Saturday, August 13, 2005

More news to put you to sleep, from the Baby-C World Service

Apparently, Britain is a hotbed of research into music's ability to put people to sleep. Recently, the 19 Minutes staff spotlighted the work of a University of Sheffield researcher, who compiled a list of songs and musical genres especially suited to keeping drivers awake or putting them to sleep.

We're pleased to report that there's more work from the British Isles to check out. The 19 Minutes staff caught a report on the BBC World Service's Science in Action the other night on a concert and discussion in London for babies and their parents. The concert, presumably, was for the babies and the subsequent discussion for the parents. (Though here at the home office, we regularly experience the opposite - listening to say, a CD by the Gear Daddies, and then getting a prolongued and entirely unintelligible lecture from our 14-month old daughter. Most recently, she's taken to adding throaty sounds that give the effect of an extremely small person speaking Yiddish.)

The report - or at least the sources in the report - made the perfectly reasonable contention that different songs and styles of music have divergent effects on the mood of a baby. There weren't a lot of concrete examples, but the "natural sound" (the radio term for what listeners refer to as "those background noises") in the piece included a classical rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star", giving us an epiphany when we realized "Twinkle et al" and the Alphabet Song are the same melody. (Amazing!)

We would have immediately employed the Alphabet Song in an effort to get Sylvi to sleep when we got home except for two key reasons:

First, the reason we were driving the car in the first place was in an effort to get Sylvi to fall asleep, and 2) She had already fallen asleep, thanks to the BBC story on music and babies.

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On another note (har!), the 19 Minutes staff is heading out for a couple of days to the Land of Many Bratwursts, which may or may not put a dent in our ability to blog. At the very least, subsequent posts may come with a side of sauerkraut.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hope y''al had a very Happy Thanksgiving!