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PP: Music Theory's Ridiculous Fundamentals

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:13

    The complexity that exists when learning music theory formally is abundant. When a child learns how to play a note on the piano or on any instrument, they are taught to hear that specific sound and to associate it with a note name, such as F. Yet when learning music theory from a college student’s perspective, the idea behind “what is a note” and “what is a sharp”, are all asked. The importance behind such ideas are important to be formally addressed, but is it entirely necessary to be taught in order to understand music theory? At the end of the day, a child who has been playing the piano for half a year, can most likely tell an introductory music theory student what simple concepts are, such as what is a half note is, or what is a sharp. The way they express it might not be formal or coherent, but they still able to understand what these relatively simple concepts. It’s important to note that an understanding of music theory is not necessary in order to create music as well. For example, those who have been considered “musical legends” such as John Lennon, did not know how to read music until he was well into his career as a well-established musician. Thus, the idea that music theory is a necessity and must be as complex as it is in order to create music is incorrect, and albeit most likely unnecessary in a fair amount of cases.

Meaning of Home

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Fri, 02/22/2019 - 00:30

    For everyone, the meaning of home changes as they get older. As a child, home is where your parents and siblings are. As a young adult, it becomes the place where your significant other lies--and when you get older, the definition can lie basically anywhere. It doesn’t matter where or who or what, but inevitably we all have a place we can go back to. Yet what dictates the feeling of home? Why is it that we have that saying, but there isn’t a single word emotionally that can describe what that feeling of home is? Sure it’s warm, it’s happy, it’s safe, but most importantly none of these words completely encompass its feeling. Its location changes as we get older, and the people or person that it involves changes over time as well. Is it possible to have a home that doesn’t change, to the point where it’s stable and no matter who it is, can look at this said hypothetical thing and say “yes that is a home”.

Fast Food and the Science Behind it

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 21:06

    Food science is an interesting field that studies the molecular activity that is occurring at our food, and why our perceptions towards certain foods exists. This includes why we enjoy french fries so much, why the crunch of an apple tastes better than an apple without a crunch, or why we love it when a dorito is the perfect orange. Fast food and certain snack companies actually pay a significant amount in order to have scientists test their food products, and compare it to scientific theory in order to improve consumer revenue. For example, the reason why doritos are always crunchy is not an accident, neither is the reason why a bag of lays is always almost half full of air. When a person opens a bag of Lays chips, the air that gets escaped keeps the chips fresh, but also has a specific synthetically created “potato” smell that is supposed to make the eater a little more hungry and crave the chips a little more. That puff of air that hits your face is almost similar to pavlov’s experiment, where the end goal is to make the consumer used to that puff of air hitting their face whenever they crave a snack, and that will induce a behavior of grabbing (specifically) a bag of Lays.

Music Theory's Ridiculous Fundamentals

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Thu, 02/21/2019 - 20:27

    It’s interesting to realize the amount of complexity that exists when learning music theory formally. When a child learns how to play a note on the piano or on any instrument, we are taught to hear that specific sound and to associate it with a note name (such as F). Yet when learning music theory as a college student, the idea behind “what is a note” and “what is a sharp”, are all asked. The importance behind such ideas are important to be formally addressed, but is it entirely necessary in order to teach music theory? At the end of the day, a child who has been playing the piano for half a year, can most likely tell an introductory music theory student what simple concepts are, like what a half note is, or what a sharp is. The way they express it might not be formal or coherent, but they still understand what it is. It’s ridiculous to think that an understanding of music theory is necessary in order to make or create music. As an example, those who have been considered “musical legends” such as John Lennon, did not know how to read music until he was well into his career as a well-established musician.

The Power of Verbal Marketing

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 16:50

    For as long as I can remember I love cafes. I go often in order to study, and I find the smell of coffee very relaxing and stimulating. It’s in my opinion one of the most perfect places you can go to in order to study. For the longest time I enjoyed going to Cafe Nero, because my friends always recommended it. The interior is nice enough that I can get my work done, but from the countless times I’ve gone, I have never had a drink there that I’ve enjoyed. Yet even though I had never gotten a drink I liked, I still ended up going because my friends have always said “Cafe Nero is great”. Then for the first time yesterday, I went to a cafe that a lot of my friends have always said wasn’t good, and for a while I have actually avoided. Yet the drink I ordered was fantastic, the ambience was nice, and I got a lot of my work done. I was pleasantly surprised that I had been avoiding this place this entire time all because of verbal marketing, and would most likely have never have gone to if I wasn’t in dire need of a place to study the other day.

Culinary Passion and Mass Production

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Mon, 02/18/2019 - 18:30

    In terms of mass producing food for large groups of people, like in dining commons or buffets, it can be very difficult for cooks to feel a passion for cooking when the dishes are not made to order. Instead, in these kinds of environments the food is made in batches, and then kept warm in some form of a warmer until near closing. For a lot of cooks, that is probably one of the worst feelings, knowing that people are only going to be eating your food after it has been sitting for about an hour. Part of the passion that comes from cooking, is displaying a part of yourself that is a slice of your best self. In a dish there was thought and labor that was put into making the dish, and being able to eat it right when its finished so it can be eaten fresh is an important aspect of the dining experience. For your food to sit in a pan with seran wrap for an hour or two before being able to be eaten, affects how the food tastes overall. If a place like UMass Amherst wants to retain its spot for #1 dining for the college masses, a change could be implemented in order to keep the quality of the food fresher, while keeping the cooks of the hall more happy and passionate about their cooking. As of right now, the dining commons are using an outdated system (buffet style) in order to get food to the students, and a change should be implemented in order to maintain the quality and service that the title of #1 dining should have.

The Made up Theory of Splitters and Connectors; PP

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Fri, 02/15/2019 - 13:22

    The theory of splitters and connectors states that everyone lies on a spectrum between two extremes when it comes to logical thinking. One side of the spectrum is a group of people that are known as splitters, and they are people who tend to have more difficulty connecting ideas on their own accord. For example, if a child was taught how to subtract two large numbers using the traditional method, one child may ask “why do we have to carry the one?”. When the same concept is taught to a different child, that child might understand why without them having to ask. This second child is an example of the opposite side of the spectrum; a connector. A person who naturally is able to connect ideas without them being explicitly told. This concept is usually discussed about in regards with academics, but it can also relay into daily life as well. For example, a person may dine at a restaurant, and notice that due to their water glasses not consistently being filled up, they may complain explicitly about the service a busser or a server. Other people dining may notice that there are only two waiters in a restaurant seated for 40 people, and may think “they must be understaffed”, so they are able to sympathize and do not complain. Then there are those who before even walking in, notice there are only two waiters in a busy restaurant and decide to dine somewhere else. These three examples represent one person who is a splitter, another who is in the middle, and finally one who is a connector.

Commercial Capitalism and its Cultural Implications

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Wed, 02/13/2019 - 22:33

    In our society, there exists multiple cultural ideas that stemmed purely from commercial greed. For example, the idea that men must propose using a diamond ring, came about from western commercialism and the need to sell diamonds. Suddenly, diamonds are very expensive because of this tradition, even though most diamonds are actually surprisingly cheap. They’re constantly sold for thousands of times their actual worth; when in reality, even the most fancy diamonds are only worth three to four hundred dollars. The same thing goes for milk. Although it is true that milk contains a lot of calcium and vitamin D, it actually isn’t that healthy to drink. Yet through commercials and advertising, marketing companies were able to put a spin on the idea that milk is actually great for you. The reality is that milk is only good for you if your body is able to readily digest it, and that only goes for a very slight portion of the actual human population. For the most part, everybody is lactose intolerant to a certain degree, east asians especially. It’s incredibly to think that some of these traditions and ideas are not even a hundred years old yet, yet most people do not even think about it, and eventually believe that it’s been a cultural aspect of our society for centuries.

The Made up Theory of Splitters and Connectors

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Tue, 02/12/2019 - 21:03

    The theory of splitters and connectors goes like this, there are essentially two types of people, and it’s possible to be inside the spectrum between these two kinds. One type of these people are known as splitters, and they are people who tend to have more difficulty connecting ideas on their own accord. For example, if you were to teach a child how to subtract two large numbers using the traditional method, one child may ask “why do we have to carry the one?” when it makes sense to another child without them having to ask. This second child is an example of a connector. A person who naturally is able to connect ideas without them being explicitly told. This concept connects with academics, but it can also relay into our daily lives as well. For example, you can dine at a restaurant, and if you notice that you aren't getting water--some people may complain about the service explicitly to a busser or a server. Others may notice that there is only two waiters in a restaurant seated for 40 people, and may think to themselves “oh, they must be understaffed” so you are able to sympathize and not complain all together. Then there are those who before even walking in, notice there are only two waiters in a busy restaurant and decide not to dine there at all. These three examples represent one person who is a splitter, another who is in the middle, and finally one who is a connector.

The Reason for a Reason?

Submitted by tokiokobayas on Tue, 02/12/2019 - 18:31

    Why are people in need of a reason in order to start something? Why is a reason required in order to start doing something? Something as simple as getting up and starting to study, there’s a commonality that exists amongst most younger people where we like to start work when the time is at a even 5 or 0 (like 6:15, or 9:45). There’s no real reason behind it, we just do it because it “feels better” than starting at say, like 4:23. Do we need a reason to pick up the guitar, or to go out and meet new people? Do we need a reason to pursue a new career path because we’re fed up with our current jobs? I think it’s ridiculous that sometimes people search for a reason to start or end something, when in the end the happiness that’s derived from starting or ending something should be more than enough of a reason to do it.

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