Selected TED Talks on Music Thinking

Here is a selection of different TED talks. All of them use Music and Music Thinking in one or the other way. From psychology, to emotion, to technique – get inspired by this amount of musical presentations.

Schizophrenic violin lesson

Robert Gupta, violinist with the LA Philharmonic, talks about a violin lesson he once gave to a brilliant, schizophrenic musician — and what he learned.

Making Mistakes and Prototyping

What is a mistake? By talking through examples with his improvisational Jazz quartet, Stefon Harris walks us to a profound truth: many actions are perceived as mistakes only because we don’t react to them appropriately.

Imagination, Emotion and New Experiences

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. With a great exercise on Imagination and Emotion with Chopin.

Music Psychology and Soundscapes


Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. Listen carefully for a shocking fact about noisy open-plan offices.

Research on the Brain and Music

Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an fMRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds.

Trust and Examples from the World

Conductor Charles Hazlewood talks about the role of trust in musical leadership — then shows how it works, as he conducts the Scottish Ensemble onstage. He also shares clips from two musical projects: the opera “U-Carmen eKhayelitsha” and the ParaOrchestra.

Music and emotion through time

The composer Michael Tilson Thomas  traces the development of classical music through the score, the record, and the remix.

Live Looping, Improvisation, ‘gestural” Sound Design

Musician and inventor Onyx Ashanti demonstrates “beatjazz” — his music created with two handheld controllers, an iPhone and a mouthpiece, and played with the entire body. At TED’s Full Spectrum Auditions, after locking in his beats and loops, he plays a 3-minute song that shares his vision for the future of music.

The is another one I can’t embed: José Bowen: Beethoven the businessman. José Bowen outlines how new printing technology and an improved piano gave rise to the first music industry and influenced a generation of composers. Note: you should also read the comments.

On the TED website you can find more examples when you search for the Tag music (there is no music thinking tag yet!).

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