Our Creative Nature

A podcast-style interview with host-conductor ANDREW MINEAR and Orlando-based composer KEITH LAY. Presented at the Florida ACDA Conference Friday October 27, 2023.

Listed below are links to scientific articles, studies, and videos for those that would like a deeper dive on some of the topics discussed during the session:

Science of the Heart [article link]

This is a nicely scaffolded synopsis of new heart science for the layperson from the HeartMath Institute. This is long, but the most profound of this batch of articles.

There are many short videos from HearthMath that are useful in developing a basic understanding of heart-brain coherence. This is a state that choirs and ensembles can collectively attain when they’ve learned their music, are no longer struggling with technique, and are able to generate collective emotions/gestures/energy and (hopefully) lyrics for a truly memorable musical/interpersonal experience.

VIDEO LINK: What Is Personal Heart Coherence?

This one is for everyone, but especially for all of us as music community leaders:
VIDEO LINK: Beyond Logic: Exploring the Science of Intuition and the Heart’s Pivotal Role


Into the Hive Mind [article link]

Music structure determines heart rate variability of singers [article link]

It Takes Two- Interpersonal Neural Synchrony Is Increased after Musical Interaction [article link]

Synchronization of Human Autonomic Nervous System Rhythms with Geomagnetic Activity in Human Subjects – MDPI [article link]

Heart Rate Variability Synchronizes When Non-experts Vocalize Together (abstract):

Singing and chanting are ubiquitous across World cultures. It has been theorized that such practices are an adaptive advantage for humans because they facilitate bonding and cohesion between group members. Investigations into the effects of singing together have so far focused on the physiological effects, such as the synchronization of heart rate variability (HRV), of experienced choir singers. Here, we study whether HRV synchronizes for pairs of non-experts in different vocalizing conditions. Using time-frequency coherence (TFC) analysis, we find that HRV becomes more coupled when people make long (> 10s) sounds synchronously compared to short sounds (< 1s) and baseline measurements (p < 0.01). Furthermore, we find that, although most of the effect can be attributed to respiratory sinus arrhythmia, some HRV synchronization persists when the effect of respiration is removed: long notes show higher partial TFC than baseline and breathing (p < 0.05). In addition, we observe that, for most dyads, the frequency of the vocalization onsets matches that of the peaks in the TFC spectra, even though these frequencies are above the typical range of 0.04–0.4Hz. A clear correspondence between high HRV coupling and the subjective experience of “togetherness” was not found. These results suggest that since autonomic physiological entrainment is observed for non-expert singing, it may be exploited as part of interventions in music therapy or social prescription programs for the general population.