The Influence of Music

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Introduction to Music GEN1621
Major Writing Assignment
The Influence of Music

Almaty, 2011
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." (Plato, 428-348 BC ) Music is inseparable part of our everyday life; we can face it in every corner of our town, on TV commercial, films, radio etc. Music can be understood everywhere, even if you cannot speak the language of other countries, but you move, dance, sing and enjoy the music while listening to it. We may not understand the words of a musical selection but we do understand the beauty of songs. We cannot avoid it and we cannot disclaim that music has an impact on human’s behavior, mood and attitudes. Music can affect us in ways in which people are not even aware of, and for this reason, music is simply amazing. Therefore, this issue has been studied for decades, by unrelated people for each other, such as music educators, neuroscientists, composers, psychologists, singers, philosophers, mathematics, therapists, medical researchers and others. That is why music is used in millions of places. The first question of inquiry chart is: how does music affect our emotions? Music can produce different emotions in listeners. Also, it is a form of expression, because artists often express their feelings through songs. They write songs when they are happy, sad, angry, and even when they are in love. It has been proven that certain types of music can evoke sadness, while others can give you an excitement. Also, music has the ability to change the emotional and physical status of people, whether they are in bad moods, good moods, or sad moods.  As health reporter of BBC news Sonya McGilchrist (2011) wrote “Music releases a chemical in the brain that has a key role in setting good moods.” Also, when people listen to music, their body produces serotonin, which is known as the happiness hormone and that is why, lovely songs can make them happy. According to Emporia State Research, which was conducted by Christopher Rea, Pamelyn Macdonald and Gwen Carnes (2010), they investigated the effects of different types of music on moods. They took fifty four participants, who were undergraduate college students. Sixteen of them were men, thirty seven of participants were women, and one participant was unspecified. The age range of participants was from eighteen to thirty years. Materials which were used in an investigation were three compact discs [CD]: pop, heavy metal and classical music with approximately ten minutes music on each CD. According to results of Rea et al. (2010), nineteen of participants reported that they felt themselves more relaxed and calm while listening to classical music, seventeen of partakers who listened to heavy metal, reported increases in jitteriness, and decreases in calmness, security, satisfaction, comfortableness, relaxation, contentedness, steadiness, and pleasantness. Other seventeen students felt more comfortable and relaxed, less worried and confused. (p. 1-3). As we can see, different types of music make us feel and behave in different ways. I would agree that music impacts on our emotions, because when I listen to the song with the title “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby Mcferrin, all problems go far away from me for three minutes. Actually, I see myself as a meloman, because I try to listen to different types of music, pop, rap, rock, classical, house, soul etc. However my tastes change due to time, now I prefer to listen to rap music, tomorrow I can listen to club music. Additionally, I want to add that music can transport memories from past to present, for example when I hear some songs from school time, I remember my classmates and school. As Abba’s “Happy New Year” brings us emotions and atmosphere of the New Year. In conclusion, music communicates with our hearts and minds; it serves as a powerful connection into our emotions. Music is not only for entertainment and for pleasure, but has...
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