A PBS Show You Have To Watch!

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Last night I caught a wonderful PBS documentary called “The Music Instinct:  Science and Song”.  If you want to see excerpts from it, check out the website.

This documentary explores the connection between music and the brain and asks the question ‘is music something we invented or is it an innate part of our selves?’  Some of the more fascinating aspects had to do with how learning music actually physically changes the brain and where it can also be found in nature.  For instance, we look for visual symmetry in nature, so why wouldn’t it also exist in an auditory way?

One fellow, a practising neuro surgeon, was talking on the phone one day when lightening suddenly zapped him through the wires.  He had no obvious effects from the incident until about three weeks after, when he suddenly began hearing music, waking up after having dreamed entire classical compositions, and for the first time in his life he had the desire to learn to play an instrument.  He was in his 60’s when this occurred and had always only been interested in rock music, and now he has become an accomplished classical pianist, but even more fascinating, he has become an accomplished composer!

There are arguments back an forth as to how important music is in our daily lives, how it can actually help people deal with varying ailments like Parkinson’s or a stroke, and how important it can be to learning in early child development.  Even the cosmos is humming, only it’s at a frequency that we can’t possibly hear…some 64 octaves below the lowest note we are capable of hearing.  But it’s a hum!

There are occasions when PBS puts an entire show online to view…but if you can’t find it that way, they often replay their documentaries a number of times, so hopefully you’ll catch it one way or another.  I promise, it’s worth the watch!

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