The Most Relaxing Tune Ever Or Really Bad Elevator Music?

Scientists in England have declared the tune below to be the most relaxing tune in the history of human civilization. Aside from the expected lawsuit from Kenny G, the claim is based on a study of 40 women (no men) that selected the tune over pieces by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay. The claim is that “Weightless” can produce a trance-like calm. Much like Gingrich at a Tea Party Convention.

The exclusion of men may be explained by the funding corporation for the study: bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa.

“Weightless” is designed by specialists to use particular frequencies and pattern that causes “entrainment” where brainwaves and heart rate synchronise with the rhythm.

One issue that is worth exploring is whether there is a gender difference between what women and men find relaxing. Leslie often complains about my tendency to watch cowboy and war movies before bed as not relaxing while relationship films tend to add to my stress. My suspicions were heightened by the claim that the music is even more relaxing that a “massage, walk or cup of tea.” I am from the Midwest where a massage is considered third base and I generally do not drink tea.

Many of the top songs in history appear to have come from the last ten years. I guess we are just a more relaxed generation. Just for the record, here are the top 10 most relaxing tunes with a few instant reviews:

1. Marconi Union – Weightless — this is low key to be sure but it disturbingly reminds me of the music played to Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson) in the suicide chamber in the movie Soylent Green.

2. Airstream – Electra — this one I also like though so mellow that it is almost catatonic.

3. DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) — I am not sure about English women but this one sent my dog Molly running around the room when I played it this morning. I think it is the chimes, but she was not relaxed.

4. Enya – Watermark — this one I like and have heard before.

5. Coldplay – Strawberry Swing — which shows a hyper-kinetic individual and one of the least popular Coldplay tunes.

6. Barcelona – Please Don’t Go — which I truly hate and would lead me to pounding out my brains on the bathtub rim.

7. All Saints – Pure Shores — which comes with a very spooky, unnerving video that leave you thinking you are being stalked by anemic women.

8. Adele Someone Like You — which I like but it is interesting that one of the top ten songs in the history of the World just got on the charts in the last few months.

9. Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria — which is song in this video by two over-wrought women in a video that looks like a musical version of Little Women.

10. Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly — which I find at points more annoying than relaxin.

Do you have any alternative suggestions? (Muscrat Love nominations will be crushed by the management)
Here is the top most relaxing tune: Soundcloud
WARNING TO NOT OPERATE HEAVY MACHINERY OR DRIVE DURING THE ENJOYMENT OF THIS TUNE

Of course, if these songs result in the claimed trance-like effect in bathtubs, they should be called “Songs To Drown By.”

Source: Shortlist

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25 thoughts on “The Most Relaxing Tune Ever Or Really Bad Elevator Music?”

  1. Pete, I have been forever tainted by the “More Cowbell” skit – I can’t hear a song with cowbell that I don’t flash on Chris Walken/more cowbell. It haunts me. Even things like flaccid political rhetoric sets off a mental statement of (it needs) “more cowbell” in my head. I think I have been irreparably broken in some fundamental way by that skit and the meme it spun off. Happened again yesterday in the car while listening to a song with cowbell, broke the mental rhythm completely.

    As to being valid criticism for the music listed, why yes, it would have benefited from more cowbell. My other thought was that there just aren’t enough drugs to make them entertaining. Or restful.

    Maybe that’s just me, though AngryManSpeaks appears to share my response to much of the music.

    —-

    Man, I did not like any of the music selections posted.

    Cafe Del Mar/Please don’t go did go to a UTube page with a ‘related’ link to the 5th Element Diva Dance so I followed it to the long version and played it a couple of times – LOUD – to sanitize my poor brain, overwrought by then from the irritating music that had gone before. It wasn’t at all relaxing but it was convenient and cleansing.

    It’s almost 1:00am on Christmas Eve here so happy holidays all.

    Diva Plavalaguna (voice of Inva Mula) The Fifth Element FULL DANCE

  2. “It’s beat is that of a resting heart rate that gradually slows over the course of the song.” (Gene) … we also use that technique in yoga (counting the pulse beats and then slowing the count) and if you notice, very good salespersons start off talking in the rhythm the mark uses and then gradually slow the beat of the conversation down to a more relaxed heartbeat … very effective in overcoming resistance.

  3. You are welcome, Angryman.

    Also, in re Adele, I don’t find that song particularly relaxing – it’s progressively upbeat (the tempo increases over time for about 2/3 of the song) – but she has the voice of an angel and I’m a sucker for red heads . . . so there you have it.

  4. Angryman,

    “1) If the rythym alone; without the “melody” wouldn’t produce the same effect? If not why not? What is the function of the frequency variation as opposed to the function of the steady rhythmic pattern?”

    First, yes. Second, not germane in light of the first answer, but white noise is an effective aid to the process and in its own right can induce the same effect, usually just not as quickly. Third, the function of decreasing the frequency is inducing a slower rate of sympathetic response. A steady state can be used to induce a meditative state that may lead to a pre-sleep state naturally, but frequency degradation aids in reaching that state faster.

    “2) Would it not be possible; by slowly decreasing the rate and increasing the intensity of the auditory suggestion; to change a Sleep Machine into a Death Machine? Would not the lowering of consciousness during the early stages make one more suseptable to the suggestion and therefore force a spiral of decreased resistence and increased intensity that would continue until the Heart stopped completely? Is there some sort of internal emergency alarm that would prevent this?”

    First, no. Once you lose consciousness your autonomic nervous system assumes complete control. Second, possibly. Similar mechanisms are used to induce hypnotic states. What is mediation other than a form of self-induced hypnosis? However, once the threshold of consciousness is passed your body would take over the sleep process as normal. The “internal alarm” is loss of consciousness. Once unconscious, you are totally at the mercy of your autonomic nervous system. Since it is set up to keep you breathing, etc., unless you have some condition like sleep apnea, you run little risk of dying in your sleep. Sleep is sleep, machine aided induction aside. Now contrast this to drugs to help you sleep. In it’s extreme form, that’s called anesthesia. Anesthesia is inherently dangerous. Usually the most dangerous part of any surgery. Chemically rendering someone unconscious can always have unintended effects as everybody’s body chemistry is not only complex, but unique. The sleep induced by anesthesia is not natural because it relies upon chemical suppression of the autonomic nervous system.

  5. angrymanspeaks 1, December 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    O-O-K Big Guy,

    I think I’ll just let my Homeo, stasis right as it is cause that there Phaser input just don’t sound like it could be a gooood thing. Kno-ut-ah-mean partner?
    =================================
    Anger is usually the breath from the southern end of a north bound camel my son.

    1. Dredd,
      Perhaps. Yes; perhaps. But it just goes to show that even the Camel has something to share.

      Gene,
      Thank you. I see now. That makes sense. There is something almost poetic about it. The body; in the grips of an almost irresistable cycle; which unless stopped could conceivably end in it’s demise is saved by a state of unconsciousness rather than a state of conscious alarm. I like it.

  6. O-O-K Big Guy,

    I think I’ll just let my Homeo, stasis right as it is cause that there Phaser input just don’t sound like it could be a gooood thing. Kno-ut-ah-mean partner?

    I understand that the mind hence the body will naturally adjust itself to environmental rythyms and suggestions as with the need to urinate more often when sleeping next to a running stream.

    I wonder two things.
    1) If the rythym alone; without the “melody” wouldn’t produce the same effect? If not why not? What is the function of the frequency variation as opposed to the function of the steady rhythmic pattern?
    2) Would it not be possible; by slowly decreasing the rate and increasing the intensity of the auditory suggestion; to change a Sleep Machine into a Death Machine? Would not the lowering of consciousness during the early stages make one more suseptable to the suggestion and therefore force a spiral of decreased resistence and increased intensity that would continue until the Heart stopped completely? Is there some sort of internal emergency alarm that would prevent this?
    ***************************************************************************************
    And now because I presumptuously, arrogantly and self-righteously assume anyone cares:

    1) Marconi Union-Weightless- As music No. As a phycological tool I can see how it might work. I would think the volume should be low to avoid the annoyance of the electronic niose that this piece actually is.

    2) Airstream-Electra- Boring; with a few brighter moments

    3) DJ Shaw- Mellomaniac- Now this one I liked. It has a nice easy beat that sort of lulls you into a meditative state. It’s simple to tap along to even if you aren’t very musical and more elaborately if you are. the effect is the same. Good one.

    4) Enya-Watermark- Too big; too powerful to relax me. Just the opposite. Boring too.

    5) Cold Play-Strawberry Swing- best left unswung. Has lyrics. If I want something strictly to relax; it won’t have words

    6) Barcelona-Please Don’t Go- Please No. Lyrics again. And a sqeaky voice to boot. Also tediously mind numbing but not in a good, relaxing way

    7)All Saints-Pure Shores- Dear God; this was a joke entry; right? The less said the better.

    8) Adele-Someone Like You- I know this one and I think it is a beautiful song. I may have to back peddle a smidge here and say that even though it has vocals; it does relax me. Imagine that. I think it may be the quality of her voice. Although it’s very powerful too. I don’t know. How about you Gene?

    9) Mozart- Canzonetta Sull’aria- No. I love Mozart and some opera but not this one. Sorry No.

    10) Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly- Kind of nice. Relaxing? Yes I think so.

  7. All links worked for me.

    There was only one that I could listen to all the way through and it was definitely relaxing: Mozart’s Canzonetta Sull’aria. I would put this on constant replay until the water was cold.

    The rest were either depressing, boring or annoying. I like Adele but not this song. I would get out of the tub to shut them off.

    My nominee: Hymn for Unbelievers.

  8. raff – Funny you should mention that song (96 tears, 96 years). I suggested that song be played to a client who was planning on turning down an offer for 10 years, as opposed to 96 if found guilty (lots of “bitch” – habitual – charges to be added if it went to trial). Judge surprised us all when he said that one one count, we and the DA were wrong, it was mandatory life. Client went from “fuck the deal” to “give me the pen…”

  9. “Weightless” works for very scientific reasons. (nod) It’s beat is that of a resting heart rate that gradually slows over the course of the song. (snort) The keyboards set up a drone and unstructured melody – effectively white noise. (zzzzzzz) I built a “sleep machine” as teen from an electronics projects book. When finished, it did essentially the same thing. (drool) The sound works as an aural phasic input influencing sympathetic nervous system to synchronize the rest of your autonomic nervous system from the homeostasis of a conscious waking state into the homeostasis of more “relaxed” (i.e. slower) rate of a pre-sleep state. (nod . . . THWHACK!, wipes droll off of keyboard).

    I need more coffee.

  10. That isn’t music. It is just continous noise. I get more relaxed from Rock and Roll than this elevator nonsense. How about 96 tears by Question Mark and the Mysterians?!

  11. Gender difference is a valid consideration at the hypothesis stage. So is the nation one is from.

    Bob Dylan and professor Turley are both from the same country (“I am from the Midwest” – Turley; “The country I come from Is called the Midwest” – Dylan), and the professor mentions it as if it was relevant.

    I think, in this case of musical appreciation, that gender and country are both relevant.

    As I listen to Weightless I feel ….. uh …. zzzzzzzzzzzz

  12. Nos 6 and 9 are missing the urls…Is there something symbiotic between the numbers…..and biased study group…..

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