5 February 2024

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This week MaBaL theme is all about: Love Songs

As it is St Valentine's Day during half term, this week's theme is Love Songs. 

The birth of love music, Charles Darwin claimed, was best understood by studying the melodic vocalisations of the animal kingdom, especially those of birds. Just as birds sing to attract the opposite sex, “primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably first used his voice in producing true musical cadences… This power would have been especially exerted during the courtship of the sexes, —would have expressed various emotions, such as love, jealousy, triumph,—and would have served as a challenge to rivals.” Put simply, all songs were originally love songs.

Early human songs of courtship and mating also served, he surmised, as the foundation for language. Not just vocal music but, according to Darwin, even instrumental performances had their roots in the animal kingdom. He called attention to the “drumming to the snipe’s tail, the tapping of the woodpecker’s beak,” perceiving them as the forerunners of our musical rhythms. He heard prototypes for human song in the croaks of frogs and the squeaks of mice.

The lyrics in this playlist reflect such qualities as passion, commitment, care, closeness, protectiveness, attraction, affection, and trust. Equally, these songs show that love can vary in intensity and can change over time. It is associated with a range of positive emotions, including happiness, excitement, life satisfaction, and euphoria, but it can also result in negative emotions such as jealousy and stress.

Clearly the lyrics and mood of such songs don't just reflect the happy side of love, but the ending or losing love and also the pain of unrequited love. Some would say it is one of the most important human emotions. Yet despite being one of the most studied behaviours, it is still the of the least understood.

Did you know, St Valentine is also the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeepers?

MaBaL (music at break and lunch) is music played through the school's speaker system during break and lunch.  Chosen by Mr Taylor, Lead Teacher for Music, this is designed to offer exposure to the curriculum in different ways, and support pupils' appreciation of music.

The focus is on one theme each week across a genre, a country or from history.  The theme could also link to the season or an event in school, such as the production.  Any further suggestions are welcomed - pupils should see Mr Taylor or email a.taylor@priory.lancs.sch.uk 

Tags: Music Culture