Mixture - Quarterly MusiSci edition - August 2020

It's August - or well, it was yesterday - so it's time for Mixture to have a musisci theme again. Every three months, the regular monthly newsletter focuses exclusively on musicians and scientists. If you only get the quarterly newsletter, and you're curious about what happens in the months in between, you can update your preferences to receive those as well.

The reason this newsletter is late is that I wanted to wait until my interview with the Vienna Philharmonic was online. I spoke to one of the musicians and their physician who set up their own experiment to try to find out how droplets spread on stage. Their small research project was enough to convince the Austrian government to let them perform again. You can read the full story, as well as the results of a much larger study in the USA, in my latest Forbes post below.

After running their own research study, the Vienna Philharmonic has returned to rehearsals and performances. Around the world, other orchestras are following suit. They’re all guided by scientific research that’s very new, very preliminary and often organized or funded by music groups themselves.

When MC Hammer started tweeting about science and scientists a few weeks ago, he joined a long list of performing artists who have been using their platforms to highlight scientific research.

Music by MusiSci: Pardis Sabeti

Harvard infectious disease researcher Pardis Sabeti is also the lead singer of the band Thousand Days. She recently published this video that the band filmed in 2014, in the Harvard dorms (when there were still students around and nobody wore face masks!)

Book recommendation

Guitar Zero
Gary Marcus

When neuroscientist Gary Marcus learned to play guitar as an adult, he chronicled the entire learning process and explains the science behind learning music.

Interesting things