Mary Beth Kelly
April , 2012
Music is any form of sound in a synchronized pattern that affects the brainwaves. Together with many instruments, an emotional harmony is created that can single-handedly manipulate human emotion. When music manipulates emotion to an extreme degree, the practice can become an addiction. There are many causes for being a music addict. It provides an artificial sanctuary, bringing out the emotion that a person is feeling. Music is limitless; there is no end to its boundaries. Music affects how you feel, react, and learn. I can be in the best of moods, then listen to a sad song and start to feel depressed. You listen to something more upbeat your mood will lighten, and you become happier. Music's ability to "heal the soul" is the stuff of legend in every culture. Many people find that music lifts their spirits. Modern research tends to confirm music's psychotherapeutic benefits. Bright, cheerful music (e.g. Mozart, Vivaldi, bluegrass, Klezmer, Salsa, reggae) is the most obvious prescription for the blues. Animals are similar. You play rock and roll and they usually run out of the room, at least mine do. But if you put on some jazz or especially classical, they lie down and close their eyes. It is soothing and calming. Jazz, blues, soul or calypso music can uplift and inspire us, releasing deep joy or even deep sadness, conveying wit and affirming our common humanity. People will also recognize happy faces if they are feeling happy themselves. A new study by researcher Jacob Jolij and student Maaike Meurs of the Psychology Department of the University of Groningen shows that music has an even more dramatic effect on perception: even if there is nothing to see, people sometimes still see happy faces when they are listening to happy music and sad faces when they are listening to sad music. Pretty interesting, but this notion really makes sense. The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart's music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information. Classical music, such as Haydn and Mozart, often improves concentration and memory when played in the background. When I am studying or writing, I want just soft back ground music. Because when I’m listening to upbeat hip-hop or lyrical music, I tend to concentrate on the words more than my studies or book. Also if I’m writing and I’m listening to a lyrical song I tend to write the words in the songs other than what I need to be writing, without thinking about it! I have seen moms in movies put headphones around their tummy when they are pregnant and play classical music such as Mozart because they wanted their children to grow up being smart. Clinical researchers at the U.C.L.A School of Nursing in Los Angeles, and at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta, found that premature babies gained weight faster and were able to use oxygen more efficiently when they listened to soothing music. Some rhythms, such as Baroque, induce enzymes in the brain and add amazing well being and focus. Slower Baroque music, such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi or Corelli, can create mentally stimulating environments for creativity and new innovations. I hear people complaining about baroque and classical music being boring, but if that kind of music was never around, then the music we have now would not exist. So I appreciate it, and I agree with the fact it helps people study and feel more creative. Romantic music, such as Schubert, Schumann, Tchaikovsky,...