Life without music

دوره: انگلیسی شش دقیقه ای / درس 209

انگلیسی شش دقیقه ای

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Life without music

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How does music make you feel? Research shows that it actually influences us more than we realise - whether we're at the movies, the supermarket, or down the pub

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Rob Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Rob…

Neil …and I’m Neil. Hello.

Rob Hello, Neil! What tune are you humming, there?

Neil Was I humming? Oh, I woke up with it in my head. It’s that song - you know (hums a song).

Rob No idea, what you’re talking about, Neil, but it’s very annoying, so could you just stop it please.

Neil But there’s my problem. I can stop humming it out loud, but it keeps on repeating in my head (more humming). Did you know there’s a name for that, Rob? When a song keeps repeating in your head?

Rob There’s a name? I don’t know what it is - but I’m sure you’re going to tell me.

Neil You’re right! It’s an earworm.

Rob Sounds nasty - is there a cure for that?

Neil I don’t think so! So let’s move on. In this programme we’re talking about music - and how it influences us.

Rob But first, Neil, can you answer this question: If a person has musical anhedonia , does it mean they…

a) hate music?

b) can’t enjoy music?

or c) can’t hear music?

Neil Well, um, ‘anhedonia’ sounds like an illness, so I’m going to go for c) can’t hear music.

Rob We’ll find out if you’re wrong or right later on. But now let’s listen to Professor Charles Spence telling us how music affects what we choose to eat and drink.

Charles Spence, Professor of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University Imagine you’re going to the bar and thinking about a glass of wine. There’s French music playing behind the counter - more than likely you’ll go for a glass of French wine. German music behind the counter - your likelihood of choosing German wine goes way, way up. If they’re playing classical music you might be tempted to spend that little bit more.

Neil What’s the likelihood of you spending more, Rob?

Rob Quite likely, actually Neil - and likelihood means the chance of something happening. I love a good glass of wine.

Neil Me too. But why do we spend more when there’s classical music playing?

Rob Good question. It makes us feel a bit classy - that’s stylish and sophisticated.

Neil I’m guessing hip-hop doesn’t have the same effect. Am I right?

Rob You’re always right, Rob. So, the professor is saying that bars and restaurants use music to manipulate their customers.

Neil And that means to control or influence them. Argh! Earworms! They’re messing with our minds!

Rob I know, I know, and it doesn’t stop there. Restaurants also use the tempo - or speed - of the music to change people’s behaviour. A fast tempo gets customers in and out quickly at busy times. On the other hand, if there aren’t many customers, the restaurant might want to keep people in the place for longer. So they put on music with a slow tempo to create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Neil And atmosphere , in this context, means the mood or tone in a place or situation. Now music is also used to create atmosphere in films. So let’s hear Debbie Wiseman talking about music in the movies.

Debbie Wiseman, Film/TV music composer A director might come to me and say “look, can you help bring the romance to this scene with the music”, and so I might write something beautifully romantic and lyrical working with what I’ve got and suddenly the scene will feel much more romantic, much more tender, much more sexy, whatever it needs to feel, and the music has the power to do that, to achieve that effect.

Neil Sexy, tender, lyrical, romantic - that’s emotional stuff! And lyrical actually means expressing strong emotions. So what’s your favourite romantic moment in a film, Rob?

Rob Oh, there are so many. I’m a sucker for romance. Once the violins start playing, I start blubbing - and yes, Neil - that means I have a good cry!

Neil So sweet! Now, if you’re a sucker for something, for example romance, it means you can’t resist it. I’m more of a sucker for horror myself…

Rob And music is crucial - or extremely important - in creating atmosphere in horror films.

Neil That’s very true. Music is often used to create tension and suspense - or feelings of anxiety and excitement.

Rob Can you imagine Hitchcock’s Psycho without that violin music? (Neil does an imitation of the violin sequence from Psycho)

Rob OK, let’s not have a shower scene here in the studio, Neil. You’ll give me nightmares! Now, remember at the beginning of the show I asked you what musical anhedonia means. Is it someone who a) hates music b) can’t enjoy music or c) can ‘t hear music?

Neil I said can’t hear music…

Rob And that’s the wrong answer. It’s actually b) can’t enjoy music.

Neil Not a great job for a DJ then. Anyway, Rob, before we go any further, how about those words again?

Rob OK, the words we heard today were:


musical anhedonia








sucker for something




Neil Well, that brings us to the end of today’s 6 Minute English. Try not to catch musical anhedonia and watch out for those earworms! We hope you enjoyed humming along to today’s programme. Please join us again soon.

Both Bye.

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