troll the ancient yuletide carol

going to try singing carols with susan this month — which would astonish anyone who’s known me — thanks to these 2 articles: brian eno on the health effects of singing with others, and daniel levitin’s piece on social music listening, which we don’t do much anymore:

Our drive to surround ourselves with familiar music during life cycle events and annual celebrations is ancient in origin. Throughout most of our history as a species, music was a shared cultural experience. Early Homo sapiens coupled music with ritual to infuse special days with majesty and meaning. Before there was commerce, before there was anything to buy, our hunter-gatherer ancestors sat around campfire circles crafting pottery, jewelry and baskets, and they sang. Early humans didn’t sit and listen to music by themselves — music formed an inseparable part of community life. So much so, that when we sing together even today, our brains release oxytocin, a hormone that increases feelings of trust and social bonding.

i listen to music alone for several reasons: because my taste isn’t the same as those around me, and it has a sedative effect (at work). also, i don’t have a stereo in my bedroom, can’t afford one. and it affords solitude i desperately need, because i co-habit with my partner.

but i get the significance of listening and singing together, even self-consciously.

sing we joyous all together.

i’m wincing a bit, but i’m on the bus.


1 Response to “troll the ancient yuletide carol”

  1. 1 Nancy
    December 17, 2008 at 6:31 am

    Damn, Gordon…if singing is one of the keys to a good figure, then I’m gonna go join a chorus somewhere! :] Lord knows nothing else is working. Actually I love to sing and often do it with my kids when we happen upon a song we’re all fond of…usually in the car. I think it’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the same kind of music my teenagers are listening to anyway. Wouldn’t have ever caught my own mother harmonizing along with me back in the day. LOL! The dancing is alittle trickier though. I’ve always enjoyed dancing tremendously, but have avoided most dance floors since I lost my youthful figure a few years back. It’s just a self-consciousness issue with me and although I’d be fine dancing around the house, my humble abode is tiny and I’d more than likely trip on a table or something and fall flat on my face. But the other day…my son had cleared the livingroom to work on a large 6’x8′ painting he had due…and after we wrangled it out of the house and off to school, I was left with this huge open space and an empty house. Pulled up my myspace playlist, cranked the volume and danced for the better part of an hour. I was exhausted by the time I fell into my chair but it felt so damn good to get the lead out (so to speak). Gotta try to do that alittle more often!

    fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la…

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December 2008
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