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MOC: Delivering a Dose of Music

With its headquarters in New York and branches in Nashville, Miami, Los Angeles and Washington DC, Musicians On Call is a nonprofit organization dedicated to delivering the healing power of music to patients who are confined to their beds or undergoing treatments in healthcare facilities. With the aid of a network of volunteers Musicians On Call (MOC) has been operating since 1999, during which time volunteer musicians have performed for more than 400,000 patients and their families, with encouraging results.

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Southern California Holiday Season Concerts

Music venues throughout Southern California are preparing to serve up a musical feast this holiday season, starting with the 82nd Hollywood Christmas Parade on December 2. With proceeds going to Toys for Tots, the parade will be hosted by Hollywood celebrities Eric Estrada, Dean Cain, Laura McKenzie and Montel Williams, with astronaut Buzz Aldrin serving as the parade's Grand Marshall. Headliners slated to perform at the event include Leann Rimes, Stevie Wonder, The GooGoo Dolls, Kenny Loggins, Richi Sambora, Daughtry, McClain and Billy Ray Cyrus. The Hollywood Christmas Parade starts at the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, continues left into Vine Street and left again into Sunset Boulevard. Grandstand seating offering an unrestricted view of the parade can be booked via ticketmaster.

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The Therapeutic Power of Music

It has long been acknowledged that music can transcend barriers between people - such as race, nationality and culture - and is often more powerful than language in forging social connections. The impact of music on human emotions and behavior continues to be a topic for research, with interesting and encouraging results. It has been found that certain types of music can be very therapeutic for people who have mental health problems, autism, dementia and depression, as well as patients who have suffered a stroke, brain injury or who are battling with a life-threatening or terminal illness. With this in mind, music charity Nordoff Robbins is dedicated to using music therapy to touch the lives of vulnerable individuals of all ages across the United Kingdom.

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James Blake Awarded 2013 Mercury Prize

Established in 1992 the Mercury Prize is an annual award for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. This year's winner is Overgrown by English singer-songwriter and electronic music producer, James Blake. This is Blake's second studio album, with his eponymous debut album having been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2011. Chosen by a panel of music industry experts, the short-list for the 2013 Barclaycard Mercury Prize included AM by Arctic Monkeys; The Next Day by David Bowie; Settle by Disclosure; Holy Fire by Foals; Immunity by John Hopkins; Once I Was An Eagle by Laura Mvula; Home by Rudimental; Silence Yourself by Savages; and {Awayland} by Villagers.

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Survey Reveals Music Preference Trends

In his poem The Mourning Bride written in 1697, William Congreve noted that "Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak", and it has long been accepted that music has the power to evoke strong emotions – both positive and negative - or have a soothing effect in times of stress. A recent study on musical preferences carried out by music researcher Dr Jane Davidson of the University of Western Australia and psychologist Dr Adrian North of Curtin University revealed some interesting insights on the reasons behind people's musical choices.

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