Jay Z’s Tidal Streaming Service Launches With Push From Beyoncé, Kanye, Jack White, Nicki Minaj, More

Everybody turns their social media profile pictures turquoise

By Amy Phillips on March 30, 2015 at 1:35 a.m. EDT

Jay Z's Tidal Streaming Service Launches With Push From Beyoncé, Kanye, Jack White, Nicki Minaj, More

Jay Z’s newly purchased high-fidelity music streaming service Tidal is being re-launched today. The rollout began with many high-profile artists, including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Madonna, and Coldplay, as well as Jack White’s Third Man Records, changing their social media profile pictures to a turquoise square. Many also posted about the service. Update 9:40am 3/30: Daft Punk and Arcade Fire have also joined the social media push. Update 12:07pm 3/30: Tidal’s official Twitter account has posted a star-heavy teaser featuring appearances from Madonna, Beyoncé, Chris Martin, Rihanna, Kanye West, Jack White, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk and more. Watch that below.

At 5 p.m. Eastern, Jay Z is making a “special announcement” at a New York launch event.

Tidal offers lossless CD-quality audio and video. There will be no free, ad-supported plan; monthly subscriptions cost $19.95. The service has deals with all of the major record labels. It also offers expert-curated playlists and editorial. Tidal is being positioned as a rival to Spotify. For example, Taylor Swift’s catalog is available on Tidal. (She removed it from Spotify last fall.)

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Kanye West Apologizes To Beck and Bruno Mars

"I would like to publicly apologize to Beck, I’m sorry Beck."

By Molly Beauchemin on February 26, 2015 at 7:12 p.m. EST

Kanye West Apologizes To Beck and Bruno Mars

In the last few weeks Kanye West has dominated the media stream with the launch of his Adidas clothing line, several epic award show performances, and a controversial gesture in which he stormed the stage at the Grammys after Beck won Album of The Year for Morning Phase. When asked about his actions, Kanye later commented: “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyoncé”. Now, ‘Ye has issued a few apologies on his Twitter:

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Watch Kanye’s recent performance of “All Day” at the Brit Awards..

How does music benefit the brain?

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Sometimes, watching a musician perform live can make us mere listeners feel like they have superpowers. Now, new research suggests brief musical training increases blood flow in the left hemisphere of the brain, but there are other benefits for listeners, too.

Researchers from the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool in the UK conducted two different studies to investigate how musical training affects the flow of blood to the brain.

They say their findings, which they presented at the British Psychological Society annual conference in Birmingham, UK, suggest the areas in charge of music and language share common pathways in the brain.

In early 2014, Medical News Today reported on a study that revealed brain scans of jazz musicians showed similarities between language and music. Researchers from that study said the brain likely uses its syntactic regions to process all communication – whether spoken or through music.

In the first of two studies, student Amy Spray and her mentor, Dr. G. Meyer, looked for brain activity patterns in 14 musicians and nine non-musicians while they engaged in music and word generation assignments.

The team found that brain patterns for the musicians were similar in both tasks, whereas, for the non-musicians, this was not the case.

The team found that brain patterns for the musicians were similar in both tasks, whereas, for the non-musicians, this was not the case.

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Musical training causes a change in the cognitive mechanisms used for music perception, and these are usually used in processing language, researchers say.

In the second study, the investigators measured brain activity patterns in a different group of non-musicians who took part in word generation and music perception tasks. After initial measurements were taken, the team then took measurements once the participants had received 30 minutes of musical training.

The musical training, say the researchers, consisted of learning to tap three polyrhythms – two or more rhythms not constructed from the same meter that are played at the same time – with their fingers.

In the measurements taken before the training, the team observed that there were no significant brain activity patterns of correlation. However, after the musical training, they did find “significant similarities.”

“It was fascinating to see that the similarities in blood flow signatures could be brought about after just half an hour of simple musical training,” says Spray.


”This suggests that the correlated brain patterns were the result of using areas thought to be involved in language processing. Therefore we can assume that musical training results in a rapid change in the cognitive mechanisms utilized for music perception and these shared mechanisms are usually employed for language.”

How Music can Make us Feel Powerful

Whether you are lifting weights at the gym or going for a run, putting on your earphones and blasting some music can certainly give you a push to do your best. This is because music can give us a sense of power, according to a new study, particularly if it has high levels of bass.

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The research team, including Dennis Hsu of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, recently published their findings in the journal Social Psychological & Personality Science.

Hsu says he and his colleagues gained inspiration for the study from watching major sporting events. They noticed that athletes had their earphones on in the locker room and as they entered the stadium.

“The ways these athletes immerse themselves in the music – some with their eyes steely shut and some gently nodded along the beats – seem as if the music is mentally preparing and toughening them up for the competition about to occur,” says Hsu.

Past research has found that listening to music can have many benefits, such as increasing learning and motivation and reducing physical pain. But Hsu and colleagues note that no studies have assessed whether music influences an individual’s sense of power, and if so, how. This is what they set out to determine with this latest study.

Testing how songs influence the sense of power and its consequences

First of all, the team conducted a pre-test. This involved participants listening to 30-second clips of 31 pieces of music from an array of genres, including sports music, hip-hop and reggae.

Participants were asked to rate how powerful each piece of music made them feel, and the researchers then pinpointed the highest and lowest power songs.

Songs rated as most powerful included “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Get Ready for This” by 2 Unlimited, while the least powerful songs included “Because We Can” by Fatboy Slim and “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men.

The researchers then conducted a series of tests to determine how each of the highest and lowest rated power songs in the pre-test influenced each participant’s sense of power.

In addition, they looked at how the songs affected three psychological and behavioral consequences of power that have been identified in previous research: thought abstraction (tendency to see the forest instead of the trees), illusion of control (perceived control over social events) and the desire to make the first move in competitive environments.

Participants were required to carry out certain tasks to enable researchers to assess each of these three consequences of power. For example, to measure illusion of control, subjects were required to take part in a die-rolling task.

“Part of our objective was to test whether music produces the same downstream effects of power found in other sources,” Hsu explains.

Participants were also questioned about any positive feelings they may be experiencing. The team controlled for these in order to ensure that any effects on power were not created by any other emotions.

Results of the experiments revealed that the songs rated most powerful unconsciously encouraged a sense of power among participants. Furthermore, the researchers found these songs actively generated the three consequences of power.

The researchers point out that it is not the lyrics of the songs that could have resulted in these findings. When participants read song lyrics without hearing the music, no powerful feelings were reported.

Heavy-bass music increases powerful feelings

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Past research has suggested that the bass sound and voice in music are linked to dominance. Therefore, Hsu and colleagues conducted a series of experiments to see how bass levels – digitally varied in pieces of instrumental music – influenced subjects’ sense of power.

Results revealed that the participants who listened to music with heavy bass reported higher feelings of power and formed more power-related words in a word-completion task, compared with those who listened to music with low bass.

The team explains that this particular finding may support the “contagion hypothesis.” This is the theory that hearing parts of a song that express power can cause individuals to express these feelings in themselves.

“Importantly, because we used novel, never-before-heard music pieces in these experiments, it suggests that the effect may sometimes arise purely out of contagion,” says Hsu.

The researchers note, however, that the sense of power encouraged by music could come from the “conditioning hypothesis” – the idea that certain music can evoke a sense of power because the listener associates the music with certain experiences.

They point out, for example, that “We Are the Champions” by Queen is a song frequently used to celebrate victory. Does this song evoke a sense of power in you?

“Although significantly more research needs to be done before we can truly begin to understand music’s effects on our psychological experiences, I believe our findings provide initial evidence for the potential strategic use of music, especially in situations where people need to feel empowered.”

He adds that people might want to explore whether listening to their favorite music could encourage them to adopt an empowered mental state before going into a first date, an important client meeting or a job interview, for example.

The Best Sounds for Getting Work Done

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The right kind of sound can relax your mind, hone your focus, drown out distractions, or get you pumped to kill your to-do list. We’ve assembled some research and free resources to help you create your own best workspace soundtrack.

Does Music Really Make You More Productive?

The answer falls somewhere between “Listening to Mozart makes you a genius” and “Just be quiet and work.”

The most often cited study into the question of music’s effect on the mind involves the so-called Mozart effect, which suggests that listening to certain kinds of music—Amadeus Wolfgang’s classical works, in particular—impacts and boosts one’s spatial-temporal reasoning, or the ability to think out long-term, more abstract solutions to logical problems that arise. The Mozart effect has been overblown and over-promised, and even outright refuted as having “bupkiss” effect, but that doesn’t mean a great mind-juicing playlist can’t be created.12

bctwey7xksdojmzoxoxvThe Workplace Doctors site details both sides of the question. In one study, University of Illinois researchers found that listening to music in “all types of work” increased work output 6.3% over a control group. In another study (dissected at MetaFilter), 56 employees working on basic computer tasks were found to be more productive when there was no music playing over the same period tested with music.

So the real answer turns out to be, unfortunately, “it depends.” It depends on whether your office or workspace is noisy enough that a good kind of noise or music is preferable to the natural cacophony. It depends on your personal attention span, and how likely you are to fiddle with controls versus letting a music stream trickle past your ears. Though many of the final answers to studies of music at work conflict, the general consensus seems to be that people can be boosted at work by music, if they’re willing to be.

If that sounds like you, here’s a few suggestions on where to find music that others have found helpful in their own workspaces.

The Classical Route

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How it works: The ornate instrumentation and composition of Baroque classical music gets a lot of attention for its possible mind-boosting effects. Eight radiologists were asked to go about their day while listening to Baroque-period tunes. They mostly self-reported better mood and productivity, except for one worker who said the music had a negative effect on his concentration.

Followers of Getting Things Done and productivity writer David Allen note in forum posts that the man himself seems to dig Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3, and other Baroque tunes as mood-setters for tackling tasks like a weekly review. A key suggestion from a David Allen forum poster—look for tracks paced at about 60 beats per minute:

It’s the beats-per-minute required to get the brain up to optimal revs. David has a segment about it on GTD Fast – I also came across it at a speed-reading class. It seems to cause a “bright and breezy” frame of mind where thinking and creativity are easier. I find it works.

Where to get it: Being often hundreds of years old and a niche interest these days, classical music is relatively easy to find online. Wikipedia has hundreds of freely-licensed files, and public domain search sites like Musopen offers a lot of good stuff, too.

If the Baroque sound doesn’t quite do it for you, Lifehacker commenter Catalyst suggests the Vitamin String Quartet, which covers pop tunes in string quartet/chamber music style. It’s not the same kind of down-deep arrangement as traditional classical work, but the Quartet’s work takes away distracting lyrics and soothes out pop music’s more annoying edges. (Though it’s worth noting that unfamiliar music may be better than stuff you know).

The Ambient/Electronic Route

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How it works: The label “ambient” has been applied far too broadly to be of much help to anyone but record store owners. Still, at its core, all ambient music is designed not to jump in your face, but still keep your brain engaged at a lower, subconscious level. Pioneers like Brian Eno developed ambient music as an experiment in composition, allowing algorithms, randomness, synthesizers, and whatever sounded neat to replace the standard components of pop music.

A modern variant, chillout, and its categorical cousins downtempo, ambient house, and certain varieties of IDM, or Intelligent Dance Music, grew out of a need for dancers and partiers at techno clubs to take a break, relax, and recover from their efforts, along with whatever else they needed recovering from. Like the original ambient music, much of it is designed to relax the mind and allow it to roam, while providing just enough stimulation to register as inspiration.

Where to get it: Both Gina and Brian Ashcraft at our gaming-focused sibling blog Kotaku find Eno’s Music for Airports to be superior music for deep tasks and serious studying. It was designed, after all, for actual airports, to put passengers at ease in an often stressful situation, right before getting on a tube that some consider their worst fear.

f you’re a fan of streaming recommendation site Pandora, or like the minimalist, “glitch,” or seriously ambient side of techno, commenter maczter recommends a playlist created by a Pandora employee, Ovals, that he describes as “minimalist elemental glitch.” I tried it out for an afternoon writing session, and found five out of six tracks to be unexpectedly calming and helpful in the task—with the exception of one rather jarring, high-pitched interloper.

The Noise Route

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How it works: If music is too distracting for your tastes, but your chatty co-workers, office machinery, and general clamor are even more distracting, colored noise might be a worthy addition to your audio repertoire.

Noise generators, usually grouped into groups of white, pink, or brown/red, cover a range of your ear’s audible spectrum with generic sound to mask or lessen the distractions of other sounds. Wikipedia’s entry on sound masking puts it best:

Imagine a dark room where someone is turning a flashlight on and off. The light is very obvious and distracting. Now imagine that the room lights are turned on. The flashlight is still being turned on and off, but is no longer noticeable because it has been “masked”. Sound masking is a similar process of covering a distracting sound with a more soothing or less intrusive sound.

Lost in a sea of random speaker crackle? Editor’s tests have found that pink noise generally simulates a waterfall effect, while setting the brown/red noise in SimplyNoise to a low volume, while allowing the volume to fall up and down, or oscillate, provides a soundscape similar to waves hitting the shore off in the distance.

Does having similar musical taste mean a better relationship?

Could Dolly Parton be a deal breaker when it comes to a relationship? What if she loves One Direction and he rocks out to Kasabian? Just how important is your musical taste in a relationship?

Music is thought to be one of the easiest things to relate to when it comes to dating,’ says Samir El Alami from Lovestruck.com. ‘A recent study of our members showed Anything For Love (Meatloaf) was the favourite love song for men and Robbie Williams’ Angels was voted for by women.’

A couple listen to music on their headphones.

The research by dating site Lovestruck.com looked into the importance of musical harmony, and found 68 per cent of female members said they wouldn’t date someone who liked rapper Chris Brown. No surprise there consider his wife beater reputation.

While 77 per cent of men admitted One Direction fans were a turn off. Maybe Harry makes them feel old?

But would you actually dump someone if they didn’t like their CD collection? Interestingly 21 per cent said they would.

In fact, the research found that the top three turn offs when it comes to music collections are One Direction, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber.

On the musical flip side, both sexes agreed the guitar was their favourite instrument with 67 per cent of females stating a partner who played it would definitely be getting a second date.

And Lovestruck.com are not alone in their research into this subject. A study in the Psychology of Music sighted music as a good reflection of our values, which is why we are drawn to people with the same musical tastes. Researchers apparently think that rock correlates with rebelliousness and social behaviour, while pop is connected to values about conforming and traditional gender roles.

Another study published in the Communication Research journal, said: ‘A date’s devotion to country music was found to diminish attraction in respondents of both genders.  In contrast, devotion to classical music and to heavy metal rock proved to be gender specific.’

Perhaps your love of Dolly Parton isn’t such a great opening line on a first date after all.

The Importance of Music in Your Life

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1. Music is the Key to Creativity.

Music fuels the mind and thus fuels our creativity. A Creative mind has the ability to make discoveries and create innovations. The greatest minds and thinkers like Albert Einstein, Mozart, and Frank Lloyd Wright all had something in common in that they were constantly exploring their imagination and creativity.

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Listening to instrumental music challenges one to listen and tell a story about what one hears. In the same sense, playing a musical instrument gives you the ability to tell the story without words. Both require maximum right brain usage which not only exercises ones creativity but also ones intellect.

The strength of all the Arts including writing, painting, dance, and theater have the ability to create a similar effect.

2. Music makes Education more enjoyable.

Music can be very engaging in the classroom and is a great tool for memorization. I’m sure if more teachers used  song to teach the multiplication tables, kids would retain that information much quicker.

My spanish teacher in 10th grade used a song to teach us the past tense endings and even today, I havent forgotten the song. It’s as if she imbedded it in my mind and now I will never forget it.

Besides the obvious, Music teaches us self discipline and time management skills that you cannot get anywhere else. When you study an instrument on a regular basis you work on concrete ideas and take small steps to achieve larger goals. This way of thinking organizes the wiring in your brain to start looking at Learning in a new light.

In raising children, Music education can be used to keep kids focused and keep them off the streets. Instead of running around and causing mischief, your child may be practicing piano or rehearsing music with friends.

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Unfortunately, some forms of music can influence children in negative ways. It is well known that music has a power to influence the way we dress, think, speak, and live our lives. Profane and violent lyrics can have a negative influence on children.

Looking back at my High School days, I notice that I followed the herd when it came to listening to Hip-hop and doing things that were “cool” to look tough and be like the “Gangsta” image that was portrayed. When I got to college, I realized how much it pervaded my lifestyle and when I got into Jazz, my entire lifestyle began to change.

3. Music is the Language of the Universe.

You’ve heard this time and time again, but what does it mean exactly? Music is universal in that there are no boundaries to understanding music. Even animals like Birds, Dogs, and Whales can understand music to a certain degree.

It transcends all boundaries of communication because you can speak and tell stories to someone on the other side of the planet, even though you both don’t speak the same language. But I believe its important for one to have an open mind in order to be in touch with that sense of understanding.

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Many people immediately push away certain styles of music without having explored what it has to offer. Not all styles will appeal or resonate with a person, but one may discover a new part of ones self when you are open to all the possibilities.

4. Music has Spiritual Powers.

No one really knows where Music came from but there are many theories that suggest music predates the existence of Mankind. One of the most commonly known uses for music was religious and sacred tribal events. In Mayan civilization music was used in celebration of a victory at war and even at the burial of influential figures.

Some of the earliest recorded moments in Music took place in the Medieval times with choral pieces for church prayers. Much emphasis was placed in the organization and use of specific harmonies to create moods that would illicit a spiritual experience.

Even today, many people claim that music is the key to God and to a holy, more fulfilling life through the Church.

5. Music can Create a Mood and make you feel Emotion.

Music can whisk you away on an extended journey. Music can make time feel frozen. Music also has the power to suggest movement. All these things deal with the human senses.

I’m sure you can remember a moment where a song has made you particularly sad or very excited and happy. But how does organized tones create such an effect on our senses? No one really knows why or where it comes from but there are many studies that have been done to show that there is an agreement of which emotions pertain to certain scales, chords, and harmonies.

When I was in college was that I became obsessed with how certain Jazz musicians were able to convey sadness and a state of melancholy through this one piece: Blue in Green. Think about what would driving be like without music or entering into a fancy restaurant?

6. Music Brings People Together.

What is amazing about music is that it is imbedded within all of us. Everyone can understand it and feel something if they open themselves up. Playing music with other musicians is an incredible feeling. Some people describe it as rowing down a river together.

There is a certain type of connection that comes when you make music in a group. The same is true for those who are listening to music in a group and interacting with music through Dance. This type of behavior is rooted in our history and our discoveries as human beings.

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I’ve had many experiences where a random person would ask to play with me and within an instant we were having a dialogue via the piano or guitar. Its a level of playing around, communicating, and copying each other that creates the connection. Many of those moments have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

The Effect of Music on Your Health

Music has long been considered to be an enjoyable pastime for many people. And it’s also highly popular due to the very individualized effects on stress and anxiety. While the mental health benefits can’t be argued, there is a whole variety of other ailments that music could be helping you with behind the scenes.
What makes music such a good influence on your good health is that it is an activity that involves the use of your entire brain. Some experts say that if it is too loud, music can be distracting, or even painful on your eyes, but the benefits are many, and music does, indeed have many health benefits as well.

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Positive Effects for Pain
For the same reasons that music can be considered to be negative because it might be seen as distracting, it can also be very beneficial if one is in pain. By distracting the mind from the pain, many people say that stress and anxiety levels are lower, which can also lead to less pain as well.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety Levels
Many people report that playing relaxing music in the evening prior to going to bed can play an imperative role in calming the brain enough to sleep. While the jury is out on the validity on the idea, this lowered stress can even be tied back to blood pressure, which is a serious problem in North America. According to research that was presented at the American Society of Hypertension meeting listening to just 30 minutes of softer music every day may help with healthy blood sugar levels, through the lowering of stress and anxiety.
Music and the Effect on Your Heart.
When it comes to heart health, there is speculation that it’s not the style of music, but rather the tempo that makes it so good for your heart health. In one European study, participants listened to music as the researchers monitored their breathing, heart rates and blood pressure. Interestingly, the participants had faster heart and breathing rates when they listened to more upbeat music. On the other hand, when the music slowed, so did participants stress and anxiety levels, the effects on heart rates appeared to follow suit.
Help protect your liver from ‘chemical death’

Thanks to modern living almost everything you consume has a toxic edge. Drinking water, processed foods, drugs, even the air you breathe contains chemicals that could end up in your liver and damage it. This can lead to health issues like poor digestion, body aches, weakness, poor skin and even a foggy brain.

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How Music and Mental Health Might Have an Effect Immune System

This idea is one that is a little more off-the-wall but still has scientific backing. There are many scientists and researchers that claim that some individuals have very emotional reactions to certain types of music which can create a highly emotional experience.
The researchers say that this feeling could lead to the secretion of hormones which could, in turn boost the immune system. This helps contribute to a reduction in the factors responsible for illness. Other information also says that listening to music or even singing your heart out also can also decrease levels of certain hormones which are related to stress, which is good for your overall heart health as well.
The implications on mental health and overall well-being for this study really are impressive, but there is a whole array of other health issues that turning up the radio could be beneficial for, which is what makes music so very valuable.

7 Insane Ways Music Affects The Body (According to Science)

By Anthony Jurado

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The world is chock full of ear hurt that some people willingly refer to as music. The Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, Conway Twitty; they all produce high quality records and 8-tracks for our enjoyment whether we like it or not.

But music–even terrible music–has a stunning amount of power over our bodies. For instance science says music can…

#7. Repair Brain Damage.

 

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Slapping neuroscience right across the face, music is able to take stroke, lesion or other brain-damaged patients who have lost the partial ability to see or speak and return it to them. The Kenny Rogers Effect–not named because it deals with gorging yourself on chicken or replacing your old, grandfatherly face with a shiny new rubber one–takes patients with visual neglect, the inability to recognize half of what they see, and lightens the effects of the damage. Patients who only shave half their face or grab for the right boob at a strip club can now put that dollar bill in the left or right side of her thong. The Gambler never stops being awesome.

Patients with left-side brain damage who can no longer speak can find they are able to sing words, often without trouble or training. After that, it’s just a matter of time before they’re able to speak simple sentences with practice. That may not sound like much, but if you’ve ever tried to order a side of fries with left-hand only charades you’ll understand what a blessing this can be.

How Does it Work?

Melodic intonation therapy, or singing until you can talk, takes advantage of the fact that language functions are located in the left brain, but music lives over on the right side of the brain. So, when that asshole stroke robs you of your ability to speak, you can train your brain to move those functions to the other side by associating music with language. This essentially rewires a lifetime of growth and an entire history of evolution into meaninglessness interpretations of random head noises from a guy who hasn’t shaved his beard since the 70s.

Listening to actual non-terrible music has an additional effect, since pleasurable music releases dopamine that simply makes certain parts of your brain function better (particularly if they were damaged before).

4Dopamine is your brain’s natural crack

In a nutshell, music gives your brain a massage and fills it with happy chemicals, turning you from a one-eyed mute into an Island in the Stream.

#2. Kick An Adiction

 

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As it turns out, performing music can be relaxing and can create a distraction from withdrawal symptoms; songwriting can help patients confront impulse control and self-deception and allows an output for negative emotions; hence the entire songbook of Raffi.
t has even been found that listening to music can help aid the detox stage of recovery from drug addiction, and if applied frequently could cut down on the number of pain-killers patients need. Indeed, it turns out GWAR may be just as helpful as Percocet.

How Does it Work?

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Music directly affects chemicals called neurotransmitters which relay information in our head. Drugs work in a similar way, except they make your brain lazy and convince it to stop making its own chemicals, because why do work when sweet China White is there to making everything all better? But when you stop taking drugs, your brain isn’t making enough chemicals and it doesn’t know why because it relies on those drugs to get enough, so your body fails to function correctly and you turn into Joaquin Phoenix.

#5. Boost Your Immune System

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It may come as no surprise to all the Cracked readers who are also neuroscientists that music helps boost your immune system. For the rest of you, word is that intangible plinking noises can create a noticeable increase in recovery from a wide range of conditions, including heart disease, lung ailments and even the common cold. While the field of study is still young compared to fancy “real medicine” like “pharmaceuticals” and “penis phrenology” it turns out that sometimes all you need to overcome your horribly debilitating illness is AC/DC.

How Does it Work?

Music, like Jurassic Park’s raptors, doesn’t just attack from one side. That shit brings out a multi-pronged assault. To start, music reduces stress by reducing cortisol levels, a chemical in your brain that causes you to feel stress in the first place. Jazz, bluegrass and soft rock have been found to be especially effective at reducing stress and increasing health because of their similar musical qualities (that quality being that you don’t listen to any of them).

If you’re wondering if your favorite music is helping your health, a good question to ask is, “Does this music make me want to riot?” If you answered yes, it’s not an optimal medicine. Likewise, if your favorite musician’s last name is Cyrus you’re probably dooming yourself to a life of erectile dysfunction and diabetes.

In addition to simply lowering stress levels, music also raises immune markers in your system, creating more antibodies to fight disease. Ironically, listening to Amy Winehouse could make you immune to all the potential diseases you’d be exposed to if you met Amy Winehouse. This effect is compounding: Over time, the body can learn to recognize certain types of music (particularly choir or classical music) as immune boosting, continuing the improvement of the immune system. As an added bonus, if you listen to choir music on a regular basis you’re almost guaranteed to be immune to STDs as the odds of you ever having sex are quite slim.

#4. Prevent Seizures

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Good news: If you’re not one of those 150 suckers who get seizures from music, you may be one of the luckier ones who benefit from decreased seizure activity as a result of listening to music. This effect has even been observed in coma patients. Bet you feel better about being in a coma now.

It’s been shown that music by Mozart played on the piano reduces seizure-causing activity in the brain within five minutes of exposure, with many cases showing immediate results in what scientists should called Seizure Wolfgang-banging. Experimentation with other forms of music has been minimal, but for some reason there appears to be a connection between our brains and piano music.
How Does it Work?

It’s theorized that “the superorganization of the cerebral cortex . . . may resonate with the superior architecture of Mozart’s music” which is a sciencey way of saying that probably Mozart gets all up in your brain in ways the Hamburger Helper jingle only wishes it could. Really though, this is another one of those medical shrug moments, as scientists really haven’t figured it out yet. Kind of unfulfilling, isn’t it?

#3. Return Lost Memories

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If you want music to help you but refuse to stop smoking pot, perhaps you can at least remember where you put your car keys. Or, more applicably, if you have Alzheimer’s it could help you remember pieces of your past.

Medical practitioners have found that music shows the potential to unearth memories associated with music for patients, even ones in late stages of dementia. So if you had your first kiss to the dulcet tones of Jefferson Starship, their terrible, terrible music could bring that memory right back for you.

How Does it Work?

Listening to music engages many areas of the brain in both hemispheres, which is why it can create brain activity other methods, like conversation, can’t. Another area it engages is the hippocampus, which would be a hilarious name for a school for aquatic mammals but in reality is the less impressive region of the brain which handles long-term memory storage.
When you listen to music you know, feelings associated with the song are returned by the hippocampus. Sometimes the memories even manage to come along with the relevant feelings, so hopefully no music was playing the first time anyone ever kicked you in the junk. Even if memories aren’t recovered, emotions and attitudes are, allowing people who can’t even remember who they are from day to day or why they loathe the FOX network so much to at least laugh and sing along with off key hopefuls on American Idol.

#2. Increase Spatial Reasoning

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If only there were some way to make yourself seem smarter without working. Oh, wait, there is. Mozart music, especially piano music, can raise your spatial reasoning the equivalent of nine IQ points. And that’s an average, meaning there are people who get even more of a boost from it. That’s over half a standard deviation or the difference between being Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape or Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic. Sure, you’re not winning a Nobel Prize either way, but it’s still a noticeable difference.

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How Does it Work?

There are a lot of theories, but some claim that Mozart’s music focuses the listener more, like how if you’re in the midst of your sixth hour of questing in World of Warcraft you can still rain holy hell down on Hogger as long as you’re listening to Ace of Spades. Others say it increases activity in crucial regions of the brain and a few industrious types say “who cares why it works, how can we make money off of this?”

#1. Cure Parkinsons

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At this point, you may be asking, “Sure, music can fix my brain, but can it fix my body?” which would indicate you expect entirely too much from iTunes. No amount of power ballads is going to cure your heartburn or trim a few pounds off anyone’s overly-gelatinous ass. However, if you have Parkinson’s disease, it just might be able to help. Victims of Parkinson’s suffer from muscle spasms, locking muscles, balance problems and sketchy scientists with kick ass time machines. As it turns out, applying music can instantly resolve the physical issues of Parkinson’s in many victims.

Take Rande Gedaliah, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2003 and found she had muscle spasms, balance problems and difficulty walking. The disease eventually led to a serious fall in the shower. Things were looking pretty grim until one day she found out she could listen to music and suddenly be able to move with ease, the type of music determining the speed she walks at. We Are the Champions let her walk a slow clip and Born in the USA made her move faster still. Anything by Nickelback sent her spiraling into a rage.

How Does it Work?

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When you’re locked in your room, listening to your old N’Sync CDs, have you ever noticed your foot tapping on its own? That’s not just because you have terrible taste in music. It’s because the portions of the brain which deal with rhythm and movement are so automated that it requires no conscious attention to move to a beat. It’s like your brain going behind your back to get things done because it knows it can’t rely on you to bust an appropriate move when you hear “Bye Bye Bye.”

This movement isn’t handled by the same process as walking up the stairs or hilariously farting with your armpit. Suddenly, patients with bradykinesia–an inability to initiate movement–can move instantly as their brain interprets the music and sends movement signals to their legs, essentially tricking their bodies into moving. We’ll say that again for you: Music can trick your broken, unresponsive body into obedience. Think about it: How many times have you thrown your hands in the air? When that happened, did you just not care? Science says that’s because you had no control.

Music also helps other Parkinson’s-related issues, including loss of balance and spasms. It’s also been found that playing music creates an improvement in people with the disease, and drum circles are being used as treatment in music therapy groups, presumably because drums are cheaper than fancy-ass medical equipment, anyway.

 

This is why you should clean under your iPhone case every now and then!

by John-Michael Bond

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Today’s lesson in iPhone hygiene comes from Reddit user Flippy1 who took this lovely/horrifying image of a friend’s recently uncased iPhone. While we understand that you may never want to take off your case for fear of damaging your precious device, sometimes you’ve got to take the risk. Otherwise, your iPhone will end of looking like a prop from Mad Max.

When you do clean your iPhone, remember to do it right. Here’s what Apple recommends:

  • Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, and similar items may cause damage to the item.
  • Disconnect your Apple product from any external power sources.
  • Disconnect any external devices and other cabling from the product.
  • Keep liquids away from the product.
  • Don’t get moisture into any openings, and don’t use aerosol sprays, solvents, or abrasives.
  • Do not spray cleaners directly onto the item.
  • If You have you Iphone unprotected you should get a cool case!