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SELL-OUT OR CENSORSHIP Under The U.S. Corporate Radio Music Model

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posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:04 PM
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We weren't a glam band. We had to put on that kind of stuff to play the clubs. -Rex Brown


Here I'd like to call focus not to the censorship of profanity and the like, but rather the corporate control over what is even considered for the radio. I'm forever convinced this is the most unrecognized form of censorship in the United States. It's challenging even finding works criticizing it, from which to pull juicy citations to really drive this thing home.

I've called it many things, such as the "Corporate Controlled Music Model", which mainly centers around MTV, the radio stations, the "Single Release Model" the industry uses to control who gets on the radio & MTV. The guts of this system involve the Billboard "charts", which are tied into the Nielsen SoundScan system.

Many simply refer to it as "selling out". Consider Kid Rock: he had his own label in the 90's, and put out many albums under it. In Detroit he was well known, but he never got national airtime or recognition because he was on his own independent label. Then in 1997 he sold out to Sony, at which point his old songs ceased to exist, that is until he re-released them under Sony. In the year 2000 he was nominated for the "Best New Artist" Grammy Award. That was a real slap in the face of reality considering the had been putting out albums since 1990!

Another key example from that same 'Kid Rock was a "new" artist era was with Korn's album of the time. Note that back then there were music CD stores in the malls, and when you'd walk in there was a whole wall of "Single's". "Single's" were the same crap as on the albums you could already buy, and were the same old songs that got played literally every single hour on the radio). SO with this Korn album, we had all been listening to it on a loop at our hangouts from the day it came out. Fast forward nearly a year, for several days on the radio they kept announcing a "new" Korn song was coming out later that week. Well we all waited and then it "came out": a song we had been listening to for about 10 months! Of course a new MTV video came with it that week.

Now consider Classic Rock. If you've ever worked construction then odds are you're entirely familiar with how they play the same songs by the hour as if it was 30 years ago. About 15 years ago, on the job, I heard that Kiss had made a new album, and yet on the radio stations that played Kiss all day not a single song was ever played all day out there. Not once! I'd ask the old timers and they'd say "well that must mean nobody wants to hear it".

And there it is: the corporate radio big wigs decide for us what is "pop" (popular). Not even the Classic Rock stations are free of the Corporate Controlled Music Model, the 'Single Release Model', or whatever you want to call it. Note that back then I had seen a statistic that some 10,000 new songs per year were recorded in the US, yet on the radio they somehow only have the time to play the same songs every hour. Before a big construction job this year, I had gone some 15 years without hardly hearing the radio music for more than a few hours total. Imagine my surprise when I played the thing quite a bit this year and heard Nirvana nearly every hours on the hour (along with the other same exact songs).

That 10,000 new songs per year were recorded in the US figure didn't even account for election musicks, I doubt. The world of electronic music is a diverse as all other types of music on the radio combined, yet to the masses its all just "techno" (despite the fact that Techno is but one very distinct form of 'techno', from Detroit).

What this exposes is the situation were 'non-vocal music' is essentially banned from the radio, where only "songs" are permitted.

In my experience, not many people have even thought this part of the ordeal out, but to me its where all of the above comes to a head: Songs are what I call "Voluntary Brainwashing". This is a term I came up with about 20 years ago, as a teen, before the Internet was much of anything impressive or accessible.

Go play the radio for a few hours. Play any station besides the Classical (piano) station. They say Classical music elicits higher thinker, I say its because its music without lyrics. Go play the songs, and you will see. They all have the same structure: Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus. In the world of Hip hop they have a far less euphemistic word for "Chorus"... they call it the "Hooks". And for good reason: it's what gets you hooked (the model itself, not the content).

Half the songs you might play you can probably hardly follow along with the verses, but the hooks allow you to sing along. Ever get a song STUCK in your head? Well now you're starting to get the point.

So now on the Classic Rock station, same old songs. What's going on there, well besides the issue of the content of the songs (essentially every song that gets approved for radio play), I call it being about keeping people 'stuck on stupid'. Note, like the 'Nirvana station', they play the same exact songs as the ones we listened to as young dumb teens. Infantile'ization of the masses is the goal of it all that I see, especially when you factor in the content of the songs themselves.


For the most part the songs on the radio have very little actual meaning, or they follow other agendas. Look at the world of Hip Hop (Rap and R&B): the songs tend to be all about hyper-masculinity obsessed bling bling (consumerism identity), and or sex. Basic impulses is the obsession the music industries are pushing. Although in the past decade plus, with Rock its taken a different turn, where 'tough' Rock has been mostly negated down into "Emo", where obsessing over girly pants and hair do's and skin products is the new generation that has been crafted thanks to the MTV component (not unlike the glam band days of the 80's past). But with the new Emo kick, now the kids want to cut themselves if their wardrobe isn't up to MTV par. I shudder to even think of what it'd be like in high school these days regardless of the racial mix (and that's before even getting into any of this new "SJW" stuff).

So in review, its all about suppression of the free intellectual human spirit, in my view, is what this "Corporate Controlled Music Model" is really all about. And on that note the Media Ownership Model in the U.S. is "where it at".


Every music-formatted radio station, both commercial and non-commercial, has a Music Director and Program Director. The Music Director (MD) is the main contact for a record label’s Promo Rep. The Music Director’s immediate boss is usually the station’s Program Director. The PD is responsible for everything that goes out over the air and reports directly to the station’s General Manager. These General Managers (GMs) are then, in turn, responsible for the entire operation of a station and report directly to the owners of the station. www.musicbizacademy.com...



Well who owns the stations? The same people that own all the labels (as well as the "News", newspapers, magazines, book publishing, and so on). Not quite as bad as only having "Two Party's", but then again those same Big 6 are all up in the guts of that whole process too.

[qute]Freedom? Yeah right! -Rage Against The Machine


edit on 15-12-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I don't think it is censorship per se, but that radio tends to cater to corporate interest. In your example, a lot of artists are known locally or regionally, but it isn't until they sign with a major record label for distribution and promotion that they truly break onto the national scene. This is a big part of the advantage of large record labels.

Much like your Korn example, a lot of hip hop artist were making waves locally well before they were known nationally and attracted the attention of large record labels who put up money to distribute and promote nationally. A lot of times, it helps artist cross over to other audiences.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:32 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Okay, so they dont keep you from doing local shows, and having a local following. They just keep you off the radio, off the TV and off the charts. That's called SELL-OUT OR CENSORSHIP, especially the part where if you're music doesn't fit the mind numbing mold, odds are you'll never be given the chance to even sell out. The only 2 examples outside of this dictation would be System of a Down, and Rage Against The Machine, which I call blow off valves. All the rest is mind numbingly pointless. I have endless examples, and I dont even listen to or watch the 'damn thing'.

Fear Factory is one easy example that comes to mind.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

People still listen to the radio? I have tons of gigs of music (90 some percent of which you'd never hear on the radio) and I can put that whole list on shuffle and get weeks of music without rehearing a song. If I don't have access to that, I have access to my phone which has internet radio stations where I can literally design my own stations to play what I want to hear. Why are you still listening to the radio?



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

The Grateful Dead existed near 20 years before getting critical acclaim with their In the Dark album. They stayed true to their fans the whole time. Hell the most controversial moment in their careers when talking about selling out was when they played on SNL. That was apparently selling out to Dead heads.

Or let's talk about Pearl Jam. Do you know the story about Pearl Jam versus Ticketmaster?

Pearl Jam had never been more popular than they were in early 1994. Armed with that sense of invincibility, the Seattle band set about taking on a concert industry behemoth in Ticketmaster.

Pearl Jam charged that Ticketmaster, which in 1991 gobbled up its principal competitor in Ticketron, had effectively created a monopoly — and thus could pile on whatever it wanted in additional service fees, driving up the price for concerts. Pearl Jam wanted to charge no more than $18.50 for tickets in ’94, with service fees of no more than $1.80. Ticketmaster balked, saying that it needed at least $2 in fees simply to cover its own costs.

Eddie Vedder and company weren’t just paying lip service: They hired the Manhattan-based law firm Sullivan and Cromwell, and on May 6, 1994, they filed an official complaint with the Justice Department, leading to testimony from bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossard before Congress. Ticketmaster’s CEO, Fred Rosen, shot back, “If Pearl Jam wants to play for free, we’ll be happy to distribute their tickets for free.” Time magazine referred to the anti-trust-focused legal battle as “Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Holy War.”

Pearl Jam ended up skipping a summer tour that year as the battle raged — no small thing, considering the celebrated reception the group’s two most recent albums (1991’s Ten and 1993’s Vs.) had received. They tried, mostly for naught, to book into venues that weren’t associated with Ticketmaster.

Sure they ultimately lost that battle, but to this day Pearl Jam fans have DEEP respect for Eddie Vedder and his band for what he tried to do. BTW Vedder is a big time anti-establishment person. Saw PJ live once in 2011 and during the middle of the concert he went on a drunken tirade against the bankers that caused the 2008 crash and capped off by saying, "if you are a banker you should just kill yourself!"
edit on 15-12-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Most people who still listen to the radio are people who remember going to Tower Records and purchasing CDs. So the Nirvana grunge era is who the rock radio stations caters to. But even with sites like Pandora your only getting songs that the label wants to release. It is sad because there is s lot of really good artist out there, yet as a true artist if their desire is to make the pop charts then they must cater their art to the masses our allow their art to be manipulated to feed the masses.

A good example of radio play time censorship can be seen in the Christian music industry. They have that music scene so tight you can't forget to say Godbless you if someone sneezed. There are great artist who are Christians that make good music that ask tough questions about faith and talk about real life dirty struggles of a christian in the world. Yet only thing on radio is the sanitized sanctified warm fuzzy songs, (Positive and encouraging), nothing wrong with that but it starts to water down their impact when it's heard over and over.

To relate back to your post. The media has so much power to create any narrative they want. That power used to be by records sells where more sells equal more play time. But now it's like the chicken or the egg. The recod sells come from more playtime.

Thanks for your perspective. And reading my ramblings.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:55 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: Edumakated

Okay, so they dont keep you from doing local shows, and having a local following. They just keep you off the radio, off the TV and off the charts. That's called SELL-OUT OR CENSORSHIP, especially the part where if you're music doesn't fit the mind numbing mold, odds are you'll never be given the chance to even sell out. The only 2 examples outside of this dictation would be System of a Down, and Rage Against The Machine, which I call blow off valves. All the rest is mind numbingly pointless. I have endless examples, and I dont even listen to or watch the 'damn thing'.

Fear Factory is one easy example that comes to mind.


It isn't intentional. Record companies and radio stations are businesses. They want to play what is going to garner the most listeners. As such, they often are conservative in terms of what they think will play well with an audience. In addition, combine this conservative attitude with the fact that there is limited time to play any and every act that wants some air play, you are only going to get a few select acts getting air time. Those that get the air time are usually going to be the acts that are being pushed by larger label A&Rs and marketing departments who have the connections to get a song on the air.

Any producer, radio DJ, A&R, or anyone that works in the industry will tell you the are overwhelmed with people trying to get their demo or song on the air. Most often have stories of how they overlooked some act and they wind up being the biggest artist of the year or some massively successful group.

Truly great artist will breakout at some point. Often times it just takes the right person to hear them OR they may spend years underground and they just happen to make one song that has cross over appeal and BOOM, they are all of a sudden mainstream.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Flagged for the Rex Brown quote!

Show me a monetized system and I'll show you droves who will work without passion. - JinMi

Music is an area that has been able to break the mold and evolve. With Netflix and Hulu etc TV shows are being able to get out of the norms as well. Black Mirror anyone?

Radio, TV, MSM, movie theaters...all want your eyes, ears, money and thoughts.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 01:59 PM
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originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

People still listen to the radio? I have tons of gigs of music (90 some percent of which you'd never hear on the radio) and I can put that whole list on shuffle and get weeks of music without rehearing a song. If I don't have access to that, I have access to my phone which has internet radio stations where I can literally design my own stations to play what I want to hear. Why are you still listening to the radio?


I don't listen to the radio anymore. I remember hearing about great albums and artists word of mouth. Going to Tower Records or Virgin or my local hole in the wall record store and browsing new albums. At this point, I pretty much just listen to 80s, 90s, and some early 2000s stuff on spotify/slacker.

Music these days is horrible imho. We lament about the gate keepers preventing good acts, but unfortunately with youtube and social media nowadays, especially in hip hop, anybody can be an "artist". Make a catchy hook and you have a hit single. Most of these buffoons couldn't make an album if their lives depended on it.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: Edumakated

Music isn't horrible these days. Music is as good as it has ever been. If not better. Live music is making a HUGE revival for one within the last 10 - 20 years. But for every GOOD act there are 100 more that are mediocre or even garbage. This was a level of research that the normal listener isn't used to when radio execs control the playlists, but when you control your own music destiny you need to have the acquired tastes and know how to pick out the good from the bad. But this doesn't mean that music is WORSE per say.

I have PLENTY albums from bands that came out in the last 10 to 20 years. You probably haven't heard of many of them, but if it's good I want to listen to it regardless of year of release or genre.
edit on 15-12-2016 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 02:43 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I feel your pain and I'm not sure where it can go from here radio/tv-wise, but with internet radio almost mainstream now, I think the listeners (anyone above 25-30?) will eventually turn to it for the reasons you state. I'm from the uk where we get the same Kiss, Heart, locally branded rubbish but also the BBC which by and large is a saviour of decent daytime music for the masses. 6 Music can be heard anywhere on the webs (but not DAB due to range), now that we campaigned against the bigwigs trying to shut it down a few years back.

Also at our workplace we're streaming internet by Bluetooth speakers if the selection gets too niche, so any sounds are covered. I prefer straight up electronic myself but for working background soundtrack, 6 Music works just fine.

Below is a taster of a standard day's play (today)...come and join in, anytime.



Las Kellies live in session

Ramones- Merry Christmas (I Don't Want to Fight Tonight)

Car Seat Headrest- Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales

Baloji- Spoiler

Unknown Mortal Orchestra- Can't Keep Checking My Phone

Tami Lynn- I'm Gonna Run Away From You

Pretenders- Alone

Alex Izenberg- To Move On

Ride- Twisterella (6 Music Session, 20 May 2015)

Laura Marling- Soothing

Chuck Berry- Run Rudolph Run

Brenda Lee- Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree

Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters- Mele Kalikimaka

Ella Fitzgerald
Sleigh Ride

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass- Winter Wonderland

Otis Redding- Merry Christmas Baby

Kay Starr- (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag

MJ Cole- Sincere

Run The Jewels- Talk to Me

Love Bug Star-Ski & Harlem World Crew- Positive Life

Albert King- Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'

Dutch Uncles- Big Balloon

Ms. Dynamite- Dy-Na-Mi-Tee

The Chemical Brothers- C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l

Roman Andrén- Rain King (Oba Ojo) Jean Claude Gavri Remix

Grace Jones- My Jamaican Guy

Elliott Smith- Waltz #2 (XO)

Rufus & Chaka Khan- Tell Me Something Good

The Beat- Side To Side (feat. Ranking Roger)

Las Kellies- Sugar Beat (6 Music Session, 15 Dec 2016)

Sonic Youth- Silver Rocket

Shame- Gold Hole

Bon Iver- 00000 Million

Aretha Franklin- Don't Play That Song (You Lied)

Las Kellies- Summer Breeze (6 Music Session, 15 Dec 2016)

Kate Tempest- Breakfast

The La’s- There She Goes

Whyte Horses- The Snowfalls

Senseless Things- Back To Nowhere

Flo Morrissey & Matthew E White- Look at What The Light Did Now

Krush- House Arrest

Sinkane- U'Huh

Jagwar Mar- Ordinary

Laurel Aitken- Big Fat Man - BBC Session 28/04/1980

The Smashing Pumpkins- Tonight, Tonight

Oasis- Merry Xmas Everybody

Nancy Ames- I Don't Want To Talk About It

Run The Jewels- Talk to Me

Jenny and Johnny- Big Wave

Radiohead- The Bends

Vida Sophia- I Never Surf

Stevie Lange- Remember My Name

The Beat- Side To Side (feat. Ranking Roger)

Soho- Hippychick

Ultimate Painting- Monday Morning, Somewhere Central

Bon Iver- 22 (OVER S∞∞N)

Tom Tom Club- Genius Of Love

Wasuremono- Cuddling

The Wedding Present- Holly Jolly Hollywood

The Doors- Hello I Love You



Over on THE mainstream station Radio 1: here's whats playing right now....



THEY.- What You Want

You Me at Six- Swear

Cassius- Go Up (feat. Pharrell Williams & Cat Power)

Biffy Clyro- Wolves Of Winter

Childish Gambino- 3005 (Friction Remix)

Nadia Rose- Tight Up (feat. Red Rat)

Sunflower Bean- I Was Home

Kings of Leon- Find Me

Solange- Cranes In The Sky

Solange- Mad (feat. Lil Wayne)

Pulled Apart by Horses- The Big If

MIST- Ain't The Same

ALMA- Dye My Hair

Shakka- Inner London (feat. Giggs)

Major Lazer & DJ Snake- Lean On (feat. MØ)

RAYE- Timmer Turner (feat. Stefflon Don)

INHEAVEN- Treats

Lower Than Atlantis- Dumb (Radio 1 Session, 13 Dec 2016)

Emeli Sandé- Garden (feat. Jay Electronica & Áine Zion)

Rex Orange County- UNO

Yogi- Blow You Up (feat. AlunaGeorge & Less Is More)

The Amazons- Little Something



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 03:06 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

The verse/chorus/bridge structure is but one popular song form. It wasn't created by bankers or execs or government spooks. It was created by writers and musicians because it works.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss



And there it is: the corporate radio big wigs decide for us what is "pop" (popular).


I disagree. You will often find that it is corporate radio "big wigs" that like to piggy-back on the popular trends that are coming out of local music scenes that have caught-on. We've seen that happen with R&B, grunge, dirty Southern blues, etc.

They see a potential market value and find ways to exploit it, whether that be by signing bands and musicians already known in that genre or by forming studio bands that will mimic that style, record albums and tour.



They all have the same structure: Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus. In the world of Hip hop they have a far less euphemistic word for "Chorus"... they call it the "Hooks". And for good reason: it's what gets you hooked (the model itself, not the content).


Have you ever studied music theory? It varies from genre to genre, but certain theories or progressions are popular, or more appealing to the ear.

In blues, the 12-bar/1-4-5 progression is the most popular. It is what has helped define blues sound for years. But you can't just stand on stage and play a 1-4-5 blues riff and expect to "hook" people. That is where the artistic talents of the player come in to play. You can take a simple theory and put your own style or flavor to the progression and make it sound different than what anyone else plays.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 03:57 PM
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edit on 15-12-2016 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 05:14 PM
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a reply to: MiddleInitial

Banksters don't design main battle tanks, but they sure do know how to rape both host & foreign nations via the Military Industrial Complex. This concept runs just the same with our Corporate masters and their notoriously ruthless music industry, which in practice has to be about the sleaziest dealings industry on both the business side and the business end.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

Point taken. I interpreted the OP to mean "these forms were created for nefarious purposes", to which I gave my .02.

Though there is something that needs to be pointed out: tanks, regardless of who deploys them, are inherently designed as death-machines. Popular song forms do not share this design feature.
edit on 15-12-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Kowtowed too early



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 06:22 PM
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originally posted by: introvert

Have you ever studied music theory? It varies from genre to genre, but certain theories or progressions are popular, or more appealing to the ear.


To corroborate your point (and add to mine, also on page one of this thread), those most-used progressions (I - IV - V, ii - V - I, I - V - vi - IV, etc.) are based partly on the harmonic overtone series itself, a naturally occurring phenomenon and really a lynchpin that makes music (as we know it) possible. It wasn't created for the purposes of mass mind-control, not to say that one couldn't harness the natural power of this property and exploit it (in conjunction with social and economic power) towards nefarious ends. In fact, I'd agree that the latter point does indeed occur. Turns out, music is an excellent way to transmit information.



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 06:32 PM
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a reply to: MiddleInitial

Well said. Dig this:

Radio Music As Mind Control



posted on Dec, 15 2016 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I'm going to read the linked thread later, but I wanted to add one thing pertaining to how I think subtle mind control does occur, and has since (roughly) WWII. This pertains specifically to vocal styles in pop music.

Nowadays, much of pop music (from Nirvana to Adele) features - front and center - a vocal style that is detrimental to the health and function of the human voice. In bygone chapters in (at least) American music, this is plainly untrue - even in "non-cultivated styles" like country.

Neuroscience has firmly established the fact of "behavioral mirroring" - whereby one observer's neural activity mimics the neural activity of the observed (who is performing such and such activity) even though the observer is not engaged physically in the same activity. For example, a non-performing pianist watches another pianist perform music. The first non-performer experiences neural activity in the same center of the brain. We all basically knew this, anyways, through sayings like "monkey see, monkey do". With enough exposure, your brain plasticizes to the reality you're exposed to, good or bad.

Why does the music industry want people to experience a tightening, restricting quality in their voices? Proper singing is anatomically (but interestingly, not neurologically) identical to proper speech. I think it's a deeper rabbit hole than many would care to admit.
edit on 15-12-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Edit to add




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