Interview 1300 – Music Theory to Conspiracy Theory on The Ripple Effect

by | Sep 15, 2017 | Interviews | 8 comments

via The Ripple Effect Podcast: Vinnie Caggiano is a composer, musician who has played all over the country, teacher, music theorist & creator of the popular YouTube channel, which has a few playlists; solo performances; performances with his band, The Blue Kind; performances with his band, The Venice Roasters; and also a playlist analyzing the music of the Beatles from a Music Theory perspective and Music Theory for guitar in general.

James Corbett is a researcher, filmmaker, writer, historian, podcaster & creator of The Corbett Report, which is an independent, listener-supported alternative news source.

Ricky Varandas is a musician and the host of The Ripple Effect podcast.

James returns to The Ripple Effect Podcast as a co-host, to help Ricky interview Vinnie, as we discuss everything from Music Theory to Conspiracy Theories.


  1. Interesting episode but I think it may have been a little “scattershot” (to steal that excellent choice of word from James) at times.

    I feel like James was trying to figure out some deeper insights into music. We know that music has the ability to affect large numbers of people (e.g. the popularity of the Beatles) so where does that power come from? Also, since we know TPTB tend to try to use/manipulate things to fulfill their aims, it’s important to examine if (and how) music can be manipulated to affect human thought/behavior. The conversation about Pythagoras cutting a tube to achieve different musical intervals was interesting but I feel like this interview needed a more senior musical expert to delve into James’ other questions as, at times, the discussion went off course (e.g. the discussion about rap music seemed to be more about the culture associated with the music rather than the effect of the music itself).

    James, can I recommend you try get Rick Beato for an interview to try to answer your questions. He’s a professional music producer who has worked with many well known bands and he’s done scientific research on “perfect pitch” (that is, the ability to recognize a pitch without needing a reference note. e.g. you could play a random note on a piano and the person could correctly tell you “that’s an E flat”).

    His son Dylan has perfect pitch and he believes it was developed because he (the father) played what he calls “high information music” for his son during the “critical window” of brain development (which I think he defines as the 3rd trimester through 2nd year of life). In addition to perfect pitch, his son also has an exceptionally good memory. I can’t do the story justice so I’m going to paste a little bit below from an article titled “Fostering intelligence in the womb”


    It began out of simple curiosity of what would happen if you played complex music for a baby. Would it sound ‘normal’ to them when they were older? When my wife was 16 weeks pregnant we began playing what I call ‘high information music’ through headphones on my wife’s stomach. I would define high information music as music with great melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic complexity, usually involving all 12 tones of the chromatic scale in its melodic and harmonic structure. We began with 45-minute listening sessions each night and changed to a new playlist every 30 days. After Dylan was born, I continued to play this extremely complex music for him for 2–3 hours a day while I interacted with him.

    (…skipping ahead…)

    Dylan has the ability to hear and identify chords of 16 different pitches and name them by their harmonic function as well. He can recite all squares, cubes, and factorials up to 25, the Periodic Table of Elements, the first 100 prime numbers, speak Mandarin Chinese, and recite many famous poems like The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.

    Rick is a friendly guy who interacts with his subscribers so it’s certainly possible he’d be up for doing an interview. As an added bonus, I’m pretty sure he’s also a huge Beatles fan (he has a daughter named “Lennon”).

    You can check out his YouTube channel at:

    He also has a series of videos with his son where he demonstrates his son’s perfect pitch (and other abilities). I highly recommend watching them. Below is one of them (that I find particularly fascinating):

    • This is another video in that series where the father talks about the approach he took with his son and some of the benefits such as:

      -Increased attention span
      -Profound expansion of memory
      -Greater affinity for language development
      -Dramatically increased ability to rapidly process auditory information

  2. As a 25hrs a day music lover, this was a very cool step sideways for a minute (well 60 mins)!!

  3. Vinnie is spot on when he mentions his Mother singing while she was pregnant with him. The life force, the spirit, the entity which animates/inhabits a body…it definitely picks up on aesthetics and emotions and attitudes. And perhaps, even further back, Vinnie may had migrated to his parents because of their ‘music’ inclination.

  4. What fun… This was a treat, really…

  5. Interesting interview but i disagree with some things of it.
    First off, yes Paul McCartney died on… september 11th 1966.
    I recommend this video as a starting point for investigation…

    What the control of the music industry concerns, definitely check out Mark Devlin work. I recommend his book…

    What the energy of sound concerns definity check out Michael Tellinger.

  6. I recently wrote an essay called Art and Society. I would like to send it to you by e-mail, butyou probably won’t have time to read it. It’s about the fact that you cannot be a great composer without instinctively criticising the status quo, dissociating from the world around you. I cited Yeats:

    I call to the mysterious one who yet
    Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream
    And look most like me, being indeed my double,
    And prove of all imaginable things
    The most unlike, being my anti-self,
    And standing by these characters disclose
    All that I seek; and whisper it as though
    Their momentary cries before it is dawn,
    Would carry it away to blasphemous men.

    I ended my my essay with this paragraph.

    While writing these notes I was being afflicted by the unspeakably dreadful news that keeps pouring in about the the deranged world we are now living in (2016). Quite by chance I listened to Martha Argerich playing Chopin’s Preludes which give a voice to everything; they speak directly to the present with their passion, fury, tenderness and infinite sadness. They already know about Trump, Clinton and Theresa May.You only have to think of their world while listening and you will get a great part of its truth without having had a music lesson. Chopin says everything which I cannot say in words, and it is precisely in this that his social significance resides; he both takes me out of the world I’m living in and confronts it, in this case with relentless and passionate musical intelligence. He is absolutely modern and throws current commercial music into prehistory. It seem this link will have to be copied in Google or other slots to be heard.

    There’s some truth in music for you.

    Felix de Villiers

  7. I remember when the word started leaking out on how water was more responsible for the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Almost immediately, we stopped hearing about AIDS in Africa. Coincidence? Of course, you silly conspiracy theorist! By the way, on a related topic; The Origins of AIDS was a very interesting documentary.

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