Friday quickie: Portrait of an NPR/PBS Classical Music Lover

Kate Coleman covers the Maryland Symphony for the Herald-Mail.

Kate Coleman enjoys the beat of music.

Kate Coleman: Enjoying the beat of music

Kate Coleman wants to uncover why music gives her "goosebumps".

figure why goosebumps?: Because music is magic!

I'm not sure what inspired me a couple of months ago to hunt down a YouTube video of Luciano Pavarotti singing "Nessun Dorma," an aria from Puccini's "Turandot."

It was probably this performance ("Nessun dorma" as performed by heavy metal group Manowar):

[And, oh, it's also that song that every classically trained singer uses to sell records, was the theme song to the 1990 World Cup, the finale to the Opening Ceremony of the Torino Winter Olympics, used significantly in popular films like The Killing Fields, The Sum of All Fears, and Bend It Like Beckham, famously performed by Aretha Franklin at the 1998 Grammys, covered endlessly by pop artists like Russell Watson, Sarah Brightman, Neal E. Boyd, and so on...]

A phrase of the music from I don't know where was stuck in my mind.

Kate Coleman doesn't know where that phrase of the music comes from?

Kate Coleman doesn't like commas. Or comprehension.

I am not a huge opera fan.

Kate Colemen doesn't like opera.

I've attended exactly one opera performance in my life.

Kate Coleman doesn't like opera having seen just one opera.

Admittedly, because at the time I was a high school student...

She was in high school.

...and the venue was Convention Hall on the Asbury Park, N.J., boardwalk, my experience of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" was far from ideal.

It was Donizetti performed on the boardwalk in New Jersey.

But Kate Coleman wants to know what's going on?

What's going on?

Good question, because how could someone with so many well-established reasons for not liking opera find herself liking a random aria that's become the epicenter of the pop-classical crossover genre?

For the record, I conducted my own little science experiment...

Ooh. I like science. I even listen to Science Friday with Ira Flatow every Monday.

Kate Coleman's experiment presumably used double-blind trials with controls for experimenter's bias and the placebo effect.

...and watched those performances again. My physical and emotional reactions were the same.

...as evidenced by her use of technical mumbo jumbo.

Kate Coleman came to two conclusions:

There are two possible explanations:

1. I'm even more emotionally on-the-edge or crazier than I thought.

Kate Coleman thinks she might be crazy.

2. There is a scientific basis for music's power over me.

Kate Coleman thinks her "scientific" experiment proves that there is a "scientific" basis for music's power.

Perhaps I'll find the answer in books I just got from the library.

Kate Coleman realizes that there are answers available in books, but knows that books are for losers.

Meanwhile, I'll stick with my own theory: Music is magic.

"Music is magic."

figure scientific evidence: I think we have confirmation of her findings!

Read more about Kate Coleman's experiment in next month's issue of Nature Magazine.


Empiricus said...

You executed the obsessive form wonderfully.

Also, verification word: custi

Fantasy baseball, indeed! No Braves.

Gustav said...

lol...I'm a loyal fan...overcharge me if you have to!

Tom Strini said...

You guys are way funnier and less angry.

Change medications?