Music And Suggestibility

Music And Suggestibility

Okay: suppose - just for argument's sake - that the music folks listen to and revel in can and does put them into hypnosis. What are the implications of that?

Of course, I must qualify the above right away. When I use the word "hypnosis" in this context I don't mean the form of passive and relaxed state which one experiences below the guidance of a hypnotherapist. What I'm referring to is simply the type of shift in the high quality of consciousness which occurs when you are absorbed within the music you like - whether you're gyrating on a dance ground, amid flashing lights and ear-splitting din, or sitting quietly mesmerised by a Chopin nocturne. I believe that any such shift of consciousness renders us more suggestible.

I also need to state the obvious. We aren't puppets or computers. Whatever state of consciousness we occur to be in we do not reply instantly, fully and positively to every suggestion we encounter. And yet, in hypnoidal states of consciousness, we're more suggestible than in "normal" waking consciousness. So - to restate the opening question, if music places us into a hypnoidal state, what are the possible penalties?

Once more, to state the apparent, it relies on what sort of music you're listening to, and why. What kind of music do folks listen to at this time? All sorts. There's an audience for jazz, folk, classical, and so on. However - and I know this is a sweeping generalization - the majority of folks, especially younger people, listen to what sells, to what is in fashion.

Certainly everybody on Britain who lived by way of the 60s, 70s and 80s will keep in mind High of the Pops on television and Alan Freeman's chart countdown show on the radio. In those days, nearly everybody okaynew - or at the very least had a tough concept - which track was at Number One.

Have you learnt which tune is at Number One at this moment? Me neither. However I believed I'd have a quick have a look at the Prime three as an indication of what a considerable proportion of the population, if not the majority, are listening to at the moment. This would also give me some thought of what options are being communicated by the use of music.

Well - I had a rummage around online and plainly on the time of writing - April 30th 2012 - the track at Number One is: "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. Each tune and singer are unknown to me. The tune, with its accompanying video, was simple to seek out online.

The singer is a thin but pretty young woman who appears as if she is aged about 16 or 17. Presumably she is older. The tune tells a quite simple story. Our heroine throws a wish right into a well and, presumably as a consequence, falls in lust with somebody wearing ripped jeans. The accompanying video makes it clear that this particular person is a younger man. The lyrics say nothing about him. She provides him her phone number and asks him to call her. Unique, is not it? The singer's voice is, like her appearance, thin and immature, with that pale, adenoidal high quality which appears to be in fashion on the moment. The melodic line is of nursery-rhyme simplicity. The accompanying music consists largely of synthetic string chords and percussion. There's nothing right here that we haven't heard a thousand times before.

Number Two in the charts is a tune called "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris. The "lyrics" of this tune, if one might call them lyrics, consist of nothing more than essentially the most banal string of clichés. Let's go. I'm talking. It is what you are doing that matters. Let's make it happen. And that is about it. The singer is male. The voice has the same immature whining quality of the singer on the Number One slot however with out the girlish charm. The melodic line, if it deserves such a title, couldn't possibly be more simple and shallow. The accompaniment consist of essentially the most primary rhythms and synthesized chords. Again, there's nothing authentic or distinctive about this whatsoever.

At number three is a song called "We Are Young" by a group called "Fun". The title of the track and the name of the band most likely inform you all it's essential to learn about this particular masterpiece. The track is a couple of trivial incident in a bar. The (male) protagonist is making an attempt to apologize to his lover for something - the character of his misdemeanour just isn't made clear. The apology doesn't appear to be going too well. Meanwhile our hero's associates are on the toilet getting high on something or other. Interspersed with these sordid and trivial particulars there's a recurring chorus which asserts that "we" can burn brighter than the sun. Musically, nonetheless, this seems to be the strongest of the three. The melodic line is considerably richer and more diverse than that of the two songs above it within the charts. The refrain, with its pounding piano, its straightforward, if totally unoriginal, harmonies and its anthemic melodic line, ensures that the piece is a bit of more memorable than most such ephemeral products.

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