NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, gives us a fascinating listen into the lives of these giant ocean creatures:
Male humpback whales sing complex songs in tropical waters during the winter breeding season, but they also sing at higher latitudes at other times of the year.
Forty-three song sessions, each lasting from 30 minutes to eight hours, were used to track individual singing whales. Most of the singers were actively swimming; the patterns and rates of their movement ranged from slow meandering to a faster directional movement. In one case, two singers were tracked at the same time, suggesting a potential reaction by one singer to the presence of the other.
Performance of a musical task improved among pianists whose practice of a new melody was followed by a night of sleep.
The study found, however, that when two similar melodies were practiced one after the other, followed by sleep, any gains in speed and accuracy achieved during practice diminished overnight.
The research is conducted by Dr. Sarah E. Allen and will be published in the journal Psychology of Music.
Amazing Hands and Feet on China's Got Talent
Chinese pianist Zheng Gui Gui is a kindergarten teacher in a small village in China. She participated in China's Got Talent in 2011 and amazed all with her skill.
Foot playing pianist Liu Wei lost both of his arms in an electrocution accident but that didn't stop him from performing and winning China's Got Talent.
Violins Made to Sound Human
Many have wondered if the unique voices of violins were actually designed to incorporate speech sounds such as vowels and consonants. Now a Texas A&M University researcher, biochemist Joseph Nagyvary, has provided the first evidence that the Italian violin masters tried to impart specific vowel sounds to their violins. The findings will undoubtedly:
Change how violins are valued.
Help teach students how to improve the quality of their tone production.
Nagyvary was the first to prove that intrument makers Stradivari and Guarneri soaked their instruments in chemicals (such as borax and brine) in order to "protect them from a worm infestation that was sweeping through Italy in the 1700s. By pure accident, the chemicals used to protect the wood had the unintended result of producing the unique sounds that have been almost impossible to duplicate in the past 400 years, and his findings were supported and verified by the American Chemical Society."
Official Music Video: Biting Elbows
The official music video for 'The Stampede', from Russian indie rock band "Biting Elbows", like its successor, is a must see, and features an action packed video game like music video.
Greenland's 2012 summer ice melt was the largest on record, and lasted two months longer than average. Ice specialist Marco Tedesco visits Greenland every year, and, tired of trying to convey the science of the melting ice with graphs and statistics, he found a way to turn his data into music.
Sea lions are apparently capable of keeping a beat (though their tastes in music leave something to be desired). A rescued sea lion, rewarded with fish, is seen here bobbing along to songs with different tempos. The study of this dancing sea mammal are detailed in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and could shed some light on the mysteries behind how rhythm is experienced in the brain.
Changing UK's Copyright Laws
In the UK, parody is not allowed by copyright laws without the permission of the copyright owner. But in December 2012, the government announced plans to reform the Copyright regime in the UK, including a statutory exception for parody.
A study by Bournemouth University recently found that amateur parody videos make the originals more popular and profitable. The research was commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office, the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property rights in the UK, and the results have been used to propose a new copyright exception to allow parody. Key findings:
There is no evidence for economic harm to rightsholders.
The audience size for parody is smaller than the audience for originals; the audience of all parody videos added together accounted for less than 1% of the total audience for the original.
There is a growing market for this type of online parody; parody videos in the study generated up to £2 million in revenue, a portion of which was shared with creators and rightsholders.
Researchers tested the effect of the different styles of music from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons on the participants' mental capabilities, and found that the uplifting Spring concerto improved their alertness. Having no music during the test resulted in slightly slower response times, and the slower and more sombre Autumn music produced even slower response times.
Psychologist Dr Leigh Riby also found that "the key in which the music was written had no impact on brain performance. While the Spring concerto, which is written in a major key enhanced cognitive function, the Autumn movement, which is also written in a major key, did not."
Bringing Down the House
Fearing possible noise damage to the building structure, London museum officials have cancelled a concert performance by grindcore band Napalm Death, who collaborated with a ceramic artist and had planned to feature a sculptural sound system that would have disintegrated during the performance due to sound stress.