Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Babylonian and Assyrian Poetry and Literature

My thanks once again to P.D. for this fascinating link. At this writing I have yet to explore it, but it gives a long list of texts recited on Flash Player, complete with transcriptions and translations. I look forward to using some of them as a springboard for article writing. (The graphic on the left was adapted from something found on Google Images: a photograph of a famous tablet comtaining the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, which is one of the texts recited on the recordings made at the University of London. The source article for the image actually relates to this very recording project under discussion!)

- John Wheeler (יוחנן רכב)

Music, books, teenagers and depression

Thanks to Avi W. for this link. My only question is why the researchers find this correlation surprising (and as a corollary, why they can't see the direct causal relationship), given the kinds of music most teenagers in the U.S. listen to today. There has been so much clinical work on this subject done before now.

Moreover, it's been known for literally millennia in high cultures (and from the beginning in so-called primitive ones) that some kinds of music, and some elements of music, are mood-altering - powerfully so, in fact. Only those who wanted to justify their musical tastes at all costs have ever argued otherwise.

(The above graphic comes from a recent New York Times article on how music affects the nervous system. An earlier post links to that article.)

- John Wheeler (יוחנן רכב)