music

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'Musical Midlife Crisis' Comes at Age 42

Plus: parents aren't hip, and our musical taste 'matures' when we're 35

(Newser) - Don't be surprised if, at age 42, you find yourself turning to Top 40 once again. A taste expert at Spotify, Ajay Kalia, turned to data from the service to determine that we're most into chart-toppers in our teenage years, the Guardian reports. But "around age 42,... More »

How the Man Behind One of Pop's Most-Used Beats Died Homeless

The Winstons got no royalties as track was sampled by likes of Bowie, Salt-N-Pepa

(Newser) - In 1969, a band called the Winstons recorded a song whose name you probably don't know—even though there's a good chance you've heard about six seconds of it. "Amen, Brother" was an instrumental B-side to a Grammy-winning hit called "Color Him Father," and... More »

How Mozart Could Make Your Kitty's Spaying Safer

Research suggests classical music can ease feline stress on the operating table

(Newser) - Surgery isn't a calming experience—so it only makes sense that your cat would rather hear soothing strings than distorted guitars. In what has to be one of science's odder recent experiments, researchers in Portugal decided to pop a pair of headphones on a dozen cats while they... More »

Study: 51% of Dead Rappers Were Murdered

Fascinating study analyzed the deaths of 13K musicians

(Newser) - A note for aspiring musicians: The country music path is much safer than the rap game, at least when it comes to murder. That's the takeaway from a fascinating new study in the Conversation . Psychology and music professor Dianna Theadora Kenny analyzed the deaths of 13,000 musicians who... More »

Jury: Robin Thicke Ripped Off Marvin Gaye

He and Pharrell owe Gaye's kids $7.4M over 'Blurred LInes'

(Newser) - Catchy song, Robin Thicke. But a jury says that Marvin Gaye got there first. Jurors awarded Gaye's kids $7.4 million because they determined that Thicke's "Blurred Lines" stole from Gaye's 1977 hit "Got to Give It Up," reports the Los Angeles Times . Thicke... More »

Albums to Stop Coming Out on Tuesdays

In a change after decades, worldwide release day will be Friday

(Newser) - Ever since the 1980s, new albums have hit stores in the US on Tuesdays—but that's about to change. Soon, the US and the rest of the world will unite in releasing albums on Fridays, Mashable reports. Frances Moore, head of record-label group the International Federation of the Phonographic... More »

Spotify Reveals the Songs We Have Sex To

Service sifts through 2.5M 'sex' playlists

(Newser) - Spotify knows some pretty personal stuff about users—like what songs they like to be playing in the background while they get it on. That's thanks to the 2.5 million "sex" playlists Spotify users have put together, the Guardian reports. Inspired by Valentine's Day, the music... More »

The Violin's Shape Was an Accident

Researchers reveal how it 'evolved'

(Newser) - The shape of today's violin wasn't the result of some genius's design specifications; instead, it developed over time, likely improving by chance, researchers say. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, an instrument's sound depends heavily on the way air flows through it: The more air that... More »

Think You Can't Carry a Tune? Just Sing More

Study finds singing can be learned, like any other instrument

(Newser) - Just as you can learn to play an instrument, you can learn to sing even if you believe you're completely tone deaf, a new study out of Northwestern University finds. Researchers had people from three different age groups sing (kindergarten, sixth grade, and college-age); subjects listened to what they... More »

Heart Arrhythmia May Have Influenced Beethoven Music

Scientists speculate he may have tapped into his heartbeat as he lost his hearing

(Newser) - As Beethoven went deaf, he may have started listening to his heart. In a new study published in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine , a cardiologist, an internal medical specialist, and a musicologist point out that three of the German composer's works exhibit "rhythmic shifts and punctuations" that weren'... More »

'Ancient Music of Babylon' Recorded for 1st Time

Stef Conner writes music, sings to ancient poems

(Newser) - A singer with folk roots and a guy who "plays a mean lyre" have recorded haunting songs that sound something like ancient Babylonian music, Raw Story reports. No one knows what Babylonians listened to—the tunes are long-lost—but singer/composer Stef Conner says she relied on the natural stresses... More »

Rolling Stones' Sax Player Dead at 70

Bobby Keys played with John Lennon, Buddy Holly

(Newser) - Bobby Keys, who played saxophone for the Rolling Stones—as well as the likes of John Lennon and Buddy Holly—has died at 70, the Telegraph reports. The Texan may be best known for his solo on the Stones' hit "Brown Sugar." He began playing with the band... More »

Spotify Swipes Back at Taylor Swift

Founder defends business model, says Swift was on track to earn $6M

(Newser) - Spotify's founder wrote a lengthy defense of his business model today in the wake of Taylor Swift's decision to pull her music from the streaming site, reports MTV.com . Daniel Ek insists that he's on the side of musicians, pointing out that Spotify has paid out $2... More »

Scientific Study Determines Catchiest Hit Song Ever

UK study participants recognized Spice Girls' 'Wannabe' in just 2.29 seconds

(Newser) - What makes that earworm an earworm? Musicologists at the University of Amsterdam recently set out to find out, collecting data from 12,000 participants who listened to a random selection from 1,000 hit singles in the UK dating back to the 1940s. The results were unveiled at the Manchester... More »

Musician: By Law, Bad Review Must Be Pulled

Pianist Dejan Lazic asks Washington Post to remove article

(Newser) - Ah, the life of a high-flying soloist: Tour the world, wine and dine with musical greats ... and get an occasional bad review. Croatian pianist Dejan Lazic doesn't much like the last part, so he's asked the Washington Post to remove an online review under the European Union's... More »

Cream Bass Player Jack Bruce Dead at 71

Wrote big hits for 1960s band featuring Eric Clapton

(Newser) - Jack Bruce, bass player, singer, and songwriter for the 1960s rock trio Cream, has died at 71 of liver disease. The British band, which also featured Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker, sold 35 million albums in just two years, breaking up despite their popularity in 1968. The band was... More »

'Brilliant' Babymetal Upsets 'Troo' Metalheads

Many critics love Japanese metal-pop band

(Newser) - The Japanese band Babymetal mixes headbanging with J-pop melodies and choreography in a way that "upsets the status quo"—and that's a good thing, writes Adrien Begrand at NPR . While metal fans are divided over the trio of Japanese teen girls (Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno, and Moa... More »

Dylan Fans Rejoice: 'Basement Tapes' Being Released

6-disc collection comes out Nov. 4, features 138 tracks

(Newser) - Bob Dylan once said that a rough collection of 138 songs he recorded with the Band at his home in 1967 should probably be destroyed. But the "Basement Tapes" are the stuff of legend and obsession for devoted Dylan fans, and now, every song has been remastered, arranged in... More »

VMAs' Top Moments: Miley's Homeless Man, Beyonce, More

Blue Ivy Carter wins hearts at MTV awards show

(Newser) - Miley Cyrus is once again making headlines after the MTV Video Music Awards , but this time the focus is rather different. The singer won Video of the Year for "Wrecking Ball," and she used the opportunity to draw attention to the plight of homeless people, USA Today reports.... More »

Man Killed Backstage at Wiz Khalifa Show

Victim in Mountain View, Calif., shooting not yet identified

(Newser) - A man was shot and killed backstage following a Wiz Khalifa concert in Mountain View, Calif., last night, police say. Family and friends identify the victim as one Eric Johnson, ABC 7 reports. Police say he was 38 years old and received multiple gunshot wounds, KRON notes. The suspect is... More »

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