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  1. #1

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    Music and the Mind (and Body)

    I've noticed that several of the major soundtracks ("Yo Ho", "Grim Grinning Ghosts", "It's a Small World" and "Main Street Electrical Parade") feature music that is played at a tempo (speed) of 60 beats per minute.

    I've also read that music at this tempo -- notably of the Baroque period, e.g. Bach -- has beneficial effects on the listener. There is research showing that it can cause an increase in alpha waves in the brain, inducing a calm and meditative state. It's also been reported that one's breathing and heart rate can slow to match the music's rate, causing a beneficial physiological response as well.

    Anyway, I'm intrigued that this music just happens to be at this rate. Perhaps it's mere coincidence, or is used for other technical reasons (timing or synching issues?). Nevertheless, it's interesting to ponder the effect this music may have on the overall feeling of well-being enjoyed at the Park.

  2. #2

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    Re: Music and the Mind (and Body)

    What an intriguing and unusual post!

    It is very true that various tempi produce different effects on the human mind. Composers and musicians across broad spectrums of genres and locations have all discovered this because everyone's brain waves react the same way; however, it is only a recent development that we have identified the exact correlations between specific bpm (beats per minute) and the amplitude of different brain waves. It has always been a general trend in music, however, that the tempo changes with the intended mood of the piece -- songs in "largho" (slow) are often serious and sad, while songs or movements in "allegro" (fast) are often more playful, happy, or frantic.

    Since this is an inherent tendency of the human brain -- to raise and lower wave frequencies with different stimuli, including faster vs. slower music, we often instinctively choose to listen to music at tempi that create whatever mood it is we desire.

    I am quite confident that the choice to set many Disney songs at 60 bpm was a conscious decision; even if not that specifically or with regard to brainwaves, we all react in similar ways to music at this speed and so it may well have been an instinctive choice by expert musicians and analysts who have observed the emotional reactions of themselves, as well as others, to various speeds and styles of music.

    Either way, I'm pretty certain it's not mere coincidence. Well spotted! And I'm truly sorry if I rambled, I'm a music student so I can get carried away.....

  3. #3

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    Re: Music and the Mind (and Body)

    60 may be a comfortable speed to listen to to because each beat is 1 second, and we are used to hearing the clock tick. It makes the music seem to move at the same speed as time, lining up with our pre-existing concept of how time should pass.
    It is pleasant but not overly energetic, kind of like a default or neutral tempo.

    I agree that there no way this is a coincidence.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  4. #4

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    Re: Music and the Mind (and Body)

    Dansunsomeil and StrikeYerColors, thanks for your very interesting responses!

  5. #5

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    Re: Music and the Mind (and Body)

    That's really interesting! And I would bet that this is absolutely intentional. We never think about the amount of thought and research that goes into something as simple as music.


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  6. #6

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    Re: Music and the Mind (and Body)

    That's so cool! And, probably not a coincidence. Those three rides are some of the most popular in any of the parks (even though small world gets on everyone's nerves), so maybe they did it like that so you'd subconsciously be impressed and happy, or something.

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