Positive Effects Music Has On The Brain – Classical music encourages shoppers to buy more. Gentle melodies can cure insomnia. How? Author, composer and science lecturer John Powell explains
Like many music lovers, I have always been fascinated by the emotional power. How can a combination of sounds make the hairs on your arms stand on end or make you cry? I’ve always enjoyed reading newspaper and magazine articles about the psychological effects of music, but aside from the general conclusion that “music is magic,” they rarely provide any scientific answers.
Positive Effects Music Has On The Brain
But there are answers to why music has such power over us. Since the mid-20th century, music psychologists have conducted a variety of fascinating research into how our brains and bodies respond to music—but most of it has been conveyed to us in formal scientific language, and I thought it was a good idea , to bring together the most interesting facts and theories from this extensive work and present them in simple language to the general reader.
Benefits Of Music
I spent four years gathering information for my book, “Why We Love Music,” reading textbooks and essays full of phrases like “spectral structure and harmonic syntax” and “transglottal airflow amplitudes.” Translated into conversational English, I think the science is interesting to anyone who loves music (and even to the few of us who don’t). For example, experiments have shown that music is extremely effective in curing insomnia; that shoppers spend more money in stores that play classical music; and that singing together helps people bond with each other by releasing oxytocin into our systems – the same chemical we experience during sex or breastfeeding.
My main problem in preparing the book was deciding which topics to leave out. I wish I could have included a lot of interesting snippets, but they just didn’t fit into any of the chapters, like how rock singers only seem to sing louder when they reach the climax of their songs. What they’re actually doing is adding more emotion to their voices, which we pay more attention to, and that’s why they sound louder than they are.
I am particularly fascinated by the effect of music on our body chemistry. Our bodies essentially have an internal pharmacy that releases various chemicals to help us cope with life’s challenges. For example, when you’re in a dangerous situation, you get a shot of adrenaline, which gives you energy, and when you do something that’s good for you, you get a dose of serotonin (which encourages you to do the same). thing again). Research shows that music is key to the body’s natural pharmacy and can promote or suppress the release of these chemicals. For example, loud and rhythmic music can increase your adrenaline levels, which helps keep you awake during a long, boring ride. However, if you have insomnia, relaxing music can help you fall asleep by reducing the amount of the “alertness chemical” norepinephrine in your system. Just half an hour of soothing classical music before bed can help you re-establish a healthy sleep pattern – I would recommend lute music like Nigel North’s Cantabile. With that in mind: sweet dreams!
ExtractProfessors North and Hargreaves placed music speakers on the top shelf of an end-of-shelf wine display in a supermarket to see if different types of music could influence our decisions. The display consisted of four shelves, with a French wine on one side and a German wine on the other. The wines on each shelf were matched in price and sweetness/dryness so that there was fair competition between the two countries. Then all they had to do was change the music occasionally and monitor which wines were bought when which type of music was playing. The result was astonishing: without music, the French wine was slightly more popular than the German one. However, when they played German music over the speakers, the German wine sold twice as fast as the French wine. When it came to French music, the French bottles sold five times as fast as the German ones. This implies that when it comes to marketing music, we are as helpless as krill in the path of a blue whale. And the effect is subconscious – only one in eight wine buyers realized that the music had influenced their choice.
Music For Health, Healing And Wellbeing
In “Why You Love Music,” John Powell, a physicist who has also studied music composition, gives a series of answers that reflect mostly his scientific background. It painlessly conveys some basic musical information, including mood and scales, the structure of melodies, and elements of timbre and key. His writing is conversational and unpretentious; He’s easy-going and down-to-earth, sometimes quite funny. If you have ever felt intimidated by music and its terminology of whole and half steps, scales and chords, this book will put you at ease. – Peter Pesic, Wall Street Journal (£)
Why We Love Music is published by John Murray for £9.99 and is available from the Guardian Bookshop for £8.49. Listening to music can be very emotional – it can evoke strong emotions, trigger memories and modulate physiological responses in the body. For example, songs with a brisk tempo and major chords can evoke feelings of happiness, while songs with a slower tempo and minor chords can evoke feelings of sadness. Learning to play music, especially at a young age, has been shown to have positive effects beyond improving musical skills. Here we discuss how musical training and listening to music changes the brain.
Playing a musical instrument is a complex task that requires the coordinated use of multiple brain areas. Consider playing the guitar: The motor cortex and basal ganglia control the synchronized movements of the right and left hands during strumming and fingering. Meanwhile, feedback from the somatosensory cortex about hand, finger, and body positioning is relayed to brain areas such as the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex to continuously modulate movements. The auditory cortex analyzes the sounds produced so that the game can be adjusted if necessary. As the musician follows a score, the visual system reads and interprets the musical symbols on the page.
Given the complex integration of almost all sensory systems and higher-order cognitive processing in the brain, it is reasonable to assume that playing a musical instrument could lead to changes in brain plasticity. In fact, musicians have been shown to have larger brain volumes in areas involved in auditory and visuospatial processing, motor control, and feedback integration compared to non-musicians. Studies have also shown differences in the way musicians and non-musicians process sounds – both simple tones and complex melodies. For example, one study found that musicians had greater cortical activation when presented with piano tones compared to pure tones, and that this activation was related to the age at which the person began practicing their instrument. Another study found that auditory cortical representation in well-trained musicians is enhanced for the timbres of their primary instrument, but not for the timbres associated with other instruments. Musicians are also known to have an enhanced ability for musical imagery. In one study, participants were presented with the beginnings of familiar melodies and asked to imagine the melody. They were then presented with a note and had to decide whether it was the next note in the melody or not. Compared to non-musicians, musicians were better at recognizing whether the sound being presented was correct. Thus, musical training can lead to superior musical imaging ability.
Ways Music Therapy Improves Brain Function
Given the overlap between cortical networks for music and language, researchers have hypothesized that the two may be related. Research shows that musical training can have positive effects on speech processing and, in particular, pitch discrimination. Musicians have a more robust neural representation of pitch contours compared to non-musicians. This increased ability was related to the number of years of training, suggesting that years of experience can lead to better pitch discrimination.
Not everyone plays a musical instrument, but almost everyone listens to music. Just like playing an instrument, listening to music requires the activation of many brain areas, such as the auditory cortex, to detect and analyze pitches, timbres, rhythms, etc. in music. Listening to music also recruits higher-order brain areas involved in emotions, memory and attention. In fact, listening to music can affect mood and arousal, causing strong emotional reactions such as joy, sadness, or calm.
Unlike other rewarding stimuli such as food or drugs, music has neither an obvious survival benefit nor is it addictive. However, music has been reported in some cases to produce a very strong feeling of euphoria in the listener, commonly described as “goosebumps”. Brain imaging studies have shown that listening to music that looks down one’s spine results in increased brain blood flow in reward-related brain areas (e.g. the ventral striatum) compared to neutral music. The nucleus accumbens (which is also involved in reward) has also been found to be affected
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