Music is used to help people of every ethnicity, religion, and lifestyle, cope with different struggles, times of enjoyment, and life itself. But, what is it about music that makes it so therapeutic? It’s the fact that no matter what the genre of music is, it’s what message that artist is putting out into the world. It’s the beat, the tone, and the emotion behind the lyrics is what makes listeners feel the way they do because it speaks on a specific aspect of life and what someone can be going through.
Mark Edmundson helps explain this feeling in his article, Can Music Save Your Life? For Edmundson, there were so many things he wanted in life, however, he couldn’t figure it out. No matter how hard he tried to cope with the struggles of life, nothing truly spoke to him in the way that music did. As soon as he turned on the radio, he was drowned in a melody of a song that captured everything he was feeling. There was a question that Emundson asked in his article.
He asked, “Do we seek in music’s harmonies as a way to soothe ourselves into a kind of torpor to quell in ourselves what we cannot understand? ” In fact, it does. If a person finds a song that speaks to a certain aspect of their life, it makes them feel like there is someone out there who knows what they are going through, and that they are not alone in whatever battle they may be facing. Edmundson continues to talk about music’s impacts on humans throughout his article, and explains in further detail what music does to the soul.
Several different genres of music exist, whether is rock and roll, pop, indie, hip hop and r&b, or classical, and they all have one thing in common; speaking to the listener in a way that a simple conversation couldn’t do. When talking about The Beatles’ song, Norwegian Wood, (paragraph 11) he described the way the song made him feel. A few of his words exactly were, “The music gave my sadness a benign expression. It let me feel sadness at a distance. ” This further proves the point on what music can do to heal anyone. Recognizing the powerful presence of music, Edmundson describes his experience with music in the best way.
According to Frank M Diaz’s “Listening and Musical Engagement: An Exploration of the Effects of Different Listening Strategies on Attention, Emotion, and Peak Affective Experiences,” emotions are peaked when listening to music, especially if actively listening instead of listening passively. Like stated previously, the type of music does not matter, it’s the perception of the music. For instance, when someone is listening to music when feeling angry, happy, sad, or emotional, the song won’t have any effect on because they are not really listening, the music playing in the background of whatever is going on at that point in time.
However, when listening to music to actually feel what the singer is saying, most people get the chills, if not physically, then mentally. This is why emotions are heightened. Ken-ichi Tabei conducted a study to figure out the effects music has on the brain. In his article, Inferior Frontal Gyrus Activation Underlies the Perception of Emotions, While Precuneus Activation Underlies the Feeling of Emotions during Music Listening it is explained that music triggers certain parts of the brain.
The fact that the precuneus region is kely responsible for self-representation implicates this brain area in the assessment of the emotional response to music,” is what Tabei concludes his evidence and statement with, and it is perfect because it doesn’t just state that music makes you feel good. It explains that music impacts the brain. Music is just like thoughts, there is “good music” and there is “bad music. ” People consider good music as songs that are cheerful and upbeat, while bad music is considered as songs that are negative or talk about things in an explicit way.
But, what isn’t understood is that no one has a perfect life. People go through things that no one knows about, but they are good at masking their true feelings because they have a medicine that helps with this, and that medicine is music. When listening to a “bad” song and the artist is talking about violence, death, or being involved in or with certain things, what needs to be understood is that whoever wrote those lyrics and felt like the world needed to hear them, wrote them because they needed to put it out there.
Writing those lyrics was therapeutic for them, and they know that there is someone just like them, going through the same they things they are. Most of the time, the person listening to the music has no intention of acting the way that the artist is talking about, but the songs help them contain that energy, and have it be released with a sigh of relief. Music can be another person’s yoga. There are many reasons as to why music activates parts of the brain, and one of the most important reasons would be that when a song starts to play, and the person is really listening to the music and is enjoying it, dopamine is released.
There is already dopamine in the brain before true happiness is felt, but when your brain feels what the body is feeling, dopamine increases, again, causing some to get chills. This doesn’t work with all music, though. This releasing of dopamine only occurs when the music is actually enjoyed. Therefore, if a person is forced to listen to classical music or opera, and they hate that type of music, nothing will happen. Another example would be a woman moved to the United es from Africa when she was 25 years old, and she had gotten homesick.
All of a sudden, she hears a song that reminds her of home, and almost instantly, she becomes happy, feeling as if she was home again. People love a song that has a good beat. Lately, most younger people, mainly teens and those in their early twenties are more into music that ‘drops. This means as the song goes on, suddenly the beat fades away, slows down, or intensifies, and then comes back harder, faster, better, or even more intense. This also happens to bring people joy.
When not played in headphones or in cars, this type of music is known to be played at raves, and other places like coachella. Everyone vibes together, and are genuinely happy, which makes the music experience so much better. Personality also effects the type of music that a person enjoys. There are different things to experience when listening to music and that is why when people are open to try new things and experiences, music is looked at as a complex thing. On the other hand their are people who only listen to a specific music genre view music as uplifting with a rhythm.
According to Sarah E. Hall’s article, being engaged in music is an important way to induce absorption, which is why studying music can be appealing to some. Music happens to be anoth ns to be another way to communicate with one another. In Sara Giannantonio’s article, the most important aspects of it are pitch and rhythm, and they are processed differently by separate subsystems in the brain. The mode and tempo of a music piece are the most important elements to making someone happy, sad, or even afraid.
For example, when watching a movie in a theater or at home, music changes everything. Sitting in the seats and everything is fine, nothing suspicious is going on in the movie, then suddenly, the music gets creepy and intense unexpectedly, and now everyone’s hearts are racing, afraid of what is about to happen next, there is a loud noise causing a jump or scream, but nothing happens. Everyone’s emotions were heightened then, dropped back down to normal when the music told the brain that everything was fine again.
Music can also help enhance memory. A couple years of music training can enhance memory and attention. Once again, this means actively listening. If a person is musically trained at an early age, it has been proven that speaking verbally improved, along with being a good listener. There is also music intervention for people with dyslexia, and mellow songs, like Mozart, helps with the speaking deficits. Therefore, this further proves the point of music being a healing concept. In conclusion, many people don’t look at music as just music.
Music is a healer, and way to let your emotions and feelings loose without ending up in a bad situation. It helps people around the world cope with the curve balls life throws out every once in a while. The meaning of music can be different to one person than to another. It is a part of every aspect of life, whether it’s in tv shows, movies, or a beat in a restaurant. It’s a soother. Music is one of the most influential pieces in life, guiding people through life. One song could be the gateway to so many different opportunities, a bridge to something incredible.