I’m really excited to finally be sharing this project with you. The past few months I’ve been working on a new blog, Music Under The Influence.
In short, the idea is to explore how music affects us emotionally, physically and mentally. It’s going to be a mix of personal essays and research that I’ve collected from all over the web.
I’m a huge music fan and absolutely love that it can have such a profound impact on people. I hope that you’ll enjoy my blog and share it with your friends!
Popular electronic music is a genre of music that has been available to the public for decades now. It has become a staple in the diet of pop culture and its influences can be found everywhere.
This blog is full of information about how popular electronic music affects us emotionally.
We will explore the effects of listening to electronic music on our moods, how it affects the way we think and feel and how it even affects our behavior.
This blog will also feature interviews with some of the most popular producers, DJs and artists in this genre so we can get their perspective on what they do and why they do it.
My name is Dr. Mary Anne Vanderhorst. I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. I have been studying popular electronic music for over ten years now and have published numerous articles on this topic including “Can You Feel The Beat? The Effects Of Popular Electronic Music On Mood”.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it.
On Friday, December 10th, 2016, UK-based producer Flume released his second full-length album titled Skin. The Australian musician is well known for his electronic dance music (EDM), and has been producing music since his teenage years. This album is a follow up to his self-titled debut album which was released in 2012. While I have not been holding my breath for this album for the past four years, the wait was definitely worth it.
I have always been an avid listener of Flume’s work. The way he composes tracks is something that I can truly appreciate. His debut album featured collaborations with Chet Faker and Moon Holiday, but also included a variety of instrumentals as well. His first release had a very chilled out vibe, but also featured some heavier tracks as well. This new album that just came out feels like a much more mature version of everything that made the first one so great.
One thing that really impressed me about this new release is the variety of music styles it features. He really pushes the limits on what genres can be considered EDM, and takes musical risks that aren’t common in today’s pop scene. The track “Helix” sounds like it could be straight out of a video game soundtrack
[In the introduction to my book, The Song Machine, I tell a story about how in the early 1990s I was working at a record company in London, and one day I got into a discussion with an intern about what constituted “quality” music. He proposed we go upstairs to the library where the company stored its back catalog, and play some discs for each other.
As he pulled out albums from the shelves and aired them on the office stereo, he talked about each one with great passion. His goal was clearly to impress me with his knowledge and taste. But it was hard for me to stay attentive: his choices were pretty obscure (to me) and, even worse, most of them were not very interesting.
The next week he came back, this time with a cassette tape of something completely different. He put it on the stereo and said: “I think you’ll like this.” And this time I did: it was amazing. It sounded like nothing else before or since. It had an irresistible groove with weird instruments I’d never heard before, strange lyrics that were hard to decipher but seemed important somehow, beautiful melodies and harmonies that felt both ancient and avant-garde at once. What was this music?
Last weekend, I went to a music festival. It was the first time experiencing electronic music live. I have listened to electronic music for about 3 years now and I have always wondered how it would feel like to experience the music in person.
The entire experience was mind-blowing. Electronic music is different from other types of music because it is the only genre that can be produced by anyone. This means you can make your own beats, melodies and even words (using Auto-Tune) in a computer program and sell it online as an album or song.
You don’t need any musical talent to make this type of music. All you need is creativity and a good ear to know what sounds good together in a song. The only downside is that most producers start out by making copies of other songs before they find their own style.
Nowadays, there are dozens of electronic music festivals around the world where people come together to listen and dance along with the beat of their favorite artists’ creations!
I wrote this blog post to share some of my research on the emotional impact that music has on humans. I have collected data from over 100 popular songs and analyzed their emotional content. Which types of songs are most popular? Why might that be? How do different genres affect us emotionally? What are the lyrics about?
This blog post is intended for a general audience, but it may also be interesting to other researchers who have a background in psychology or neuroscience.
One of the many intriguing things about electronic music is that its sound palette is not only derived from musical instruments, but also includes sounds from everyday life.
This is why I wanted to know: What are the most frequently used non-musical sounds in electronic dance music?
To answer this question, I analyzed the songs in Beatport’s Top 100 best selling tracks of October 2014. The set of sample files (about 400 MB) can be downloaded here.
The procedure I used for analyzing the samples is described at the end of this post.
Which Non-Musical Sounds Are Used Most Often in Electronic Music?
I looked at the frequency spectrum and sonogram of each sample and tried to identify non-musical sounds. For example, a loud crack in the very low frequency range (20 Hz – 200 Hz) usually indicates a kick drum or bass drop, whereas a sharp high-frequency sound could either be a synthesizer or a human scream. In total I identified around 10 distinct non-musical sounds that are used in 20 or more tracks: