57th Post: Happy Music (11)

Photo credits:
Left – drawing-cartoon.blogspot.com
Middle – amazon.in
Right – gograph.com

Have you ever found yourself listening to a new song that brings a smile to your face? Or, find yourself whistling and lightly tapping your fingers as it plays? In this case, over morning coffee, there were two such examples. Both pop songs.

Amos Lee
Photo credit: The Boot

One was “Sweet Pea” (https://youtu.be/DR7CMndEuAg) (RQ 10) by Amos Lee (1977- ).

Jack Johnson
Photo credit: UCSB Film and Media Studios

The other was “Banana Pancakes” (https://youtu.be/tH5Q9-M6t8c) (RQ 7 live) by Jack Johnson (1975- ).

Gregory Porter
Photo credit: The Times

Found another recently: Gregory Porter (1971- ) “Wind Song” (https://youtu.be/tVFYB6vOUnY) (RQ 10).

As I looked into why music can leave positive vibes to you, even when facing the new stress of “the virus,” others have documented the same. For example, in a recent online story by inc.com, they said for the “listener, musical chills feel something like a sudden onset of emotion–a mental reaction followed by an actual physical reaction of the body to the sound. Sometimes, we are able to identify such chills by the feeling of shivers running down the backs of our spines; others, we think of them as goosebumps rising on our skin from being so moved.”

In the study, a number of brain imaging techniques were employed in order to monitor the changes of dopamine when listening to certain music. It was even concluded that this was the first time such a substantial dopamine release was brought about by an abstract reward–in this case, music. The research team discovered that 5 songs (from classical music types) in particular across a number of genres created musical chills in the people who listened to them–and, ultimately, a positive emotional response. These 5 songs have been shown to trigger dopamine release and subsequently increase your happiness:

D.J. Tiesto
Photo Credit: lasvegasweekly.com

1. D.J. Tiesto (1969- ) – Adagio For Strings (https://youtu.be/8tIgN7eICn4) (RQ9). Listen while waking up.

2. Explosions in the sky – First breath aftercoma (https://youtu.be/w0o8JCxjjpM) (RQ 10). Listen while daydreaming.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Photo Credit: open.spotify.com

3. Beethoven (1770-1| Piano Sonata No. 17 in D minor, “The Tempest” | Daniel Baren (https://youtu.be/tiJjoFQtMvg) (RQ 9). Background music while reading a good book.

Samuel Barber
Photo Credit: thefamouspeople.com

4. Samuel Barber (1910-1981) – Adagio for Strings (https://youtu.be/izQsgE0L450) (RQ 10). Listen while falling asleep.

Claude Debussy
Photo credit: biography.com

5. Debussy (1862-1918) – Clair de Lune (https://youtu.be/WNcsUNKlAKw) (RQ 9). Listen while resting thinking about your future.

Artists that sang “happy” tunes:

The Inspirational Choir
Photo credit: YouTube screen trap
“This Is Me” (RQ 7 live)
2020 Britain’s Got Talent
Photo credit: madelinex.com

Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk (1947- ), professionally known as Melanie or Melanie Safka, is an American singer-songwriter. She is best known for the 1971–72 global “happy” hit “Brand New Key” (https://youtu.be/RCTMTflcuug) (RQ 6 live) her cover of “Ruby Tuesday” (https://youtu.be/9alAuYr2g_8) (RQ 8), her composition “What Have They Done to My Song Ma” (https://youtu.be/GrM2fxnkxjA) (RQ 9)and her 1970 international breakthrough hit “Lay Down” (https://youtu.be/hlp3wmE4bbI) (RQ8).

John Denver
Photo Credit: inmozartsfootsteps.com

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist, and humanitarian whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. One of his recordings: “Thank God I Am a Country Boy” (https://youtu.be/QRuCPS_-_IA( (RQ 10) fits into this Happy Music category with its light-hearted lyrics and upbeat tempo. By 1974, he was one of America’s best-selling performers; AllMusic has called Denver “among the most beloved entertainers of his era”. Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed. He had 33 albums and singles that were certified Gold and Platinum in the U.S by the RIAA, with estimated sales of more than 33 million units. He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, disdain for city life, enthusiasm for music, and relationship trials. Denver’s music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, earning 12 gold and four platinum albums. An avid pilot, Denver died in 1997 at age 53 in a single-fatality crash while piloting a recently purchased light plane.