Weightless Or Full Of Hot Air? 2


We’ve become pretty used to companies who tout their products or services as “the best” (for example: any television or radio ad in the last 15 years).  Whenever a superlative claim is made, skepticism automatically surfaces.  Where’s the proof?  What support do they offer for these outlandish claims of superiority over competitors and peers?  After all, the average person is exposed to around 5,000 ads on any given day.  When so many of these ads are competing in the same target market for the same use, we know that they cannot all be “the best.”

With that in mind, an announcement about the “World’s Most Relaxing Song” being created may not, at first, seem plausible.  If you’ve ever been to a day spa, a nail salon or even just a really good hair salon, you’ve heard multiple variations of plinky plunky music with a simple melody, the dulcet crooning of Enya or maybe environmental background noise like the ocean waves crashing or jungle birds singing.   Now there are claims being made that not only is this new song more relaxing than the serene music being played while you get a massage, it’s actually more relaxing than the massage itself.

But before you decide that this new tune is nothing more than hype, you may be interested to hear that this claim is indeed backed up by evidence!  Unlike the World’s Most Annoying Song, this is not well-known serene songs all strung together – this song was designed to promote relaxation from the inception.  Not only did the band, Marconi Union, get advice from sound therapists on techniques and tactics to incorporate in the making of the music (like not having a repeating melody), there were also follow-up studies to test the effectiveness and extent of the relaxation that the song promoted in test patients who had been artificially stressed.

Music and sound therapists have done some brilliant work using music to treat patients.  With the more active approach that Marconi Union has demonstrated here, how might music therapists be able to better meet the needs of their patients?  Is it possible to have a single song that helps Autistic children or Alzheimer’s sufferers on a daily basis?  Could songs be created for particular circumstances (example, grief or trauma victims) that can be optimized for that particular patient?

If you have the time, give it a listen! (Although, it is recommended that motorists and those working with heavy machinery wait until they’re home safe before tuning in.)  What do you think?  Is this song everything it’s touted to be?

Share your insights and ideas with us in the comments below!

Thanks to 05com and Smath for use of their photos.

~Laura


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2 thoughts on “Weightless Or Full Of Hot Air?

  • Rachelle Norman

    Hi Laura,
    I saw this same story, and I have to admit that I am one of the skeptics. It’s true that songs that people call relaxing tend to have similar qualities, but people’s experinces of music vary so widely that I find it hard to believe that any one song will work for everyone. I’d be interested in seeing the research they used as the basis for the composition.

    • Helper Post author

      Hi Rachelle- Thanks for the comment. :) I agree, I would love to see the raw data on this! In particular, I’m really curious as to the test subject’s age and what effect that might have. Do you think there’s a way to create this physiological “relax” response for each individual? I feel like there’s potential here, but am not quite sure what the best way to tap into it would be….