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electronic MUSICIAN



Nov 2

Written by: masterblogger
11/2/2010 3:38 AM  RssIcon

Music — The Gateway Drug?

Of all the weird Internet flaps that hit the world from time to time, the whole concept of i-drugs has to be one of the more unusual. Based on the theory of binaural beats—that certain sounds, when played back through headphones, can emulate the effect that different drugs have on the brain—i-drugs have become a new bogeyman for those who find things like the Internet and electronic music evil. Some go so far as to say that this type of sound serves as a kind of gateway drug, either by getting people more accepting of real drugs, or because if they don’t get the promised high from the i-drugs, they’ll go get real drugs.

News flash!! Music has been getting people high for centuries. Whether we’re talking about the pan pipers of Joujouka, electronic trance music, Dark Side of the Moon, or just someone getting all misty-eyed when they hear Cyndi Lauper sing “Time after Time,” music has profound effects on the brain. This is news?

I admit it: Bach makes me high. However, I never take off the headphones after listening to the Branderburgs and say, “Well, I guess I should go get some heroin now!” A lot of the fear-mongering seems to involve electronic music, like trance, techno, etc. Admittedly, these already have a reputation of being associated with drug use, particularly ecstasy. But seriously, it’s just music. I have yet to see a study that shows i-drugs provide anything more than a placebo effect, or that they create effects beyond what you’d get from listening to any trancey-type music when you’re relaxed and grooving with a pair of good headphones.

C’mon, watchdogs of the public good . . . you have many more important things to worry about than whether people playing synthesizers in studios are going to turn your kids into drug addicts. And to the readers of this magazine, all I can say is that if the music you make gets me as high as the Brandenburgs, more power to you—and thanks!

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