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5 Inspirational Ted Talks That Will Change How You Think About Music

Jim Keenan

February 5, 2016

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Nearly everyone has their favorite list of TED talks, the incredibly popular platform devoted to spreading great ideas. With over 1900 videos available at TED.com, with topics that span the spectrum from art to media to social change, it can be challenging to sort through it all.  

Here's a short list of some of our favorite TED talks that will change how you think about music. 

1. Clayton Cameron: A-rhythm-etic. The math behind the beats. Drummer Clayton Cameron breaks down different genres of music - from pop to jazz to latin - by the math behind the beats. 

2. Sting: How I started writing songs again.  It's hard to imagine that a prodigious song writer like Sting would struggle with writers block. In this confessional talk, Sting shares how the stories of people from his youth gave him renewed inspiration and direction. 

3. Ryan Holladay: To hear this music you have to be there. Literally. In this talk, Ryan Holladay tells us about "location-aware music." Using geotagged segments of sounds that only play when a listener is physically nearby, you hear a symphony of changing music and sound connected to physical locations. 

4. Robert Gupta: Music is medicine, music is sanity.  Violinist Robert Gupta talks about a violin lesson he gave to a brilliant, schizophrenic musician, and the profound therapeutic impact. Gupta's story became the inspiration behind the movie The Soloist

5. Evelyn Glennie: How to truly listen. How can you be completely deaf at age 12 and then go on to have a Grammy-winning career in music? One of the early popular TED talks on music, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves wash accross your ears. 

Have a favorite TED talk about music? Share you thoughts below.