Psychological Effects Of Music Essay

Music is a form of art which has accompanied humankind since the origins of our species. Starting from the early primitive instruments used by our cave-dwelling ancestors, and ending up with modern synthesizers and computer programs that create new musical sounds, human beings have constantly tried to surround themselves with music. It gradually became more complex, as well as the instruments on which it was performed. Research has shown that music can positively impact plants and animals, and scientists discovered that it can also provide beneficial effects to human health; today, music therapy is a popular and effective way of treating psychological disorders. So, what are the positive effects of music on the human brain and human health?

Music can decrease the risks of heart attack and stroke. Music has been found to lower blood pressure; changes in the “autonomic” nervous system, such as breathing and heart rate can also be altered by music (Tryon Daily Bulletin). This helps to create a so-called “relaxation response,” which counteracts the damaging effects of chronic stress. Music contributes to the release of endorphins, which are protein molecules produced by the nervous system that works with sedative receptors in the brain. They improve mood, boost the immune system, reduce eating disorder symptoms, and help fight cancer. In this respect, music has powerful positive effects on the functioning of the human body.

Music also affects the way our brain functions. It is reported that easy-listening and classical music improves the duration and intensity of concentration in all age groups and ability levels (eMed Expert). At the same time, another research study has shown that music with a strong beat stimulates brain waves to resonate with them. In other words, the faster the beat is, the sharper concentration becomes, and thinking becomes more alert (Tryon Daily Bulletin). Listening to music also helps people recall information; certain types of music can serve as strong “keys,” supposedly forming a strong connection between emotions they evoke and the information, which can be recalled much easier during playing back the song which was being played during the process of learning (eMed Expert).

Music also performs several social functions, which are usually omitted when talking about its effects. Music today is an extremely popular and available form of entertainment; people of all ages attend concerts of their favorite bands and singers, and share the same positive emotions there. However, they can share the same emotions in everyday life; simply talking about music, even if the interlocutors have just met and have different preferences, can help them establish communication faster and easier. Youth are often grouped in fan-clubs and subcultures, which also helps young people to socialize.

Music is one of the most ancient forms of art, and one of the most beneficial for human beings as well. Music deals powerful, positive effects on the human body, reducing risks of heart diseases, cancers, enhancing the immune system, and reducing chronic stress. It also helps our brain function better by increasing its cognitive abilities, attention, memory, and concentration. In addition, music is a factor of socialization and facilitates establishing communication with unfamiliar people and socialization.

References

“Music Offers Positive Health Effects.” The Tryon Daily Bulletin. N.p., 28 Mar. 2013. Web. 04 July 2013. <http://www.tryondailybulletin.com/2013/03/28/music-offers-positive-health-effects/>.

“How Music Affects Us and Promotes Health.” EMed Expert. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 July 2013. <http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml>.

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Conclusion 

Music affects you in many ways; however, it primarily affects your brain, through which the rest of your body can be affected. Music is an excellent therapeutic tool for the brain, because it activates so many parts of it. Music’s pitch, rhythm, meter and timbre are processed in both the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Listening to music triggers the areas of the brain that have to do with spatial reasoning. Music can even alter the brain if it is studied from a young age. Research shows that musical training in children can improve the activity of important neural systems. In fact, if someone receives a lot of music training before they turn 15 (or go through puberty), there is a chance that they will develop perfect pitch. Certain scientists think that musicians who have had early training use their brains differently than non-musicians.

It has also been proven that music has a huge effect on your mood. This occurs because of the rhythm and tone that we hear when we listen to music. When we listen to a rhythm, our heart actually begins to synch with it. Tones are also extremely important, since music composed in a major key usually sounds happier and music composed in a minor key normally sounds sadder. Music may cause you to feel joyful, sad, angry, hyped up, relaxed etc. and sometimes you can feel more than one emotion during a song. As research shows, music not only affects what kind of mood we may be in, but we also seem to have a habit of choosing music based on the moods we are already feeling.

Music also benefits you in many ways. These benefits include mental benefits, such as reducing stress, improving mood, helping depression, and improving IQ/memory. There are also physical benefits to music. Some of these benefits are: easing pain, helping patients recover post-surgery, helping premature babies grow, improving your heart, enhancing blood vessel function and even aiding in exercise.

There is much debate about what types of much are most beneficial; however, it has been proven that the degree to which music benefits you isn’t based so much off what type of music it is, but more off your personal preference. This is because if someone does not enjoy a certain type of music, they will become stressed and irritated when they listen to it, so they will not benefit from it at all. Nevertheless, studies also show that listening to large amounts of loud, aggressive music such as heavy metal does not affect you positively, even if you do enjoy this type of music. This is because music transmits emotion very well, and it makes sense that listening to music with negative emotions will have a negative psychological effect. There is also a type of music that seems the most beneficial, especially if you listen to it from a young age and enjoy it. This type of music would be classical music. This form of music has been proven to aid in brain development, alter brainwaves, help reduce pain and anxiety, increase growth of premature babies and it is also known as the best type of music for your health. Other types of music, such as pop and rock, offer similar benefits as classical music, but not to such an extent.

Recently, music has begun to become more and more popular in the field of medicine. Listening to music every day can already provide you with many health benefits, but hospitals have found that music therapy can even help with serious conditions. Tests have shown that music is especially helpful to reduce pain and calm patients before and after surgeries. Other forms of musical therapy, such as vibroacoustic therapy, have recently been proven to be successful in aiding in recovery from Parkinson’s disease. Epilepsy and asthma are two other diseases that seem to be combatted by music. However, while music does help epilepsy directly, it seems that it can aid in recovery from asthma (patients can learn to control their breathing by playing wind instruments), but not actually heal it. Music also provides benefits to sufferers of dementia, since it has often been found that dementia sufferers can recognize certain tunes they are familiar with. Patients with mood and mental disorders seem to improve when they listen to music because music can help them communicate their feelings. As mentioned before, music is even being used to aid in the growth of premature babies, since it has been found that music significantly speeds up development and increases the weight of preterm babies. Finally, music also helps the recovery of patients who have experienced heart failure.

Music affects us in many different ways, and provides us with many benefits. The brain can even be improved by listening to music, and so can our mental and physical health. Music can even be used to boost our mood. However, we have to know which type of music is most beneficial for us, as it is normally based on personal preference, even though classical music is usually the most rewarding. This ancient art is also one of the most powerful forms of healing for many different sicknesses. Music is truly amazing!

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