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Articles on Music psychology

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Metallica singer James Hetfield (left) and guitarist Kirk Hammett perform on stage during Lollapalooza 2017. Mario Ruiz/EPA

Why artistic differences in a band can be a good thing

There is a long list of bands that fell apart over artistic differences. But conflict between band members – and even some creative sledging – can be crucial to making better music.
A newborn baby undergoes music therapy at a hospital in Slovakia. The hospital uses music therapy to treat infants who have been separated from their mothers. Petr Josek Snr/Reuters

Healthy songs: the amazing power of music therapy

From serving newborns to treating hospice patients, music can be used in medical and psychological treatment with surprising – and real – results.
Cranking out a tune cements our social networks. Julie/Flickr

All together now – three evolutionary perks of singing

We’re enjoying the one time of year when protests of “I can’t sing!” are laid aside and we sing carols with others. For some this is a once-a-year special event; the rest of the year is left to the professionals…

Please don’t rock around the Christmas tree

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at … zzzzzz snooooore. It’s that time of year again, and at the risk of promoting bah humbug over chestnuts roasting, I’m very Ebenezer Scrooge when…
Will learning sax make you better at French? Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton

Explainer: how are learning languages and music linked?

Music is what penetrates most deeply into the recesses of the soul, according to Plato. Language has been held by thinkers from Locke to Leibniz and Mill to Chomsky as a mirror or a window to the mind…

Why do we like sad music?

A magnificently scornful piece in The Guardian this weekend flagged the trend for “sad bangers”, music in which, “Sensitive lads across the land have abandoned their cardies and acoustic guitars for varsity…
Daddy Cool’s Ross Wilson learnt to sing harmonies in a choir, aged 10. AAP/ Joe Castro

The secrets of self-taught, high-performing musicians

We rightly marvel at the skills of a talented musician, especially witnessing them perform live. But how does someone become so skilled? Obviously hours and hours of dedicated practice is a necessity…
The last time the Wallabies played the Argentina Pumas they lost – was an incomprehensible national anthem part of the problem? AAP Image/ Dave Hunt

Want to win? Let music give you the edge

Let’s hope the Wallabies are inspired by a rousing rendition of the national anthem as they prepare to face their old enemy the All Black’s at tomorrow’s Bledisloe Cup match. The Kiwis invariably come…

Bad rap for rap

Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt can currently be found battling in multiplexes around the world, but as the recent viral video of him shows, he also has a magnificent ability to rap. (Just don’t…

Wine and song

Rudy Kurniawan this week became the first person to go to jail for selling fake wine. In addition to his ten year sentence he was ordered to pay US$20m, plus millions in restitution to victims, including…

Music and drug use

For this weekend only, Balado in Perthshire is transformed into the fifth largest town in Scotland as it hosts the annual T In The Park music festival. The event this year sees a zero tolerance approach…

Why is it good to crowdsurf at Handel concerts?

Dr David Glowacki is a highly-respected research fellow of the Royal Society, and expert in non-equilibrium molecular reaction dynamics – no, me neither – but is also our newest, and arguably most unlikely…

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