A pocket watch on lying on top of a music score

Heel, Heart & Head: Levels of Music (and the Keeping of Time)

Music may be divided into three kinds: First, the music of simple time, without any particular emphasis — and this may be called the music of the heels; second, music in which time is varied, in which there is the eager haste and the delicious delay, that is, the fast and slow, in accordance with […]

Earbud next to a drawing of a group of little heart shapes

Feel the Beat: Music, Emotion & the Rhythm of the Heart

A cardiologist, a medical historian, and a musicologist analyzed several of Beethoven’s compositions for clues of a heart condition some have speculated he had … The rhythms of certain parts of renowned works, researchers say, may in fact reflect the irregular rhythms of Beethoven’s own heart caused by cardiac arrhythmia. [S]ays lead author Zachary D. Goldberger […]

Morgan Kelly (Futurity) | Did human speech start with monkey lip smack?

Two recent studies by Princeton University researchers suggest that the oral-facial component of human speech mirrors the rhythm, development, and internal dynamics of lip smacking, a friendly back-and-forth gesture performed by primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, and macaques. Reference Morgan Kelly (Futurity) | Did human speech start with monkey lip smack?

Andrew Myers (Futurity) | Neurons send ‘rhythmic signals’ down spine

Our main finding is that the motor cortex is a flexible pattern generator, and sends rhythmic signals down the spinal cord…The brain has had an evolutionary goal to drive movements that help us survive. The primary motor cortex is key to these functions. The patterns of activity it displays presumably derive from evolutionarily older rhythmic […]

The shapes of stories: a Kurt Vonnegut infographic | Maya Eilam

Stories have shapes. That is, they have patterns which can be represented as shapes. Kurt Vonnegut thought about story shapes as graphs on a coordinate plane, with good-to-ill fortune as the y-axis and beginning-to-end of the story as the x-axis. With this simple frame of reference, he could capture the emotional journey embedded in a […]