Self Improvement



An opera is generally referred to as a stage presentation or work that combines music, costumes, and scenery to tell a story. Most operas are sung, with few or no spoken lines. 

The word "opera" is actually a shortened word for the term "opera in musica".

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Self Improvement

Motet emerged in Paris around the year 1200. It is a type of polyphonic vocal music which uses rhythm patterns

Early motets were both sacred and secular; touching on subjects like love, politics and religion. It flourished until the 1700s and today is still being used by the Catholic Church.

Liturgical Music

Also known as church music, it is music performed during worship or a religious rite. It evolved from the music performed in Jewish synagogues.

 In its early form, singers were accompanied by an organ, then by the 12th-century liturgical music adapted a polyphonic style.

The suite is a type of instrumental dance music that emerged during the Renaissance and was further developed during the Baroque Period.

It consists of several movements or short pieces in the same key and functions as dance music or dinner music during social gatherings.

It is a form of medieval church music that involves chanting; it emerged around 100 C.E. 

Plainchant does not use any instrumental accompaniment. Instead, it uses words that are sung. It was the only type of music allowed in Christian churches early on.

The fugue is a type of polyphonic composition or compositional technique based on a principal theme (subject) and melodic lines (counterpoint) that imitate the principal theme. 

The fugue is believed to have developed from the canon which appeared during the 13th century.

Originally, chamber music referred to a type of classical music that was performed in a small space such as a house or a palace room. The number of instruments used was few and without a conductor to guide the musicians.

Today, chamber music is performed very similarly in terms of the size of the venue and the number of instruments used.

Polyphony is a characteristic of Western music.

It began when singers started improvising with parallel melodies, with emphasis on fourth (ex. C to F) and fifth (ex. C to G) intervals. This marked the start of polyphony wherein several musical lines were combined.

As singers continued experimenting with melodies, polyphony became more elaborate and complex.


A round is a vocal piece wherein different voices sing the same melody, at the same pitch, but the lines are successively sung.

An early example of a round is Sumer is icumen in, a piece that is also an example of a six-voice polyphony. The children's song Row, Row, Row Your Boat is another example of a round.

Choral Music

Choral music refers to music which is sung by a choir. Each musical part is sung by two or more voices. 

The size of a choir varies; it can be as few as a dozen singers or as large as to be able to sing Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in E Flat Major, also known as Symphony of a Thousand.


Cantata comes from the Italian word cantare, which means "to sing." It originated in the early 17th-century, but, as with any musical form, it has evolved through the years.

At the very beginning, cantatas referred to a music piece that is meant to be sung. Loosely defined today, a cantata is a vocal work with multiple movements and instrumental accompaniment; it can be based on either a secular or sacred subject.

A symphony often has 3 to 4 movements. The beginning is moderately fast, the next section is slow followed by a minuet, and then a very fast conclusion.

Symphonies had its roots from Baroque sinfonias, but composers like Haydn (known as "The Father of the Symphony") and Beethoven (whose popular work includes the "Ninth Symphony") further developed and influenced this music form.

An oratorio is an extended composition for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra; the narrative text is usually based on scripture or biblical stories but is non-liturgical.

Although the oratorio is often about sacred subjects, it may also deal with semi-sacred subjects.

The Ironic Process Theory
  • It is the psychological process where a person tries to suppress certain thoughts but ironically ends up thinking about them instead.
  • It was first explored by Daniel Wegner in 1987.
  • Also known as the ironic rebound and the white bear problem. For example, when you try to suppress yourself from thinking of a white bear or a pink elephant, you're more likely to imagine one instead.

We have two mental systems that work side by side whenever we are thinking about something or feeling a certain way, these two systems are intentional and monitoring systems.

  • The former orients our attention to focus on our tasks or our goal state and it requires a lot of effort to do this.
  • The latter's only job is to recognize if our attention is being deviated from said task or goal and alert the intentional system to work harder.

Now, there is an imbalance in the task difficulty between the two systems .

  1. Whatever it is that's acting as the mental burden needs to be minimized or alleviated. Let yourself get rest, go to therapy, do some yoga or anything that de-stresses you.
  2. Frame your goal in a proactive manner rather than being avoidant. Occupy yourself with something that you find enjoyable, meaningful, or satisfying.
  3. Allow yourself to think and feel about things. Oppression brews rebellion, even in the mind. So, labeling things as forbidden will only make us more obsessed with them.

We must realize that we are avoiding putting our creativity out in the open. Creativity isn’t just composing music or painting. It can be coaching and mentoring, collaborating with others in a meeting, researching, writing emails. Anything that is not administrative or busy work can be a creative task.

For maximum impact, we have to face our fear of avoidance and make it a habit to create and put out our work in the open for all to see, every day if possible.

Putting Your Work Out There

If we have a new idea, blog, online content or anything we have created, there is an inherent fear of putting it out into the world for everyone else to see. It is an inevitable fear that most of us face.

If creation is not happening, work is being avoided, innovation not getting worked on, there is a good chance we are living in that fear.

We are uncertain about ourselves due to the world being dismissive, uncertain and judgemental. We think we risk being labelled as stupid, rejected by others or getting embarrassed.

The real risk of this fear is the possibility that our creativity and abilities will have no impact on this world because we chose to keep it to ourselves.

Studies found that if you don't feel as if you belong somewhere, it can lead to mental health problems. Fandom communities provide opportunities to avoid this.

But, only liking people that are 'like us' can lead to 'in-group bias', thinking everyone outside that group is wrong while people who are part of lots of friendship groups or communities tend to be quite open-minded.

This deep obsession with celebrities can be beneficial for the people they're directed at, bolstering their careers and creating part of the brand. But when the affection turns to criticism, it can have real and lasting negative effects.

Cases of celebrities being stalked by fans can also be problematic as people believe they have a genuine relationship with these people because they know everything about their public image.

Where the phrase "I stan" comes from

The phrase comes from Eminem's hit song, Stan. The song describes a superfan that goes to extreme measures to prove his devotion to the singer.

These days, the phrase is slang for a very zealous fan, especially of a celebrity or music group.

People write continuations of stories with different endings, often to bring two characters together who they think should fall in love.

Once you have established a connection with a character or story, you can carry it on forever.

Being drawn to a fan community can have positive and negative effects.

  • Fandoms can help support and connect individuals, providing a space for long-lasting friendships and romantic relationships to form.
  • Fandom can help us discover who we are and what we want out of life.
  • Learning everything about a particular fan can help give focus, skills and knowledge that you can aspire to.

On the other hand, sharing a contrary opinion could lead to people being ostracised or bullied.

One theory is that most of our relationships rely on empathy with people, meaning that we use our own experiences to relate to how we imagine other people feel. For this reason, knowing lots of details about a celebrity can cause a person to develop a heightened level of obsession.

In other words, if you feel like there's some missing information in your life, identifying with people in alternative forums can help.

John D. Rockefeller

“Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Lost time is never found again.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.”

Nelson Mandela

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

“It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”

Edmund Burke

“You can never plan the future by the past.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

Henry Van Dyke

“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

George C. Marshall

“When a thing is done, it’s done. Don’t look back. Look forward to your next objective.”

Dalai Lama

“Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”

Mark Twain

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Robert Frost

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

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