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Hidden Music Surrounds You



Act 2 from episode 110 of "This American Life" with Toby Lester will open your ears to the musical tones and chords present in nearly all aspects of your environment. That seemingly innocuous computer fan whirring in the background is actually emitted a tone or two, and combining with other sounds around you to create chords.

If the chords in your environment are in the minor key, you are surrounding yourself in what is commonly regarded as the saddest of intervals. Major thirds, on the other hand, are traditionally considered happy intervals. Lester discovers an augmented forth in his office environment. During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church assigned meanings to different music intervals, and "the augmented forth was the most reviled sound of its time".





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