How Music Does That

Dale McGowan

Music -- just vibrations in the air -- can make you feel heartbroken or elated, peaceful or stabby, inspired to save the whales or to invade Poland. This is HOW MUSIC DOES THAT.Click the website link to subscribe on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

All Episodes

It has to do with monkeys, somehow.

Sep 14

16 min

It's an electrifying cry from the ancient heart of Bali. Or is it?

Aug 16

18 min

Classical music isn't that white by accident -- and it can't afford to stay that way.

Jul 29

24 min

Strip language away, and the human voice becomes a pure instrument of emotion.

Jul 21

24 min

One tune tormented me since I was two. I finally figured out why.

May 31

8 min

Before every music course I teach, I have the same argument with myself.

May 9

18 min

One of the most powerful stylistic movements in music starts with a simple idea.

Apr 16

28 min

Put on the good Dockers, Chad. We're going in.

Apr 11

22 min

Piano Ravel and Orchestra Ravel are both great. They met only twice.

Mar 21

22 min

The revolution starts right damn now.

Mar 7

27 min

Sometimes the greatest moment in music is silence.

Feb 23

23 min

Mussorgsky asked the impossible. Ravel made it happen.

Feb 7

17 min

In Hungary, road plays you!

Jan 25

17 min

WARNING: This episode contains too many notes.

Jan 10

22 min

Eight hundred years ago, they left the church and found the world.

Dec 2019

23 min

I'm haunted by the music I'll never hear.

Nov 2019

20 min

Why do kids in many cultures taunt each other with a falling minor third?

Nov 2019

18 min

How the muggle and wizarding worlds collide in the Harry Potter theme.

Oct 2019

12 min

For magic and wonder, there's one go-to instrument.

Oct 2019

15 min

This episode is not about Pavarotti.

Sep 2019

19 min

Most covers stay on the surface. Sara Bareilles got down into the bones.

Sep 2019

21 min

I can name that tune in...one motive.

Aug 2019

16 min

Beethoven composed while deaf -- but that's not the amazing part.

Aug 2019

27 min

Sometimes meter will mess with your head.

Jul 2019

14 min

From Sting theory to a wedding in Bulgaria, it's meters gone wild.

Jul 2019

19 min

The most captivating piece by the most famous composer you've never heard of.

Jun 2019

17 min

It was a middle-class party trick. Then it changed rock and roll.

Jun 2019

16 min

When music is stripped down to its essentials, every note matters.

May 2019

20 min

'The Gnome' is a creepy masterclass in orchestration.

May 2019

19 min

Fred Rogers hid a geeky musical inside joke in his theme song.

Apr 2019

15 min

A computer has chosen the most iconic song ever. Time for the human rebuttal.

Apr 2019

14 min

One note has been teasing you, making promises to you, and leading you home your whole life.

Apr 2019

12 min

30,000 people. 16 measures. One bad decision.

Mar 2019

20 min

Oh, little piano piece. You're not in Kansas anymore.

Mar 2019

20 min

There's a reason so many songwriters hate the one that made them famous.

Feb 2019

15 min

So I wasn't going to be John Williams. But I had one Hail Mary left.

Feb 2019

19 min

Just in time for the Oscars, I found my abandoned dream in a box.

Feb 2019

22 min

The 'Stairway' lawsuit was based on a modern myth about how music is created.

Feb 2019

21 min

Johnny's gonna be fine -- but I'm worried about Trent.

Jan 2019

11 min

Music without dissonance is like a rollercoaster without hills. It's light rail.

Jan 2019

16 min

From the Satanic Panic to Pokémon, a creepy folklore often bubbles under our music.

Jan 2019

17 min

Beethoven lit a fuse that burned for 89 years. This was the boom.

Jan 2019

19 min

Whether music surprises you depends on where your ears have been.

Jan 2019

21 min

Without lyrics or even a descriptive title -- nothing but vibrations in the air -- this piece brings people to tears. Here's how.

Nov 2018

26 min

It's a hidden key to music's emotional power. And it's not all that hidden.

Oct 2018

14 min

I had never felt so tangibly dropped into another world.

Oct 2018

14 min

Even starting this piece was an act of pure optimism. Now to finish it.

Oct 2018

9 min

Silence is just the beginning.

Oct 2018

20 min

In which two little kids knew a big thing I didn't know. And I'm okay with that. No really.

Sep 2018

18 min

A gorgeous technique to unify emotion in music has been passed down from the Renaissance to Radiohead.

Sep 2018

17 min

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