WSJ on Music and the Kindle 2

Just a quick hit today for the few who might be interested.  The online WSJ has a couple of articles today that caught my eye.  (Actually, I think they were published this weekend.)

The first concerned the mystery of why music effects us emotionally.  Perhaps I should put that “why music effects us emotionally with such consistency.”  If everyone reacted completely differently to the same piece of wordless music, there wouldn’t be such a mystery.  But why are certain wordless musical constructs consistently perceived as being, for instance, sad or melancholy, while others are perceived as happy or joyous?

It has always fascinated me, and the WSJ article I read discusses this phenomenon, though without resolution.  You can read it here: “The Mystery of Music.” (And, if you are in the Living Church of God, you can also access my video Bible Study on our youth website, where I discuss the power of music and the mystery of its influence on us.)

The second article extols the virtues of the future of e-readers and points to the “globally available” Kindle 2 as the beginning of a wonderous new era in information accessibility.  I don’t know that I wholly agree with Mr. Marche’s enthusiasm, but I do find the role played by our means of interacting with information to be a fascinating topic of meditation.  You can read that article here: “The Book That Contains All Books.” (For those who wish to discuss this as a potential example of set theory paradox, I would rather save that discussion for another time; though I will confess that it is that paradox that caused me to click on the link.)

2 thoughts on “WSJ on Music and the Kindle 2

  1. Steve

    Music? I can only speak for myself, but I might perceive music one way, and react to it in a another way.

    For example, Beethoven wrote a dirge about a dying man and his last thoughts. Outwardly, the music is very sad and melancholy. Yet you hear the little trumpet blasts and the call to war. “You’re going to rise up, and you’re going to do it, one last time.”

    I find the piece inspiring, not sad.

    We perceive music in a consistant fashion because we’re human beings built of a common construct. I think individuals might react to the construct in different ways, however.

  2. I heard on classical radio once that a Russian computer of the 19th century tried to attach specific notes to colors.

    I tracked down details about it online just now:

    But I also found a modern research project, which shows various people associate different colors with the same note.

    Perhaps it shows how we’re all made as individuals by God — much like some people love broccoli, while some of us prefer chocolate chip cookies. 🙂

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