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09/17/2003 Entry: "Church Music"

Here's something I stole from Ron a couple of days ago. This article says that organ music, with its subsonic notes, might affect people in Church.

"It has been suggested that because some organ pipes in churches and cathedrals produce infrasound this could lead to people having weird experiences which they attribute to God," said Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist from University of Hertfordshire.

They then went on to conduct a test, in which music was played, and people wrote down their feelings. People reported that in the low bass passages of music they experienced 'shivering on my wrist', 'an odd feeling in my stomach', 'increased heart rate', 'feeling very anxious',and 'a sudden memory of emotional loss'.

Here's the clinker: What music were they playing? "Contemporary music." Well what's that? Is that the stuff usually played at the church services where people had "weird" experienced they attributed to God? My guess is "probably not." I bet if they played the Doxology with pumped up low bass people wouldn't feel "very anxious."

Instead, I wonder if the music played perhaps influenced those feelings. Have you ever seen that tv clip with the frog an the snake? The snake is chasing the frog. In one clip, the music is this happy,
playful theme, and you get the idea the frog and snake are old buds playing hide-and-seek. Then, the same clip is played with high tension, melodramatic music. The feeling is entirely different.

Could the same thing have happened in the organ trials? Hmm. What was that music piece again? Oh, right. Contemporary music.

Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure listening to contemporary music would make me sick, too!

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