Panic at the Disco?

Morrisey, at a concert, yesterday. Probably. via

No matter what kind of music you listen to, it makes your mood better.

That’s a pretty bold claim but it is supported by a study from Penn State University, Altoona.

The researchers -Valerie N. Stratton, PhD (teaches psychology), and Annette H. Zalanowski, (teaches Music) studied their students’ moods in response to music.

The students kept two-week music-listening diaries and reported their moods before and after each musical episode. The results appear in a 2003 issue of Psychology and Education: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 2003; vol 40: pp 1-11.

“Not only did our sample of students report more positive emotions after listening to music, but their already positive emotions were intensified by listening to music,” Stratton .

Genre isn’t a factor, it didn’t matter whether the students listened to rock/pop, soft rock/easy listening, oldies, classical, or new-age music. Context also didn’t seem to matter as whether the music was played during an activity – such as dressing or driving – or whether it was played while socialising.

With such a wide range of aural therapy available to me, why then can’t I find a suitable soundtrack to get me ready for the weekend? 

Is it because, as Morrisey put it ‘the music that they constantly play it says nothing to me about my life.’ (Panic, The Smiths)

Considering that climate change is probably the biggest threat we as the human race face, and it’s hard to escape the logic that it’s our way of conducting our lives that is exacerbating the problem, it’s pretty astounding that there just aren’t more artists out there that are championing issues and provoking us to change our ways. Or are there?

Whilst trying to decide it struck me that the track names which scrolled through my i-tunes library did, in title at least, offer some promise.

So here are my top 5 tunes to inspire us…

1. (the answer my friend is) Blowin’ in the wind – Bob Dylan
2. (I would walk) 500 Miles – The Proclaimers
3. Pure Shores – All Saints
4. Get off My Cloud – The Rolling Stones
5. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

I’m sure there are plenty more out there.  I’d love to hear yours!

Perhaps there’s potential to produce a chart of warning tunes too? 

The Smith’s classic ‘There is a Light that Never goes Out’ could serve as a stark reminder…

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2 Responses

  1. Ben says:

    I would vote for indy rock kids MGMT and their song “kids”.

    Should be an anthem for ecology, as the chorus goes:

    “Control yourself,
    Take only what you need from it,
    A family of trees falling,
    To be haunted.”

  2. Julie says:

    My faves are After the Garden (is gone) by Neil Young, Green World by Gorillaz, and Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil.

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