Over het album
The power of melodies
Everyone has the natural ability and need to make and listen to music. We experience this every day, whether we are working or are looking for relaxation, are in church or in a bar, are at a party or putting children to bed. The easiest way to make music is by singing songs, especially if you have the tune in your head. Songs – with tunes that everyone knows or quickly learns – provide the best means of connecting people one to another, particularly if they can enjoy it together. It has been shown by science that singing makes you happy: singing produces endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine: hormones and neurotransmitters that constitute the most important triggers of pleasure in our brains.
Centuries ago it was no different. Whereas we nowadays have at our disposal music programs on radio and TV, playlists on Spotify, millions of videos on YouTube and a fast-growing number of concerts via streaming services, people in the past had to make do with the city’s carillon, annual visits to fairs, the church organ and the city musicians such as Jacob van Eyck, who played the recorder in the churchyard of Sint Jan’s in Utrecht. To hear anything more you had to make music yourself. A few played an instrument, however everybody could sing. And there were songs for every occasion. They resounded around the family dinner table, at school, in the streets, in church, outdoors with a lover, at country people’s festivities, at weddings, on journeys, on board ships or passenger barges, at work or in the theatre. This type of song provides the basis for this Top 40 project, which starts from the 40 most commonly used melodies of the period 1535-1750.