One of the great things about having a Google News Alert for the word “music” is that you see just how many people are trying to capture lightning in a bottle by fusing the news of the day with their own self-promotable ventures. Take Edward Weiss. This New Age musician and piano teacher wants you to know that he’s aware of the ways that the economy can stress you out–”Turn on the TV, and every talking head has another scenario of calamity. Pick up the newspaper, and the headlines are practically screaming disaster,” he says. But he knows one thing that will make you feel better: Music! Or, more specifically, New Age music! Like, you know, the music he makes! That’s right: you’ll feel better about losing your shirt during the stock market’s gyrations by paying him the pennies you have left in your wallet. It’s like that old Biblical parable about the old poor woman donating to charity, except with something called Pianoscapes.
“At first glance it might seem a bit unorthodox. We’re conditioned by the mass media into thinking if something doesn’t come packaged in a pill or combined with a high price tag, it can’t really do much for us.
“However, it’s been proven for years in medical studies that music does indeed reduce anxieties and stress. In the early 1990s, Bryan Memorial Hospital (Lincoln, Nebraska) found that music significantly lowered a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.
“These results were repeated by studies conducted by St. Mary’s Hospital (in Mequon, Wisconsin), as well as recent research conducted by Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Medical University, College of Nursing.”
Note that the “study” cited by Weiss has no specific music mentioned. And I suspect that if I were forced to listen to Yanni or Zamfir in an effort to be forcibly sedated, I’d be more than a little agitated, the way I get in Walgreen’s when certain Lite-FM staples come blaring across the sound system–Sara Bareilles, I’m looking right at you.
Meanwhile, Weiss knows just what not to listen to:
When asked if any music will work, Edward is adamant:
“Of course not. Just listen to some ‘gangsta rap’ and you’ll be wired for sound! Music can and does indeed effect our emotions — but you have to pick the right type.”
Ah, the old “gangsta rap” bogeyman! What sucks, of course, is that now I’m getting stressed out by thinking about just what artists Weiss would put under that particular umbrella. 50 Cent? Kanye? MC Hammer?
Economy Has You Stressed Out? Try Some Music Therapy! [MarketWatch]