Have you purchased your new iPhone yet? I, for one, have not purchased it yet although I am overdue for an upgrade. If you are an iPhone user, you may have heard about Apple’s new Health app. The application offers the ability for you to monitor your physical activity using the iPhone’s motion sensors. This definitely comes in handy for the fitness buffs out there. In particular, the app has a heart rate monitor. Just check your phone to keep up with your BPMs.
Given that the iPhone and Apple are intrinsically linked to music, I began to think about the relationship between the heartbeat and music. Have you ever thought about the prevalence of “heartbeats” in music? There is the signature “thump thump” that appears in dance music. Or what about that low heartbeat that appears in a scary film designed to evoke suspense and fear? Why is that sound so powerful? There have been several studies done on the relationship between heart rate and music. Manipulating one’s heartbeat is critical when trying to bring out certain emotions in a viewer or listener. Attaching certain emotions to whatever you are trying to sell is always a sure thing. Humans seem to have a natural response to a thumping heart. Science has recently discovered that this phenomenon started while we were in the womb.
As a music producer, I don’t think I have consciously programmed a beat to mimic a heart beat. I think it may have occurred more naturally if I was trying to create a piece with a certain mood. Among genres, I particularly notice it in dance and urban music. The kick drum always plays the role of the trusted heart. It appears that the heart beat and music will be forever intertwined. I wonder if this data can be collected and analyzed to make a better song? I will be on the lookout for the app that does that.
What do you think? Drop a comment in the comment section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Derrick Pryce (known as Cantaloupe at Tunefruit) is a music producer and keyboard player based in Atlanta, GA. His current release is entitled Kebomusic Presents: The Experience, which is available on iTunes and Amazon. In addition to music, he is very much interested in technology, entrepreneurship and venture capital. He thinks mixing them all up would be fantastic. For more information, check out www.kebomusic.com.