The Biological Role of Music: Week Two

This week was dedicated to a whole lot of organization. I mostly spent the 20 hours summarizing the articles I had read, isolating the main purposes of each, finding additional articles to cover up holes in content, and organizing them thematically.

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First Panera post of the summer!

Hi everyone! This is my first blog post for the summer and I’m excited to discuss some of my project’s progress.

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Structure and Society: Understanding the Context of Medieval Music

As I am now about halfway done with my first week of research, I am gaining more of an idea of the background information necessary to guide my research goal. I have mainly been reading source materials and taking notes on what I feel may be applicable to my research and to my understanding of the time period. The majority of my sources so far have been print books, reference books, and journal articles. I have been reading information on the changes to music and society brought by the Ars nova. In addition, I am looking at the works and impact of composers Guillaume de Machaut and Philippe de Vitry and the different forms of motets during that time. My main obstacle for the next few days will be finding relevant source materials that provide more than just the same information and perspectives that I have already read. While the availability of sources is slightly limited by the time period (14thcentury), I feel like there will still be sources I can find.

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More Research-Based Strategies for College Access Programs

 

In my last blog post, I discussed the strengths of effective college access programs for disadvantaged students. These strategies included serving entire schools, working with those not already planning to attend college, and engaging participants over a long time.

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The Unattainable in the Works of Virginia Woolf and Samuel Beckett: Altering My Focus

      I am entering my third week of researching the works of Virginia Woolf and Samuel Beckett. I have read the Beckett trilogy, including the books Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, and I have also read Woolf’s novels, The Waves, Between the Acts, and To the Lighthouse. I am currently reading Woolf’s The Voyage Out. I still need to re-read Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot, and read his novels, How It Is and Watt. Of Woolf’s work, I still need to read The Years.

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Initial Research and Some Faltering First Steps – “Producing an Album”

I never thought that my research was going to be easy. However, I did think that I could get the hang of the recording software I was using by watching a couple instructional videos and flipping through the pages of the books my music teacher loaned me. I thought the majority of my research would be done in the studio, honing my performance techniques and strategies to fit my audience and purpose. However, when I began to install and play around with ProTools, I realized that post-production would be the least of my worries this summer. I first learned that Avid, the company who licenses music software like Sibelius and ProTools, is extremely cautious about security. I even had to run to Guitar Center to purchase a third-party USB which held important authorization codes for ProTools. Then, when I went into my basement studio to experiment a little bit with my new recording apparatus, it took me a long time to figure out basic tasks such as adding a track and recording one track over another. The controls for ProTools are vastly different than Logic and GarageBand, the software I am already familiar with. However, this is just an added bonus! Learning ProTools will allow me to communicate on a higher level with fellow musicians and recording engineers, and I can’t wait to dive farther into my research. In order to surmount my current ignorance, I will be watching in-depth instructional videos about ProTools on Lynda.com and consulting my mentors in person about strategies that they use when they make use of the software. I think this project will lend itself to a healthy mix of both improvisation and structured learning to make discoveries about a new way to record and transmit my music.

The Neuroscience of Music Is More Complex Than I Thought

I began my research with a relatively simple question in mind; what is the evolutionary and biological purpose of music? Before delving into the material, I had the idea that there was maybe a couple of solid theories or a majority opinion. Science is generally a straightforward subject, so why should this be any different?

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Effectiveness of College Preparation Programs for Disadvantaged Students- Part 1

Introduction

Attending college makes a large difference in students’ lives, especially in terms of economic well-being. On average, Americans with a bachelor’s degree earn about $47,000 per year in after-tax income, compared with only $29,000 for high school graduates (Ma et al. 2016). Unfortunately, for those with low socioeconomic status, earning a bachelor’s degree is disproportionately difficult. In 2012, only 14% of young adults who came from a low-income background had earned a bachelor’s degree by their mid-twenties, compared with 29% of those with medium SES and 60% of those with high SES. Large gaps exist even between those with similar test scores (NCES 2015). Disadvantaged students need a stronger pathway of support to gain access to higher education.

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Constructed Language: Conclusion

Introduction

We now near the end of our long journey through the lore, technique, and arcana of constructed language. In the first week of my research, I studied existing constructed languages, ranging from the most useful (e.g., Esperanto) to the most abstruse (e.g., Ithkuil). I used what I found in my first 40 hours to guide the creation of my own constructed language. In this final blog post, I will discuss the outcome of my foray into the strange world of language construction.

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Cell Sorting: Conclusions and Future Directions

Final blog post!

I don’t really have much new science to discuss, since I already talked about methods and applications in my previous two posts. After reading endless amounts of literature, I’ve developed an opinion on the future of the field. Flow cytometry has been around for about a half-century now, and it’s barely changed at all. We’ve come up with ways to use multiple lasers and multiple detectors, to increase the number of biomarkers that can be measured, but it’s fundamentally similar. There are two routes I think that will lead to more progress that I haven’t discussed yet: microfluidics and imaging flow cytometry.

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