Music, Business and Peace

(Hunter Backenstose) #223

One thing this made me think of was the US Military and boot camp and how they take all those privileges like listening to music away so you can conform to the culture. (I believe this is true, but if not, please someone with actual experience speak up!). Music can make you feel larger-than-life and rebellious which would be viewed negatively in that environment.

(Michelle Niblock) #224

I always found it interesting how music seems to change with the seasons and found this article of a study that Spotify conducted to analyze the noticeable changes in listeners moods as derived from genre choices:

In the Fall and Winter, listeners opt for more relaxing, mellow tunes, while in Spring and Summer, they lean towards more upbeat songs and artists. It seems this could have strong takeaways for certain businesses - especially those in the retail industry, as they are able to adapt their environments towards the moods of their consumers.

Furthermore, though, it got me thinking about holiday music and how dominant Christmas songs are (speaking from the US perspective, at least!) As a Christian, I always wonder if we will get to a point when companies will make the decision to stop playing Christmas songs in an attempt to be politically correct. Some 20 years ago in elementary school I still recall having to learn songs for all of the holidays, including Kwanza - do kids in school even still sing holiday songs? For anyone that’s not Christian, does hearing Christmas songs negatively effect your perception of a retailer who may be playing them?

(Michelle Niblock) #225

Hunter, you’re every brand’s dream! Working at ad agencies in NYC, I can attest that music choice goes a long way on building any ad campaign. On multi-million dollar media spends such as Nike’s, there’s quite a bit of consumer testing that goes in to commercial spots to gauge consumer reaction, positive association, and recall.

I still find myself googling “what’s the song in the new Apple commercial” because I feel like theirs always get me :slight_smile:

(Jennifer Provost) #227

I thought that this TED talk article was super interesting and expounded on some of the earlier comments regarding music as it relates to leaders and their connection ect.

It also draws connections between the skills needed to be a talented musician/director and business leader.

(Jennifer Provost) #228

Michelle, Hunter and Casey,

I really enjoyed the exchanges regarding the importance of music and pairing it appropriately with an add campaign. I wanted to tie this in with earlier comments regarding the ‘universal’ nature of music. Would add campaigns use the same music in different areas of the world? Would people react in the same way when interpreting though their cultures? I think that they would almost certainly interpret the music differently or their culture may value a certain musical ideal more than our culture does–driving the marketing strategy to shift.

(Olivier Urbain) #229

Hi Sierra, yes, education is crucial in the context of music, business and peace and the kind of change we want to achieve collectively. Formal education, but also all types, including as you wrote “to educate each other.”

There is much to learn about how music and musicking works, how business can be beneficial ethically and humanly, and then there is the whole aspect of peace studies. For instance, nobody can impose a definition of “peace” or “peacebuilding.” But if our goal is “to educate each other,” then the fact that we are willing to discuss about those concepts, realities, differences and potentials is a major step forward, infinitely better than sweeping all this under the carpet… so I definitely vote for educating each other, taking turns listening and learning in the style of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire…

From the point of view of bfp, our current challenge is entitled “How can business help build the cultural foundations for peace?” Cultural foundations are all about how we see the world, how we think and process information, how we communicate, what we believe in… “educating each other” is the key.

What comes to mind if you had to answer this question: "what are all the possible ways in which music and musicking can facilitate the processes necessary in order to massively educate each other? I’m definitely all ears :wink:

(Olivier Urbain) #230

Hi Ashley,

Many thanks for the link, I listened to the samples recommended in the article, indeed soothing and inspiring.
It’s definitely not a scientific article, it’s an ad advertising rather expensive products. For instance, the piece called “The Essence of Peace” costs $75 for about 15 min. Mind you, if it really provides the essence of peace, we should all go and buy it now! :wink: At the same time, the fact that this is a commercial website does not mean that all the science is unreliable. The info on sonic mantras, drones, sounds of nature, brainwave entrainment (binaural beats, isochronic tones…), and psychoacoustics in general sounds fine. I’ve bookmarked their website and will go back to it when I do comparative research on the effects of different types of music on our moods (but even that is mostly culturally constructed). I did listen to the samples, and it’s pretty cool stuff. Thanks for the tip!

(Adam Hallman) #232

Michelle, what negatively affects my view of a retailer is the annoyance of the song track :slight_smile: As far as Christian music is concerned, I see both music promoting peace (in particular, Christmas songs), but also music about violence related to the gruesome description of Good Friday. There are also various hymns that refer to the metaphor of a “war” or referring to Christians as “soldiers” for the faith or cause. Music in Christianity has broad tones depending on the many stories told in the Bible.

That is very interesting that the Spotify study showed people basically follow the seasons with their mood, with summer and spring symbolizing optimism and renewal while Fall and Winter tend to be a winding down of the year and slowing down of life as crops are harvested and people settle in for winter. As was mentioned earlier, this makes me think about the seasonality of peace, with higher crime rates when the weather is hotter than colder. While I think most studies have attributed this to temper and people being outside more or having more free time, I do wonder if an overall season of “peace” during the winter months, with Christmas and other holidays and the more soothing music played in public having even a small contribution to this peace.

(Jennifer Provost) #233


That is a great point regarding the ‘peace’ that is fostered in the holiday season potentially decreasing the crime/violence in the winter months. I think the holiday season is a wonderful example the ambiance that can be created by musical genre accepted by an entire culture of people. The sense of peace and togetherness is heightened by nearly every person in the country listening to the same sound track at some point in their day for the entire month of december regardless of background or creed.

(Andrew Breest) #234

How can music facilitate the process necessary to massively educate each other?

I think music has an awesome ability to bring together a large and diverse audience during the good times and the bad. Many times events happen in this world whether they are natural disasters, spreading disease, or war that cause significant turmoil for certain population segments. In the past concerts have been used to bring a community together to raise awareness and funds for the cause at hand. Rolling Stone wrote a great piece summarizing 10 concerts from the past 50 years that were used to promote awareness, peace, and raise funds for a variety of events. Whether this was to bring an end to the Vietnam war, fight aids, help struggling farmers, or grieve after 9/11, music has brought together people from many different backgrounds to bond, learn, and raise awareness about global events that affect us all.

(Steven Fuller) #235

Casey, do you think that people are typically willing to seek out styles of music that are profoundly different in culture / belief / etc.? While there are certainly folks out there that are interested in many different styles of music, it seems like most people tend to settle into one primary style of music and stick with it for quite a large portion of their lifetime.

(Casey) #236

Steven, I am sure each person is unique. Perhaps some people stick with one genre throughout their lifetime while others like to explore. But I think generally people will listen to anything that they think sounds good. At least, that is one of my criteria. If I like the way it sounds, I’ll want to listen to it.

(Anna Hyronimus) #237

Matthew - I came here to post this very song! As a board member for a suicide prevention non-profit organization for college-aged students, we saw such an increase in participation within our organization after Logic’s song was performed live at the Grammy’s. I appreciate this song so much because I feel that it “normalizes” the stigma associated with feelings of depression that so many people deal with alone and hopefully feel more peace or acceptance in their lives. I loved this partnership between a musician and the suicide prevention hotline and I can only hope that other businesses and musicians follow suit.

(Emily Dezern) #238

I feel that generating music has a distinct and different emotional effect than listening to music. On one hand, generating music allows you to express your feelings to the world, in a heartfelt and transparent way. Even when singing along to a song, it is a medium to express feelings that may be difficult to express during day to day interactions. I am an enormous fan of Taylor Swift, as my future posts may suggest, and her diary-like songs are a way for me to experience/relive past similar experiences. Listening to music is a different experience, as it is more informative to the listener as it is a cathartic experience. Listening to music lets you live situations in other’s lives, and can help you to understand others and their feelings.

(Emily Dezern) #239

This also reminds me of the benefit concert that Ariana Grande hosted after the tragic shooting at her Manchester concert in May 2017. She hosted the One Love concert which hosted many celebrities to raise money for the victims of the shooting. Adriana said “All the love and unity you all are showing is the medicine that the world needs right now”, which encapsulate the vibe of the entire concert. Music was used to heal the city after the terrorist attack, and brought the city back together. I think this example is particularly interesting as the music that may have inspired the attack (as it was at her concert) also worked to unite those that suffered the aftermath of the attack, showing music’s capabilities to both harm and help.

(Emily Dezern) #240

Hunter, this is a great example! I cannot hear “In the Arms of an Angel” without picturing the puppies and kittens in the ASPCA commercial. Some other examples that immediately came to my mind were:

“too close to love you” by Alex Clare- Internet Explorer revamp efforts
"seven nation army" by The Killers - Football sporting events (which I find as hilarious because I doubt Jack White appreciates this recognition :slight_smile: )

(Anna Hyronimus) #241

I believe the most important contribution of music to peace-building is establishing human connection through vulnerability. To quote Brene Brown, “Empathy has no script. There is no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘You’re not alone.’”. I believe this quote accurately encompasses how music builds to peace-building. Many artists draw song lyric inspiration from difficult or developmental times in their lives that their listeners relate deeply to, thus establishing connection through the challenges people have faced in their lives. I believe peace forms when all parties feel heard, understood, and connected to the human experience. So where does the business side come in? I believe businesses can sustain the feelings that music provides when partnered with cause-based campaigns, whether through for-profit or non-profit organizations. There has been mention of Logic’s song that funneled listeners to the national suicide hotline, and whenever I hear Carrie Underwood’s “Warrior” song I am reminded of the NFL. Music helps consumers recall specific products, causes or events and I believe businesses should further pursue the relationship between music and causes that unite.

(Anna Hyronimus) #242

I’ve been thinking a lot about how music unites people and I can’t help but notice how prominent the “fight” songs or theme songs for large sporting events/organizations come to the top of my mind. Whenever I hear Carrie Underwood’s “Warrior”, I immediately think of the NFL, and it seems everyone was aware of Shakira’s “Waka Waka” song synonymous with the FIFA world cup in 2010: , and finally the 2016 NBC Olympics commercial featuring Katy Perry’s “Rise”:
These are all examples of sports teams and for-profit businesses promoting their companies through music, competitive spirit and patriotism. This is an example where music and business marketing work well together, but what about integrating peace when these sporting events usually elicit feelings of competition and rough play? I think the World Cup and the Olympic games are competitive in nature, but the idea of so many countries coming together to celebrate their respective sport and taking pride in their country in a peaceful way, regardless of the tense world events happening around them, resonates a feeling of peace and human connection.

(Emily Dezern) #243

Steven, in answer to your question, I do believe that people tend to settle into one primary style of music. Not so much in the specific instruments or tonality, but more so in the message that it conveys. Just as it holds true with the news sources that people trust, or the websites that people choose to get information from, I do believe that people also pick and choose their music to ensure that it will fit within their worldview. Those who are supporters of the current presidential administration would doubtlessly steer clear of many of the mainstream music community’s attacks on it. Likewise, those who are not supportive of current administration would enjoy the same music. This may be a very extreme example, but I think it applies to other, lighter, musical themes as well.

(Steven Fuller) #244

Emily, I tend to agree. I also think this is one of the challenges when it comes to using music to promote peace. Unless it’s something that people are willing to hear, the message will just go into an echo chamber.