Music, Business and Peace


(Constance Glen) #123

I’m not sure it can be separated (musicking and physicality).


(Alain Barker) #124

We’re hoping to engage the Bloomington business community in this discussion as we imagine a public project next year - making sure that the formation of ideas are jointly discussed before we even know what we’d like to do. Theory and practice merging are so important as we continue our discussions (just like talking about and playing an instrument are different from each other)! I’d love to find out how others in the group are currently (or planning) to explore projects of this kind.


(Kathleen Higgins) #125

I agree that how music is used is absolutely decisive, though certain structural characteristics of particular music can facilitate or hinder certain uses.


(Constance Glen) #126

This comment seems like an intentional way to move forward with these concepts.


(Olivier Urbain) #127

Beautifully said, I think this makes great sense, it’s not black or white…


(Nancy Sue Love) #128

I agree – rhythms and tones are only part of the phenomenon of musicking. That said, often the sounds and lyrics do work in tandem and that can be when music has the most powerful effects. Consider the “rock” steady beat of “We Shall Overcome,” for example.


(Timothy L. Fort) #129

This makes good sense to me. I think we need to have an awareness of the structural aspects that do affect us biologically so that we have a sense of what we can do. Humans can’t fly so if we want to travel via air, we have to figure out some other way than flapping our arms. Similarly, knowing the structural characteristics is important so we then can have a grounding point as to how our aims are to be arranged and evaluated


(Timothy L. Fort) #130

It was too far back ago to remember where to find it, but Olivier had noted the way in which lyrics make a difference. I agree with that too; they can make all the difference in the world. Extending that a bit differently, one of the things music might do for business is simply in terms of the metaphors that might be used to describe activities. To harmonize or, ask Kathleen punned, to attune. Those are terms that can be usefully employed to nudge business conduct in one direction as opposed to another


(Olivier Urbain) #131

There is as great example by Rik Palieri of how the singing of a song was able to prevent violence at a trade-union rally. Things were going wrong and the police was ready to strike, but then someone took a guitar and started to play… everyone sang together, and even the police started singing. So it is about what the intention was, but also the sounds and rhythms. One could have started playing a song that could have triggered the violence, but the song that was chosen had the right structural characteristics to do the job, avoid the violence.


(Kathleen Higgins) #132

Still, we need to keep in mind that we always access these structural aspects through interpretations that are shaped by our musical backgrounds and the musical templates we’ve internalized, as well as associations drawing from a variety of sources (some thoroughly contingent). Perhaps one way that business does intervene is in shaping people’s musical backgrounds, if only through catchy jingles being associated with particular products. Business being more aware of the range of possibilities for business to impact people’s musical perspectives is one thing we can aim at.


(Nancy Sue Love) #133

Musical metaphors – consonance, dissonance, harmony, vibration, resonance, even voice – are frequently used in discussions of democratic community.


(Timothy L. Fort) #134

Whereas often in business, metaphors often can lean toward more militaristic competition


(Constance Glen) #135

Perhaps it is time to move to our third topic: • What obstacles, or challenges, prevent the field from being as effective as it could be?


(Business Fights Poverty) #136

Great conversation! Here’s our third and final question:


(Constance Glen) #137

The “field” of course – not really an existing field of study, but this one that we are forging of music, business, and peace- – or peace-building.


(Olivier Urbain) #138

Yes, agreed regarding the interpretations of structural aspects. I have an appointment with a research doing genetic research on music throughout the world, showing through computer simulation that there are certain characteristics that transcend cultures. I’m sceptical about this, I think our personal experiences and interpretations are compelling, but I’m willing to give that computer simulation a chance… there might be something universal to some aspects of music after all, even though yes, our personal interpretations are what really create our experiences of musicking.


(Timothy L. Fort) #139

And, as such, the first step is awareness and concepts of just how these things fit together


(Kathleen Higgins) #140

The militaristic language that Tim mentions is one of the obstacles. Perhaps a concerted effort (another pun) to shift to more musical metaphors (even to describe certain tensions as “dissonance”) would help to undercut such language and the mindsets it primes people to adopt.


(Timothy L. Fort) #141

You’re winning the prize for best puns of the day!


(Constance Glen) #142

There was a psychologist in Australia working on that very concept several years ago – he was working with universal “gestures” (physical and musical) and meaning/semiotics – interesting, although he stretched the ideas quite a bit.