9 Ted Talks – How music affects us
Music is a fundamental aspect of humanity — so exactly how does it impact us? These talks offer a wonderful look at our fascinating relationship with the music we make.
Between music and medicine
When Robert Gupta was caught between a career as a doctor and as a violinist, he realized his place was in the middle, with a bow in his hand and a sense of social justice in his heart. He tells a moving story of society’s marginalized and the power of music therapy, which can succeed where conventional medicine fails.
Releasing the music in your head
Tod Machover of MIT’s Media Lab is devoted to extending musical expression for everyone — from virtuosi to amateurs, and in the most diverse forms — from opera to videogames (Guitar Hero grew out of his group). At TED2008 he talks about what’s coming next, from new tools for music creativity to the world’s first robotic opera. Machover then introduces Dan Ellsey, a young man with cerebral palsy who has found his voice through music created and performed using Media Lab technologies. Ellsey plays his “My Eagle Song” in a soaring rendition that underscores music’s power to heal, to communicate, and to inspire.
The violin, and my dark night of the soul
In her quest to become a world-famous violinist, Ji-Hae Park fell into a severe depression. Only music was able to lift her out again — showing her that her goal needn’t be to play lofty concert halls, but instead to bring the wonder of the instrument to as many people as possible.
The transformative power of classical music
Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.
How to truly listen
In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.
Building the musical muscle
Charles Limb performs cochlear implantation, a surgery that treats hearing loss and can restore the ability to hear speech. But as a musician too, Limb thinks about what the implants lack: They don’t let you fully experience music yet. (There’s a hair-raising example.) At TEDMED, Limb reviews the state of the art and the way forward.
Music and emotion through time
In this epic overview, Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.
How architecture helped music evolve
As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.
The world’s hidden music rituals
Vincent Moon travels the world with a backpack and a camera, filming astonishing music and ritual the world rarely sees — from a powerful Sufi ritual in Chechnya to an ayahuasca journey in Peru. He hopes his films can help people see their own cultures in a new way, to make young people say: “Whoa, my grandfather is as cool as Beyoncé.” Followed by a mesmerizing performance by jazz icon Naná Vasconcelos.