Music, they say, is a universal language! So many genres, so many stars, albums and so much history. People have been listening to music for centuries – meaning that it will hopefully not be going away any time soon. Music really is a fascinating subject – whether you’re looking at the technical side of things, or if you’re dipping into pop history!
In this fact file, we will be looking at a little bit of both. Which iconic rocker wrote a song for the Harry Potter movies? Did you know that a small percentage of people feel absolutely nothing from listening to music? What was Michael Jackson’s odd response to being turned down for the role of ‘Spider-Man’? Here are some marvelous and certainly interesting facts about music which might just fascinate you – whether you can hold a note of your own or not!
The origin of the word ‘music’ from Greek is ’Mousa’ or ‘Muse’. Goddesses of music, poetry, art, and dance were legendary in Ancient Greece.
Music is played on all seven continents of the planet – it’s one of few things that unites us all!
In 2016, it’s thought that Mozart was a bigger seller of CDs than Beyonce – you can’t beat the greats!
South Korean scientists have evidence that plants grow faster when music is played, confirming that plants have sensory preceptors.
None of the Beatles could read or write music. In 2018, Paul McCartney admitted during an interview that music just ‘came to them’.
One in five country songs have references to alcohol to them. A third reference crying!
In 2011, a Stradivarius violin sold for a record breaking $15.9 million dollars!
The piano used in Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is the exact same one played in the Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’.
Chris Hadfield released his first album in 2015. It was unique as it was entirely recorded in space! It’s called ’Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can’.
The British Navy, learning of Somalian pirates’ dislike for Western music, played music by Britney Spears to ward them away from Africa’s coast.
In 2013, Metallica broke records by playing live concerts on all seven continents in one year.
Michael Jackson so desperately wanted to play the role of ‘Spider-Man’ that when Stan Lee refused him the role, he tried to buy Marvel Comics as a company outright.
‘Stuck song syndrome’ is a real condition also known as an ‘earworm’. Many of us associate music with emotions or memories. We often have a trigger which brings a few notes or a whole melody to mind and it’s common for us to use the expression ‘I can’t get that song out of my head!’.
Music is used as therapy to help people with brain injuries recover some memories – these are known as ‘MEAMs’, ( Music Evoked Autobiographical Memories).
Monaco is the only country with a Military Orchestra that’s larger than its army!
Prince released his debut album when he was 20 years old – it was called ‘For You’, and he played 27 different instruments on it!
In 1984, for his re-election campaign, President Reagan used the song ‘Born in the USA’ by Bruce Springsteen.
Reagan, obviously pro-America, thought the message from the song was a positive one. However, Springsteen has explained the song was about the Vietnam War and the costs of so many lives.
Bruce Springsteen reportedly wrote a song for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Author and creator JK Rowling is thought to have refused on grounds of wanting to avoid using popular music.
A study by Heriot-Watt University revealed that fans of classical music and heavy metal have several traits in common. 36,000 people worldwide were questioned and found to share creative tendencies, introverted natures, and that they were generally more at ease with themselves.
A study in 2001 by the University of Leicester in revealed that cows became more relaxed when they listened to music and produced 3% more milk!
In 2008, research undertaken in France led to the discovery that when loud music was played in bars, alcohol consumption increased.
Croatia’s coastline has a surprising feature, visited by tourists and local residents all year Round. A ‘Sea Organ’ is built into the sea wall.
Peter Grant is responsible for starting a tradition of ‘International Strange Music Day’. This is a day dedicated to experiment with listening to music people would not normally try!
A study in Italy has confirmed that listening to music is good for the cardiovascular system.
In Finland, in 2010, researchers discovered that sensors throughout the brain are activated when music is played. The ground-breaking study revealed how sensors are connected in the brain and stimulated to work together to produce motor actions, emotions and creativity.
Finland is also notable for having more metal bands per capita than any other country. Fitting, then, that the only time they’ve won the Eurovision Song Contest so far is with ‘Hard Rock Halleluiah’!
In 1993, Rod Stewart drew a crowd of 4.2 million people at his free New Year’s Eve Concert on Copacabana Beach, Rio. This earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
Outside of being a successful musician, Rod Stewart is a huge fan of model railways, and has a colossal private collection.
There are some people that don’t feel any emotion at all when listening to music. Studies suggest that as many as 5% of us are this way inclined!
The most common song sung globally is ‘Happy Birthday To You’. Mildred Hill, a teacher from Louisville in the USA, composed the music on the 29th
It has been argued that birds use ‘song’ to attract mates, form groups to sing together and establish ‘territorial rights’.
Strangely, musicians appear to live shorter lives than most people on average!
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about music that we’ve missed? Share them here in the comments section below!