Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Break Storm Reminds Me of Music's Influence

As my friend Sam Bradley wrote in a recent blog posting, one of the things you get by living in the midwest is and unpredictable, cold, and snowy winter. Here's how my family and I spent Saturday...the first full day of Spring Break.

The storm actually came through Friday morning...starting while I was waiting to meet a friend at the Bloomington Bagel Company when the power went out. There were about a dozen or so of us sitting around there...a few of us "regulars" who know each other primarily as faces we recognize we see several mornings a week as we take advantage of their good bagels/muffins/coffee and free wi-fi. Three was the chatter of people making or filling orders and talking amongst themselves. And, as usual, in the background was the music of XM Radio. They usually have The Loft playing.

So, anyway, after a subtle 'pop' sound all the power went off and we sat there in only the natural light and silence. After about 45 seconds the power came back on, allowing the sound of orders being placed and filled. The chatter started up again....but something was wrong. What was it? It was the music. It was absent. And the place just wasn't the same. The energy seemed the drop down about 20 notches! It was amazing. I've recently been thinking more and more about the influence of music. I've published a piece with Francesca Dillman Carpentier in Media Psychology on tempo as a structural feature in music. Plus, I've been reading a great book on the topic recently...a title that I hope to finish over break.

But, this personal experience really drove it home.


ian andrew schneider said...


What did you publish? You have a link to your co/author leading to her bio.
Moreover, the book you link to Amazon by Stanford's Dan Levitin is easy to namedrop, and you describe nothing of it.

Where might one find your paper?

Ian Andrew Schneider

theaudioprof said...

Wow Ian, thanks for your interest in my work.
Readers of The Audioprof can always email me for details on any of my work.

rfpotter [at]

Or, here is a link for references of my publications:

Unfortunately that article does not have a PDF version released from the publisher yet.

Of course, if you leave me your email I'd be happy to send you a copy of the word document.


Ian Schneider said...

Hi Professor--

Indeed I found references to in te URL you gave and the only way to get at any of it was the $30 for 10 page route - I'm not sure about that kind of spending (or charging such prices).
I'd love to receive what you can send - my email is

Thank you,