South Korea new COVID protocols ban fast music in gyms

Originally published at: South Korea new COVID protocols ban fast music in gyms | Boing Boing


No fast music? Watch me fast music like a savage.


“Do you know the way to San Jose?” - 80bpm


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All these “Slow a popular song wwaaaayyyy down and make the lyrics all angsty.” covers will have a captive audience!

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120 bpm is nowhere near fast in my music collection



I was doing a presentation once referencing the Baumol paradox for industries that rely on people (so there’s no increase in productivity in a string quartet, still takes c.6 minutes to play X movement) and I satirised attempts to get blood out of the stone with a picture of a slave galley with a drum midi track which I gradually cranked up to 1000 BPM while talking about increasing productivity. I spent far too long on my little jokes. I thought it was brilliant.

Nobody else did.


Silly as this is, I hope this leads to an on-going situation where gyms (and bars, and restaurants) aren’t blaring music all the time.* Let me listen to my headphones or converse at a reasonable volume.

[* the amateur DJs who choose the tracks all seem to have an official certification in crappy taste.]


God, I love that D.O.A. track sooooo much. Happy Loftgroover memories


Especially coffee shops and restaurants where one orders food across a counter.

Don’t blame the server or clerk for getting your order or name wrong - blame the person who has the music cranked up to 11.


Huh, you know, I don’t really count BPM, but I found a site that supposedly does.

120 isn’t that slow. Some of my favorite songs at or under that.

This one even has a weird little flute.

Aw - temple of dreams is 10 bpm over…

I can’t find a measure- but this seems slow enough and its slammin’.

I love the idea of Marley as workout music. That is the kind of exercise I could learn to enjoy.


The late great Andrew Weatherall used to play as A Love From Outer Space and that projects thing was nothing over 120bpm.

There’s lots of dancing to be had, particularly in the long haul, under 120bpm. Just check Small Axe house party from Steve McQueen.
I’m pretty sure I’ve checked this mix out but the SoundCloud widget is blocked on my phone (and I have a funny relationship with SoundCloud anyway, I seem to have lots of accounts none of which I use and can never find anything on it).

ETA I’ve just come back from a run listening to Rhythm and Sound (minimal/dub). It’s pretty much the state I aim for in exercise. My goals are: low pulse, great sleep, low stress levels. Not times, distances, speed, weight etc.


Lower BPM can be good:

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You know YouTube lets you crank it up to double speed… Whee!

All music turns into extratone if you speed it up to over 1000bpm

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But 3000 BPM is 50Hz, so you start again…

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And then you process that with an LFO and crank that up until it reaches audible frequencies…

The 120 BPM ban only applied to group exercise programs (abbreviated GX in Korea, which might have been missed by the reporters, includes everything from aerobics to Zumba).

Conservative media in Korea was quick to highlight this as something to ridicule out of the current administration’s otherwise successful containment efforts-- the gyms are being kept open this time around!

I often find western outlets playing right into the scheme, which then the local conservative media plays up with “oh the shame!”

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