PEACEFUL WORLD MUSICAn iOS app with soothing music to relax, de-stress or meditate by. Available on the iOS App Store.
the sounds of musical instruments from around the world WILL help you attain a calm, peaceful state
Activate your brain’s natural ability to sort and categorize its thoughts and memories. The Peaceful World Music app doesn’t lull you into a state of fog or sleepiness, but rather helps you attain a state of calm awareness and mindfulness, thereby allowing your brain to do its work.
From the gentle Japanese koto to the smooth as silk Persian santour and the hypnotic sound of the Indian oboe, the sounds of instruments from Asia and the Middle East transport you to a calm, relaxed state, helping your brain to sort out all its thoughts, problems and memories.
Sleep scientists say that dreams may be a way in which the brain sorts and categorizes these thoughts, storing them away in its memory.
The music in this app has been composed and performed with the aim of facilitating a similar process, while the brain is awake and in a calm state, without falling asleep. The stream of music soothes and lulls you, but there is an underlying musical structure that provides just the right stimulation for your brain.
You might think that soothing and relaxing music needs to be soft, slow, sustained or repetitive, but this is not the case. You may notice percussive accents, and even rhythmic beats. These are intentional, and add structure to the music. They provide just the right amount of mental stimulation to help the brain in its processes for clearing the mind, and they deepen the meditative mood.
Music in this app evokes the sounds of the gamelan gongs, tabla drums, koto, pipa, erhu, etc. The regions covered are:
South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc.);
S.E. Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, etc.);
and East Asia (China, Japan, etc.).
The Middle East music includes Turkish, Iranian instruments such as the santour, and zither. Each instrument has its own characteristic sound and is played in an original musical style, using the sound of traditional instruments in Middle Eastern music in a new way.
In this app, the songs categorized as borderless mix the sounds of traditional world instruments with electronic synthesized instruments, but the arc of the melodies very much evokes the musical styles of the other world regions in the app.
WHAT THE APP LOOKS LIKE
Here are some actual screenshots. There are six color filters from which you can select, to suit your mood: snow, rose, sunshine, forest, evening and lavender.
There are also various curated photographs in the background, faded as in a dream, each dissolving into the next in a random sequence. The combinations of music, photographs, color filters and meditation spinwheels ensure that your experience is different every time.
WHY YOU NEED THIS APP
Peaceful World Music is particularly useful when:
– you need background music of a soothing, non-distracting kind when you’re doing homework, practising yoga, or even when you’re jogging. Or perhaps you have people over for dinner and need some world music in the background. Or you’re working on household chores, or perhaps playing a game on your phone.
– you have difficulty falling asleep and need some soothing music to help you
– you want to enter a meditative or mindful, semi-hypnotic state as part of your established ritual for clearing your mind and attaining a calm state
– you just want to pamper yourself with aesthetically pleasing music, images and gently animated spinwheels
– you love the sound of world music instruments, and it helps you attain peace of mind and happiness
This is not a medical or therapeutic app—it is intended for relaxation, destressing and meditation, and is meant to appeal to lovers of world music, or indeed, original, improvised music of any kind.
The music uses typical instrument sounds, moods and musical structures of the world music genre, but it is original music, not the classical or traditional music of the respective world regions.
Without attempting to mimic or appropriate the traditional forms, this music has drawn inspiration from, especially, the timbral characteristics of the instruments, while being rooted in Western diatonic idioms, melodies and harmonies. Increasingly, Western classical composers have been discovering the sound of world music instruments, and incorporating them into their own work, without attempting to appropriate the original culture of the relevant region.
An interesting note about healing music. You might think that soothing and relaxing music needs to be soft, slow, sustained or repetitive, but this is not the case. You may notice percussive accents, and even rhythmic beats. These are intentional, and add structure to the music. They provide just the right amount of mental stimulation to help the brain in its processes for clearing the mind, and they deepen the meditative mood.
IS THIS LIKE OTHER SLEEP OR MEDITATION APPS?
Yes and no, but mostly no. Apps that allow you to listen to the sounds of nature, or white noise, or long, sustained and unstructured, repetitive aural patterns, such as you might hear at a spa, may indeed be soothing.
However, their inherent lack of the essential musical elements of melody, harmony, rhythm and timbral mix means that they don’t provide your brain with the specific stimulation from which it can benefit when it sorts out the complex interactions between experiences captured in your memory.
The music in this app has specifically been composed and performed to address this problem. In doing so, it helps you achieve the following:
1. it relaxes you when you are feeling stressed
2. it helps clear your mind when you are overwhelmed or confused, and helps induce a quiet mind for meditation
3. it restores energy through the positive effects of properly structured, diatonic music based on the universal laws of physics and acoustic principles
4. when played with the volume low, the rhythmic pieces will often induce a calm state, helping you fall asleep
5. however, when you are working on something and have this playing at a moderate volume in the background, it will neither distract you nor make you feel sleepy, although of course, different people will react differently to the music to some extent.
USING THE APP SETTINGS
The settings screen (tap on the gear icon) allows you to choose the types of music you wish to listen to. There are several pieces of music for each type, and their order is randomly determined. We recommend including all the regions, which will cause the app to produce a varied and satisfying playlist.
Each piece is played for a minute or so, and the next random piece begins automatically after that. If you do not care for a particular piece of music, you can press the SKIP button to skip to the next random piece.
The random order of pieces encourages the brain to try to make some sense by tying the pieces into some sort of story or flow, much as it would do while you are dreaming.
The settings screen also allows you to choose the color of the haze through which the background pictures are shown.
SHORT VIDEO OF THE APP IN ACTION
WHEN THE APP IS IN THE BACKGROUND
The app has been designed to continue playing music even if your screen automatically goes dark due to your battery-saving setting, or if you turn off your phone with the app in the foreground.
However, if you switch to another application, the app detects the world region of the music currently playing, and, in the background, plays a loop of all the pieces from that region. The playback period can be set to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or unspecified (when the operating system stops it), and is interrupted once you resume using the app.
To stop the music when it is playing in the background, you need to select the app and press the PAUSE button. Or simply close the app by flicking upward on it in the App Switcher.
PARALLEL VISUAL/AUDITORY STREAMS
Visually soothing background pictures are also shown in random order, and flow into one another independently of the music being played.
There are therefore two parallel, independent streams continuously running: auditory (music) and visual (background images and titles).
Finally, there are 18 meditation spinners, which change at random intervals, and may be useful in attaining a mildly hypnotic state of well-being.
Thank you for using Peaceful World Music.
MUSIC, PICTURES, SOFTWARE
Canadian classical music composer
Vancouver BC and Tokyo, Japan
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