand and agree with by the end of this…
Roll up for the mathematical mystery tour. Lucy (嘉莉)

A Hard Day’s Night by numbers: The Beatles decoded

“TWANG! It’s been a …” There is perhaps no song as quintessentially Beatle-ish as A Hard Day’s Night - it just bubbles with unbridled enthusiasm and joy. And in my mind, there’s no other opening chord…

Singing your way to better health

Religious songs can help elderly African-Americans remain happy and healthy. Researchers documented the reactions of 65 elderly…
Nice sounds – but are you responding to the bass or your basal ganglia? TORIMBC

Beast international: does rock music rouse the animal within?

There’s no doubt rock music evokes excitement, but is there more to that excitement than guitar solos and head banging? Writing in the Telegraph recently, science correspondent Nick Collins remarked: “Rock…
Feel free to bust out some tunes, but you won’t fool the children of the evolution. Verano y mil tormentas

DarwinTunes: when you get that feeling it’s, uh, sexual hearing?

What transforms noise from album filler to dancefloor killer? Why do some tracks turn us on while others make us tune out? DarwinTunes, a computer program that employs the principles of natural selection…
There were protests against cuts to the ANU’s school of music, but the changes were sorely needed. Flickr/Orangedrummerboy

ANU music school cuts: Musicians need to keep in time

The current crisis at the ANU School of Music has widely been reported as being, fundamentally, about money. The Australian National University’s (ANU) Vice-Chancellor Ian Young has cut ten academic and…
Orchestra of nature: artist Bartholomäus Traubeck has converted pieces of trees into music. Eric C Bryan

Forest sonata: listening to the music of the trees

What is the music of trees? German artist Bartholomäus Traubeck spun slices of logs on turntables that translate their textures and annual rings into music. Traubeck calls the result Years, and I played…

Classical music aids organ transplant time

Research on mice found that opera and classical music increased the time before their transplanted hearts failed. However…
Emo music may be bleak but there’s no evidence to show it causes depression. Flickr/Corrie

Monday’s medical myth: emo music makes you depressed

Like death metal and grunge before it, emo music has copped more than its fair share of criticism since it rose to prominence a decade ago. Rather than being seen as an outlet for young people to express…

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