Music and Its Effect on the Human Body

Topics: Brain, Traumatic brain injury, Human brain Pages: 5 (1804 words) Published: April 22, 2013
Music stimulates brain growth and productive function. It is instinct to make and enjoy music in homo sapiens, it does not get wiped from memory by diseases like Parkinson’s or Dementia, it was been known to help children with ADHD and ADD pay attention, Charles Darwin and other specialists support the idea that it was used to help us evolve and bond throughout our existence. Music is a way for people to transmit emotions, feelings, ideas, and motivation better than words can do; almost as if it is our innate language. With all these examples, it is impossible to deny the power of music and its positive influence on our mental processes. It is engraved in our biology to be moved by music, powered by its emotional force, and to stimulate our brains in ways that enforce knowledge and facilitate natural mental processes. “In 2008 archaeologists in Germany discovered the remains of a 35,000-year-old flute.” (Zimmer 1); that discovery is undeniable evidence that music existed long before organized civilization. Music is a part of our genealogy, we have used it as a tool to transmit thoughts before modern language was even thought about. Charles Darwin theorized that humans started using music as a way to attract mates, as a peacock shows off its feathers. Other specialists such as Dean Falk of the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Ellen Dissanayake of the University of Washington at Seattle believe that music was used to soothe babies as well. The proper term for this biological process is called, motheresing. Just as mothers today, in all cultures, sing lullabies to soothe their young, primordial humans did the same. The way females motherese are similar in all cultures: a quietly sung song with higher than normal speech, pitch, and slow tempo. These professionals speculate that once the essential elements were laid out and understood, adults began to make music for their own enjoyment as well. Robin Dunbar, a psychologist from the University of Oxford holds a third opinion, that music evolved as a way to bond together large groups. Just like primates bond with each other during grooming, primal humans did the same. Eventually, our groups became too large for grooming to remain effective; music offered a practical solution. Large groups could sing together, soothe each other, bond, and vent extra emotions all in one procedure. This practice resembles a modern day concert. It is very reasonable to believe that all of these hypotheses are true because they all exist in evolved forms today. Biologically, music has scientifically proven effects as well. Research suggests that music releases endorphins that work as natural pain-killers. Carl Zimmer states: Dunbar and his colleagues studied people who played music or danced together in church groups, samba classes, drumming circles, and the like. After the performances, the scientists made an indirect measure of the endorphin levels in the performers’ bodies, putting blood pressure cuffs on people’s arms and inflating them until the subjects complained of pain. (Since endorphins kill pain, a higher pain threshold indicates elevated levels of the compounds.) The researchers then repeated the procedure with employees of a musical instrument store who listened passively to constant background music. People who actively moved their bodies to music—dancers, drummers, and so on—had elevated pain thresholds, but no such effect showed up among those who merely listened. (1) This could be another reason that music came into existence, to provide medical help before the days of modern medicine. Today, music therapy is used to help patients with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, attention deficit disorders, etc.; it is used to improve communication, academic abilities, attention span, motor skills, and management of both pain and behavior just to name a few others (Turner 2261-2271).“The Center for InnerChange in the Denver suburb of Greenwood Village, promotes the...
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