In RETROSPECT-The Universal Language of Music Today

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

The Universal Language of  Music Today according to our friends at Wikipedia, Music is found in every known culture, past and present, varying widely between times and places. Since all people of the world, including the most isolated tribal groups, have a form of music, it may be concluded that music is likely to have been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. Consequently, the first music may have been invented in Africa and then evolved to become a fundamental constituent of human life.

The language of music is the language we can all understand throughout the globe. No matter what culture we herald from, we don’t even need words to understand what music is saying to us.

Like wisdom, music indeed, knows no borders. It is created in the moment as well as being a continuation of all those who have gone before us and all those who will live into the future. The roots of music are everywhere. In our hearts, our body and in our mind. Music does not know of languages, Music knows no bounds, no walls, like time, it is timeless.

The Oldest Song Ever

The oldest song ever created, a ‘sheet’ of music was discovered in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit and referenced back to around 3400 years ago. Ugarit, Syria is the birthplace of alphabet and music notation. The interpretation of the music notation of Ugarit has had several “reconstructions” which have been published. Professor Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, who works as the curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, spent fifteen years deciphering the clay tablets which were uncovered and excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early 1950s.

This Ugaritic hymn was arranged into a melancholic piano work preserving its rhythmic structure and building a musical bridge to the past. The song of this woman’s marriage was filled with pain at not having children for her husband and her family.  Apparently, the song is a lament, “the plaintive cry of an infertile woman” seeking the answer to her barrenness from the moon goddess

This is one of several arrangements. Syrian composer & pianist Malek Jandali’s album “Echoes from Ugar.”

“Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.” ― Sarah Dessen

Music & Visual Syntax Harmoniously Living Together

Before modern films that we see today that have synchronized voices and amazing sound effects, the first films relied on over the top acting and of course music to set the theme, tone, mood and tenor of a film. That music created ambiance for the viewer. It added up to the experience of ‘Suspended Disbelief,’ then, as well as now. A movie in a theater, a YouTube video or social media trailers without music? Probably not.

Music unites not only an audience, but folks viewing on social media and even in your own family living room. How many times have you heard a specific piece of music and immediately associated it with a certain movie? Jaws perhaps? Star Wars? Toy Story? Or what about The Wizard of Oz or Singing in the Rain?

Time has made this a universal message of mood and cognitive reality. It creates emotion and motion right down to our tipping toes, that are perhaps taping out the beats right now. Let’s hear it for Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark! DUN… DUH… DA!

It is scientifically proven that music enhances brain functioning through the element of focus. When a person listens to sounds over and over, especially for something as harmonic or meaningful as music and speech, the appropriate neurons get reinforced in responding preferentially to those sounds compared to other sounds. This neural behavior was examined in a study that looked at the degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music which you can further investigate at Live Science. (Link)

Emotions that are triggered in a Film Presentation

Music effects the brain and changes the viewers mood. Want to make people feel happy, use songs that are happy, surprisingly this works the other way around as well. Believe it or not, sad music can be enjoyable, rather than simply depressing. Sad music can trigger positive memories that can help to elevate our mood. A new study provides insight on what’s going on inside our brains. This study was conducted by researchers at Durham University in the UK and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. The researchers analyzed substantial scaled surveys, covering 2,436 people in total, and found that there was a wide spectrum of responses to wistful songs. Three key responses and components stood out in particular: pleasure, comfort, and pain. There are two reasons for this. One from social psychology, and one from cognitive neuroscience. Psychologist Adrian North from Curtin University in Australia states, “In terms of social psychology, one way of thinking about this is that we feel better about ourselves if we focus on someone who’s doing even worse, a well-known process known as downward social comparison.”

Everything’s going to be okay, because this person is having an even worse day than I am. Adrian North also states that “another hypothesis from social psychology is that people like to listen to music that mirrors the tone of their current life circumstances – the songs act as a sort of tuning fork for our own situations, and they resonate with us.

Through the ‘Art’ of Film

The second group of options, which North thinks is more convincing, is centered on neuroscience and the chemical processes going on inside our minds. “Some scientists think melancholy music is linked to the hormone prolactin, a chemical which helps to curb grief. The body is essentially preparing itself to adapt to a traumatic event, and when that event doesn’t happen, the body is left with a pleasurable mix of opiates with nowhere else to go. Thanks to brain scans, we know that listening to music releases dopamine – a neurotransmitter associated with food, sex, and drugs – at certain emotional peaks, and it’s also possible that this is where we get the pleasure from listening to sad tunes,” concludes North.*

When we watch an emotionally charged scene in a movie, listen to a poignant song, or view a tragic visual as art rather than reality, we can find a melancholy but pleasurable attribute within its context and milieu. This hypothesis suggests sadness is handled differently by our minds when we experience it through the art of film rather than first-hand.


“First comes a thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill

Confronted with sound stimuli, this powerful medium we call music, can transform static, mundane presentations into rich, engaging user experiences that promote, educate, excite and engage the viewer. As communicators we have the opportunity to integrate those ideas very tightly. We can control exactly what’s shown on the face and what else is present on screen. This in conjunction with the mood of the music, the viewer has much less opportunity to walk away or focus on other things because we have tapped into the viewer’s mindset as music is our tool. We examine each part as a communication tool, to create rich content for a filmed presentation before it can become whole.

Whole-Part-Whole in Transmedia storytelling in 2020

“Whole-Part-Whole” is one method that can be useful and most effective when creating content for your brand that consist of very distinguished parts. Because of music’s impact combined with visual syntax on a viewer of content, Video through filmed presentations is the best, and most salable way of presenting your brand’s complete identity.

Motion Video working hand in hand with music, is the only media that can bring all these elements together. It can show off your company’s full identity to help you make more personal connections with your audience.

Corporate Branding doesn’t work well with video if it is only an afterthought. If you perceive and think that a film presentation is a layer on top of your other digital and conventional marketing, think again. Instead, to be effective, it must come from the very core foundations of the business — the collective ideas, values, and actions of the people within your business. The concept of brand affinity really relies on the importance of “affinity.” According to Psychology Today, Oxytocin is a powerful hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It influences social interaction (compassion, empathy and bonding). Because video is the most direct human-to-human creative medium on the web, it is indeed the medium that can help you create the strongest bonds with your audience. Why do we watch an hour and half to a two-hour movie? The combination of music, imagery, audio, and narrative allows you to say and show a great number of things all at once. Try to do the same thing with a twelve-hundred-page novel. You know exceedingly well that video has shaped the way social media platforms are now operating. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Mashable, TikTok- all have native video platforms targeting an audience.

Music to my Ears

Confused yet? Let me tell you a story. Flash back to when you were a kid. Think of time you were given a brand-new toy. Ok? This toy you got in the box can be used in simple ways. To get the most out of the toy you will have to read the instructions. The first instinct you and most other kids have is to open the box and start using the toy! You start playing with the toy based on how you interpret it. However, suddenly you realize you are having trouble using the toy in a variety of ways or even putting it together. So, what do you do then? Yep. You turn to the instructions.  At this point you take out the instructions and you read them step by step and look at the pictures. You start to fantasize it’s use.

Once you had learned how to put it together or use it appropriately then you went back to using it.  Once you fully understood how to play with it or put it together you had begun to master the enjoyment of the toy.

Corporate branding is just one toy in your toy box. However, your toy box is Transmedia Marketing, and the concept of the “Whole-Part-Whole” marketing philosophy is a filmed presentation. This will put all the pieces of your brand together for your customer, client or viewer and they will never view your brand the same way. They then become the brand ambassadors of the collective ideas, values, and actions of all you do. Music does that. Visuals do that. Story does that. Put them all together and you will have one fine toy in your toy box!

Now that is Music to my ears. 😊

“Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” ― Ingmar Bergman


Joseph Arco








President, Multimedia Marketing Group Distinguished 20+ year career introducing Marketing strategies to drive growth within intensively competitive markets, expert in creating the vision, identifying opportunities, creating high-quality products and services, delivering strong revenues and profits, and positioning start-up and existing businesses for sustainable growth. LinkedIn

Further Resources Sighted in this Blog:

*Memorable Experiences with Sad Music—Reasons, Reactions and Mechanisms of Three Types of Experiences.

*The degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music which you can further investigate at Live Science.

What Is Oxytocin?


Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day and Neither was Your Brand

Visiting Rome during my semester abroad was an unforgettable and impactful experience. The moments I spent in front of and within the Pantheon, the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome, enter my mind as I process what I am learning in my new position at Multimedia Marketing Group.

The photo of my friends and I from my trip shown to the left demonstrates the size and strength of a single Pantheon pillar. Thinking back, it is clear that if just one ancient Roman pillar with a circumference longer than four of my own wingspans, was to crack, it would have a profound effect on the other supports around it. Differentiation, Relevance, Esteem, and Understanding, just like the sixteen pillars supporting the portico of the Pantheon, are vital pieces to the success and stability of the whole, the whole being a business’s brand. In both instances, the literal case and the metaphorical case, the Pillars must exist in unison and balance is key. I had some photoshop fun and created the Brand Pantheon illustrating this concept above.

When considered carefully, the pillars can elevate a company to a much higher level. The Four Pillars of Brand work together to support and consequently achieve objectives and growth that a product or service offered alone could not. Successful branding and resulting brand love and loyalty are the reasons why some companies thrive while others are stagnant.

The catch is that each individual in the marketplace has their own unique perception. Your brand then is not really yours, instead, it belongs to the public, your clients, employees, competitors, even friends, and family. Their perception is formed by a myriad of influences including their past experiences with your company specifically or perhaps what Terry Irwin describes as the “collective brain”. 

The “collective brain” has been brought about by the constant feed of critiquing, praising and sharing that occurs on the internet, especially on social media sites. Brands do not just exist in the consumer’s mind anymore, they are alive through technology. The collective brain with its undeniable influence can help or hurt your company. Consumers do not even need to have a direct experience with your brand to have informed perceptions of it. Leveraging your brand’s image with multimedia content and balancing the Four Pillars in a way that resonates with your audience is vital to success. Publishing your own original, high-quality content can impact perceptions tremendously allowing your brand to cut through the noise and one-up its competitors. 

“Rome was not built in a day and neither was your brand.” Follow my postings as I explore the concept of Brand deeper as the New Project Coordinator at Multimedia Marketing Group.

Andrea Bent

New Project Coordinator


Andrea is passionate about serving organizations through the communication, creation and integration of customized marketing solutions.

Best Foot Forward: A College Student’s Guide to Starting Right: Step 4: Intentional Assertiveness

We all know that the early bird gets the worm.  However, I propose that in the world of internship hunting, this is not entirely true.  The bird should not only be early, but it should be a bird of prey, a bird with intention, assertiveness and focus; a bird that has his eye on the prize and a plan to attain it. This bird gets the worm (internship). But seriously, aside from the bird analogy, in this market there are thousands of highly qualified, competent candidates, so if you want an internship, you have to go the extra mile and be intentional about securing it.  You have realized, researched, spun and now its time to be assertive. In terms of being assertive, I am not referring to hunting and pouncing on your prey or prospective employer literally. I am referring to a figurative intentional pursuing of sorts.

So what does this intention look like? Let me explain. Once you have researched your company, which includes thoroughly familiarizing yourself with their website and work, you have inquired by email or phone (or both) about the internship, what it entails, what a successful candidate looks like, you have tailored your resume and constructed your cover letter and sent it–now its time to be intentional. At this point many college students think that this is when they simply sit back and wait.  This is not true and most likely costs many what could have been quite an enriching opportunity.

Rule of thumb says you wait about two weeks after initially sending in your information, then it is appropriate to call the company directly.  Some are afraid to do this because they are worried they will seem to forward or rude. Or they simply do not know what to say.

Example: “Hello, my name is Amanda Martin.  I am calling to inquire about the internship I recently applied for. I sent in my resume and cover letter and just wanted to double check that you received it?” They did. “Great, when can I expect to hear an answer?” They tell you. “Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing from you…”

You can also ask how many applicants they received to get an idea of what you are up against, how many interns are they taking, when are they making the final decisions and scheduling interviews.  Asking questions makes you look assertive and if they are good questions, they make you look intelligent and capable.  Make sure you tell them again your name, and thank them for their time. Now they have mentally recognized and categorized you as the potential internee who has actually inquired about the position more than once, aka really wants this position.  Also make sure you know who you are sending it to directly if you can. Then when you call and inquire, try to bypass the receptionist and request to speak to that person who will actually be hiring or not hiring you.  This shows that you are serious about this position and that you will do the extra digging to maneuver yourself into the best possible position.  Self starters and determined people are very appealing to potential employers.  Yet if you show the interest and take the initiative to call and follow up, many employers will not only be impressed, they will remember your name.  This is your first step to making a good impression.  With so many job- hungry, over qualified college students and graduates, you need to be remembered. So go ahead, be the early bird of prey and be assertive and intentional about your future career.

Blogger: Amanda Martin

Media Relations and Advertising Intern

Best Foot Forward: A College Students Guide to Starting Right: Step Three: Spin!

So you have realized the need for an internship, and taken the time to research it. Now, can you spin it? That is, do you know how to take what skills you have and present them in a convincing and totally irresistible fashion? Most students actually have things that they could tack on their resumes they are not even aware of.

Once you have researched your internship and decided on an industry and some prospective companies, it’s time to tailor yourself to what they want. The most common mistake that potential interns make is to undercut their chances by not showcasing any and all of their skills or pertinent experiences. Something else to consider: You do not have to do an internship that directly correlates to your major! For instance, my major is political science, and I am doing and internship in media relations and advertising. I decided this would be my time to branch out and get experience in another field I was curious about. This would be a time when I would try to narrow down some of my interests and see what I liked and what I was and was not good at. If you cannot find an internship that directly correlates to your major, do not despair! Most colleges offer courses in which you can get credit for many different types of internships or field experience, even ones unrelated to your major. Furthermore doing an internship is the perfect opportunity to explore all the various interests you might have. Something else to think about, how many individuals do you know in certain professions they love with a major that has nothing to do with it…think about it, how did they get there? They probably did an internship! If you present yourself correctly, and can make any aspect of your skill set, experience or coursework relate, you are in good shape.

You were part of a softball league, a sorority, or organized a benefit for your school.  Can you pull away any skills or responsibilities that you held that could be showcased in a resume? Recognize that at the intern level, most companies desire to teach you new skills. While this is not always the case, if you can in your cover letter or interview, emphasize the basic skills you possess, how they could pertain to the tasks you would be required to perform, and how ultimately your goal is to gain knowledge. So if you had basic skills like writing, but were unfamiliar with certain programs, like InDesign which is used in print advertising, do your research on it and express your desire to be taught. Also the internet is an endless resource. Find a free online tutorial and watch it!

You can make yourself marketable for any job with in reason. Of course, if you want to be an astronaut, but you are an English major, most likely you are out of luck. With the right “spin,” you can be well on your way to your first internship. The next question: are you aggressive enough to be intentional about securing that position?

Blogger: Amanda Martin

Media Relations and Advertising Intern