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Emotional & Logical Applications of Music / Sound

Playing the Blues on the guitar and producing music for the past 42 years and actively using music as a tool for employee branding/L&D in organizations since 2004, I have arrived at a conclusion that there are fundamentally two types of usage of sound/music.

Emotional Application
Logical Application

And I do both for a living.

In both cases, it mustn't be misunderstood as the former being only creative and the latter being only logical.

So, first, let’s understand the difference between sound and music. Music is sound but all sound is not music.

Music has its own grammar. Its own logic. And needless to say, it’s planned. When we place planned sounds complimentary to each other in an order that either follows the grammar of frequencies or breaks it to create newer genres, it results in melodies.

Music is a length of silence inserted with planned sounds at planned intervals that compliment each other.

Sound is divided into these fundamental sections. The three types of sound are:

Infrasonic: It is a sound with a frequency of less than 20Hz. (Elephants use Infrasonic sounds to interact with herds hundreds of km away. We can't hear.)

Sonic: It is a sound with a frequency between 20 to 20,000Hz. ... (What we can hear - the parameters slightly change with age)

Ultrasonic: It is a sound with a frequency of more than 20,000Hz. (Dog whistles used to train dogs have frequencies between about 23,000 Hz and 54,000 Hz. So dogs and many other animals can hear them but humans cannot)

Noise is perceived as unwanted sound that is unpleasant, loud, or disruptive.

Different types of noise: -

Noises are categorized in four different ways. The things you hear throughout the day.

Continuous noise
Intermittent noise
Impulsive noise
Low-frequency noise

But is that always the case? Let’s understand this too.

Pink Noise - is unpleasant to the ear. It has random noise having equal energy per octave, and so has more low-frequency components than white noise.

White noise - is noise containing many frequencies with equal intensities. White noise can also help the brain to relax by giving it a sound to focus on instead of the cacophony of stressful thoughts inside our heads.

Some Emotional Application of Music :

Singing or composing a song/music piece
Music Performance
Creating/producing music for actors to lip-sync on screen
Playing an instrument

Emotional responses have been reported as one of the primary motivations to listen to music Several studies have shown that music can evoke genuine basic emotions, such as happiness, sadness, and fear.

Some Intelligent Application of Music :

Composing / Producing a jingle for an advertisement
Creating background scores for cinema
Audio / Sonic Branding
Music used as a tool for Employee Branding
Spacial sound design

Using music as a tool in classrooms in school for Integrated Learning / Multiple Intelligence

In both cases, needless to say, the process is creative. But the applications are different.

Let’s understand a case study where both are happening. I did this for a leading school where we created lesson plans to integrate arts with mainstream education.

I remember once I wrote my Physics exams and how I scored 100 pc. I had mugged up the definitions of frequency, and amplitude and since I added nice-looking diagrams, I got 10 on 10. But the question remains, did I actually understand the meaning. NO !!

So when I was freelancing as a Consultant with this group of schools, I got the physics teacher to get the full class to the music room. They were grade 7 students.

I designed a desktop audio recording setup with a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), an external sound card/interface, audio mixer, audio monitors and a huge screen to see what’s happening!

In the first phase, the student’s co-created their class Anthem. They wrote, composed, practised, sang and recorded on site. They were guided by the music teachers.

And the moment they began recording, their signals were being converted to frequencies and amplitude right on the screen. Students could see all happening right in front of them.

It took 2 minutes for the teacher to reinforce the concept of frequency and amplitude and the information that the students received was absolutely hands-on. All they had to do was study the audio stems. The sound graph.

And they all had fun co-creating and recording their class Anthem. It was an experience with a long shelf life for them as well as the teacher.

To sum up, when I plan the Architecture of Sonic Branding for projects, the key areas are:-

Brand Architecture
Study of aural frequencies and their impact on human behaviour
Target Audience
Geography / Climate / Weather Patterns
Local Customs / Culture
Competitors and their positioning
Study of logo and Tagline
Spirit of the Organization
The behavior of the Organization
Present positioning / Desired positioning
And so much more

To try the impact of music on human behavior, do this extremely simple experiment. Play a pathos violin piece while driving to make a hard-core sales pitch and see the results !!! And don’t blame me that I didn't warn.

Let me leave you with a question. Do you agree that sound makes a serious impact on our behavior? Be it your personal behavior or your customers' professional behavior.

(disclaimer - images have been sourced from the internet. we don't have any claim on them. used as reference)

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