Personal music taste

All of us listen to music and for most of us it’s by choice. There are many different genres and in most cases a person prefers one of them. This might be because of your upbringing, group pressure and surrounding. However, Professor Adrian North has discovered through his research that the music we choose to listen to has to do with our personality traits. It isn’t a surprise that people identify with music and the culture around it but this research discovered that music actually is connected to our identity. (Collingwood, 2014)

These are the results he found

Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease 

Not only can the music you prefer tell us about our personality traits but it can also show our political views. In another research it shows that Jazz and Opera fans usually vote right-wing but this was also shared with country. However, jazz fans were the most likely to care about the environment whilst heavy-metal fans didn’t mind the fossil fuel culture. (North, 2014)

If you take a close look at the different personality traits it is easy to spot that many of them are similar. This doesn’t disapprove the theory, it rather shows that people can listen to different types of music because their identity fits into that genre. It is for example quite common to find heavy metal fans that also enjoy classical music and the only thing that separates those two traits genres is the self esteem. It is also very common for heavy metal to use classical music as an inspiration which also shows the similarities.

The music can define our identity but there are of course some exceptions. Now-a-days it’s also difficult to put music in to a specific genre since musicians and composers often cross the borders. In the end all that matters is that we listen to the music we enjoy!


Depressing tinnitus

As mentioned in my post about tinnitus, it has been connected to depression. This caught my attention due to the fact that I suffer from tinnitus and depression. I have never seen any kind of relation between these two issues but according to research some people with tinnitus might experience distress and anxiety in the early stages of their tinnitus. This is not a direct cause but rather an emotional response that causes the problem. Since hearing a noise can become frustrating it might be difficult to handle in the beginning and therefore cause a feeling of anxiety. (Tinnitus association, 2015)

Another reason that combines these two issues together is due to the pain people with tinnitus might have which leads to them avoiding big social events, reduced involvement in work-related activities and they start to participate in less things that they find enjoyable due to the suffering. This creates an isolation from the society to some extent and that way can lead to depression. (Falkenberg & Wie, 2012)

Due to tinnitus not being the cause of depression the treatment for this would be to learn how to deal with the anxiety and distress caused by tinnitus. This can be done by learning to relax but also get help to learn how to deal with the social anxiety which can occur when someone begin to isolate oneself from the society.

If you believe tinnitus is causing you depression it is important to seek help as early as possible to be able to find a way to turn it around.

If it has affected one person it is a success – spreadable media part 3

As you probably already know I created a spreadable media artifact based on Facebook’s Say Thanks videos. I wanted to attempt to spread a message about cyber bullying rather than saying thanks to a particular friend. So I created this.

This piece of media did unfortunately not spread to thousands of people but in 2 weeks time I have managed to reach 200 people.

General statsOf these 200 people that have watched my video I have received 5 likes but also a comment from someone wanting to know where to go if they are experiencing cyber bullying. To me, that is a success. Although the video didn’t reach as many people as I was hoping for I still managed to affect one person which is the most important thing with social media, in my opinion at least. The reason for why I believe this is that even though people like posts and videos now-a-days it is usually a part of slacktivism and it doesn’t actually have an affect on people. One example of how slacktivism can educate people even though they won’t actually take action is Kony 2012. In this situation the awareness was spread and people shared it but in the end most people didn’t take action. (Sato; Kubo; Komatsu; Namatame, 2012)

So who watched my video? 

country stats1

As you can see by this statistics the majority of my viewers were from the UK followed by Sweden, US and Israel. I believe the reason for this is that these countries are where my majority of friends live. Due to me posting the video on Facebook it is very likely that most of the viewers are my friends on Facebook. As you can see though there are also viewers from other countries where I don’t know people which shows that there are people that have found the video via hashtags, tags or just a search on YouTube. (Chang, 2010)

Why didn’t it spread? 

view graphAs the graph shows most of my views were within the first couple of days. This is due to me spreading it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Reddit. The video wasn’t shared by many of my friends on Facebook and my tweets were also not re-tweeted. Due to this the video did not reach out to a wider audience than the one I shared it with.

I also noticed that the Say Thanks videos weren’t a massive success on Facebook either which led to them not being discussed on other social media platforms. Because of this my video became lost in the cyber world since people didn’t search for the hashtags that I’ve used for it.

In the end I enjoyed creating this piece and I hope that the 200 people that have watched it so far has taken something from it. Since it was only 50 seconds long most of the viewers sat through most of it or even all of it which would be enough to get the message I wanted to share. If only one of the viewers end up doing something against cyber bullying I can see my video as a success.

The constant buzz in my head

I have Tinnitus which is a problem that many of us have heard of but not many fully understand what it means. Even I, who live with it everyday don’t understand it fully since it is a problem that affect people in different ways.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is when a person hears a sound from inside their body rather than from an outside source. This is often described as a ringing noise in someone’s ear but it can be different types of noises such as a buzzing, humming or whistling sound. Tinnitus varies from person to person and there’s not one way to describe the noise. (NHS, 2013)

Take  a listen to these different examples to understand how different it can sound.

What causes tinnitus?

The most common cause for tinnitus is damage to the inner ear. This can be caused by exposure to loud noise, age-related hearing loss, growth of bacteria and many other reasons. Very often the issue is that the cochlea is damaged and therefore won’t send out signals to the brain as it should do. Due to the brain expecting a signal that it won’t receive it actively searches for a signal. This causes the signals being over-represented in the brain which can be perceived as a constant noise. (Mayo Clinic, 2013)

How do you get diagnosed? 

There isn’t a set test to determine whether you have tinnitus or not since it’s not a problem that can always be seen. However, if you are experiencing ringing, humming or any other kind of sound in your ears over a period of time it is important to go to your GP. If tinnitus is really bad you might have a CT scan to be able to look how severe the damage is on the inner ear and you’ll also go through hearing tests to see if it has affected your hearing. It is important to remember though that just because there isn’t any kind of physical proof, it doesn’t mean it isn’t disturbing. (NHS, 2013)

How can it be treated?

In many cases tinnitus gets better over time and it is also not harmful if it isn’t damaging your hearing. If tinnitus has developed due to an ear infection there is often a chance it will go away with just some ear drops. (Mayo Clinic, 2013) There are also technologies that have been developed to mask the frequency that your tinnitus is. By using one noise it gives it the possibility to remove the sound of tinnitus or at least lower it. (ASHA, 2014)

How has tinnitus affected me?

I’ve had tinnitus since I was 15 probably. In my case it was caused by too many hours of rehearsals in a small room with guitar amps right behind my ears. I constantly hear a high pitched A in my right ear which caused me to struggle tuning the flute (as I am a flutist). I need to be aware of what causes it to get worse such as being in loud environments, lack of sleep and listening to music for a longer period. It would be a lie to say that it actually hinders me to do things in life but I often need something on in the background when I’m trying to focus since the sound in my head is disturbing me and makes it difficult to focus.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with tinnitus and it all comes down to finding a way that works for you. If you feel that it is too difficult then I recommend seeing a specialist since there are several ways of helping you with it.

There is also a connection between depression and tinnitus as you can read in this article. But that will be discussed in a future post.

Final Fantasy and it’s music

I am not a gamer. Due to this reason I haven’t heard much music from video games. As most of the people in my generation I know Super Mario’s theme tune and the Tetris melody but apart from that it has taken me up until now to discover the video game music. As a non-gamer I got the pleasure of listening to these pieces as a “gamer-virgin” and therefore I could form an opinion about how well the music conveys a message without being bias depending on what I think about the game.

The video game music I was introduced to was the music from Final Fantasy. Due to going through the music from many of them I could see how it changed as time went by. If you didn’t know the music for the first 9 games was composed by  Nobuo Uematsu. Each version of Final Fantasy had its’ own theme which meant that Nobuo Uematsu had to adapt to each theme and the atmosphere that the game is trying to set.

One thing that I believe Nobuo Uematsu managed to do was to adapt to these different atmospheres but you are still able to hear that there is a theme going through the different games and it creates a sense of connection even though each game is completely independent. Even though I haven’t played the game I could easily put myself in that environment by simply listening to the music.

Here is a medley from Final Fantasy VIII

Uematsu used assistant composers for Final Fantasy X which also introduced 3D areas. This collaboration with the music was a complete failure, in my opinion, and was the beginning of a series of Final Fantasy games with music that did not keep the same standards as the previous games.

Here is a medley from Final Fantasy X

To me it became very obvious that as more successful Final Fantasy became the more pressure they had to release the games quicker. It also comes down to the development of technology and platforms that the game could be played on. By Final Fantasy X, Playstation 2 was already out it the demand of video games became more popular. Due to this the games had to be released quick and therefore they focused more on the visual part of the game rather then the music. A mistake in my eyes since we all know that the music is the most important part.

After Final Fantasy X Uematsu left the franchise which led to that the latter composers tried to recreate the type of music that had been used for the previous games. As we all know, the original is usually better and that was the case this time too. The latter games tended to not have as engaging music and it sounded more like an imitation than something new and refreshing.

Here is a track from Final Fantasy XIII

From a couple of discussions with Final Fantasy players there was a disappointment with the later games. I strongly believe that the music was one of the reasons for the discontent with the game. If the music is engaging enough the game will be perceived as interesting. I think the fact that people enjoy listening to these musical pieces without playing the games show that this type of music is meant to create a picture in your head and often do it much better than any pop music we hear on the radio.


If it’s unread it won’t spread – spreadable media part 2

When it came down to creating my spreadable media I had a few different ideas. These ideas were all very different from each other but linked in to being something that is relevant at the time. I ended up to narrow it down to three different ideas.

Idea 1

Create  a remake of Band Aid – Do they know it’s Christmas by using politicians. This idea came about since it was a topic that was discussed a lot in the media last week and there have been similar videos created which have  had large success. However, I decided not to proceed with this due to that my final video would be done when the topic wasn’t as popular anymore. It would also be complicated to find the exact phrase for the song and I was therefore limited. According to Google Trends the searches for Band Aid had a peak in the middle of November and trapped down afterwards which shows that this would be an video that only would be relevant for a short time.

Google trends

Idea 2

Create a remake of a Jeremy Kyle episode about how a woman is dating a black man and her neighbor is racist. My idea was to use Katie Hopkins and Barack Obama as the couple and Nick Griffin as the neighbor since this could feed into criticism towards BNP. The reason for me deciding not to go for this idea was because it would be necessary to make the video as a real episode of Jeremy Kyle and since viewers now-a-days are in a constant rush and prefer shorter videos I wouldn’t be able to develop the story line well enough to use this concept.

So I decided to go with

Idea 3

A twist on the Facebook Say thanks video where instead of saying Thank You to a friend I am high lightening the issue of cyber bullying. The reason for why I went this this idea was for a few reasons.

1. The Say Thanks videos are currently popular and therefore makes it more likely to spread since it is new online. According to Google Trends it has had it’s peek in November since it just has been launched. (Google Trends, 2014)

2. I wanted to convey an important message instead of doing a piece of spreadable media that just makes people laugh. Cyber bullying is a big issue now-a-days and I believe that these kind of videos only creates yet another platform for people to feel left out and forgotten. (Stop Cyber Bullying, 2013)

3. Since it is less than a minute long more people are likely to watch the whole video instead of just turning off straight away. I also get the opportunity to catch the viewers attention quickly by saying the message “Let’s talk about cyber bullying” in the beginning of the video. (Savage, 2009)

I produced the video and posted it on YouTube. To reach out to a wider audience I chose to post it on my Facebook profile explaining the concept. I also used hashtags to be able to reach out to a wider audience.Blog

Since it is very likely that only my friends see it on Facebook I Tweeted the link using the same hashtags as I did on Facebook. To be able to hopefully reach out to more people I tweeted Mark Zuckerberg to say thank you to him. By doing this people that are looking at his Twitter account can see that I’ve tweeted him and therefore access the video. To generate even more viewers I chose to share it on Tumblr and Reddit. So far I haven’t received any feedback from these two. This is possibly because I am less active on Tumblr and Reddit but only time will tell if this is a success or not. (Chang, 2010)

Take a look at the video yourself and please share it to raise the awareness.

For references just press the hyperlink in the brackets, easy as that.

The conspiracy of 440hz

If you are a musician you probably know that when you tune your instrument it is tuned to 440 Hz but this hasn’t always been the case. Up until 1953 the standard was in fact to tune it to 432 Hz (Above Top Secret, 2014). So you might wondered what changed. To tell you the truth, I don’t know but there are a few conspiracy theories which one of them is that the Nazis was behind the switch. This conspiracy is very likely to be based on that the Nazis choosing to change tuning into 440 Hz in the 1940’s already.

If you don’t completely understand how frequency and nature works together I think this video can show how frequency changes the sound waves and affects the nature.

What difference does it make?

432 Hz is a pure tone that transmits healing energy since it is in tune with the nature. By tuning instrument in 432 Hz you are suppose to be able to convey a logical and pure feeling to people. 440 Hz, however, is suppose to convey a hostile feeling that disconnects people from the nature since this frequency is unnatural. This feeling is produced due to overtones that “…has been empirically shown to suppress the creative, intuitive aspects of our mind, while negatively affecting our body chemistry and our immune systems.” (Alexander Light, 2011)

You can even hear the difference quite clear as this clip shows.

So how was this used by the Nazis?

Since using 440 Hz can cause a hostile feeling among people there is a theory that Goebbels chose to use this frequency to cause a certain thinking pattern and make the people prisoners of a unsympathetic consciousness. By creating this uncomfortable feeling to the people before speeches they would experience a relieving feeling when the music turned off and the speaker, which in many cases was big Nazi leaders, came on stage. This would lead to the spectators believing that the speaker was the one providing the comfort and that way gain their support.(Why don’t you try this, 2013)

What do we prefer now-a-days?

Research is constantly being made on what affects people’s preference when it comes to music. Now-a-days most music is tuned in 440 Hz but according to research made by Trevor Cox at Salford Univeristy they could establish that people do actually not prefer 432 Hz to 440 Hz and that the liking is divided equally. This is due to people mostly hearing relative pitch and we therefore will have different taste. (Trevor Cox, 2013)

Regardless how 440 Hz came about it is the standard now-a-days but in the end it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer.