Effects of Music on the Unborn Child

Topics: Pregnancy, Musical instrument, Music Pages: 5 (2120 words) Published: March 29, 2011
Music can be used to influence people’s mood and has been used to attempt to affect the brain of a child in its mother’s womb. Some people think that having an unborn child listen to different types of music will have different effects on how the child will grow. Some people believe that music has no influence while others believe that if they introduce their unborn child to classical music the baby will grow up to be smarter than the kid who either listened to other types of music or no music while in the womb. Studies have been done on how music can affect an unborn, and many different results have come from these studies. Not only can the unborn child actually hear the music, but the child will remember the song even after they are born. ​Music affects attitudes as well as thoughts. According to the book titled What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland, there are four elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, and tone color. Each of these elements are not heard by themselves but are heard together as one sound. Each part of music has a special and unique way wherewith we interpret and react to it. Rhythm comes first in the musical elements because many historians say that music started with a beating of a rhythm. Whether it was the cavemen with branches or another group rhythm was the first element of music found (Copland, 33). The second element, melody, is second because rhythm is more of a physical motion and so melody is experienced as a mental emotion. The melody is the most crucial part of the music. It is the only subjective portion of music that the audience rejects or accepts by itself (Copland, 49). Harmony, the third element, is the most sophisticated. The harmony was the most recently discovered and has been greatly appreciated (Copland, 61). The last element, tone color, is the quality of sound produced by a particular musical instrument (Copland, 78). Aaron Copland later goes on to explain the difference of how we listen to music now compared to how we listened when we were in the womb. We have little to no say in what we listen to when we were in the womb; we can only enjoy it or kick relentlessly hoping that it will change. ​Some studies have been done by David Tame in his book The Secret Power of Music. In it he says “music has been found to affect the body in two distinct ways, directly on the cells and organs and indirectly by affecting the emotions, which, in turn, influence numerous bodily processes. Sounds projected into liquid media have coagulated proteins. So teenagers have brought soft eggs to rock concerts, which became hard-boiled — wonder what happens in our own bodies” (Tame, 173) After reading this, it does make one wonder why we listen to something that can have such a negative effect and be so bad. Most people chose music their parents raised them on or something completely different. Tame later says in his book that people who listen to rock music have led lives that were much more destructive to themselves and to others than people who had listened to classical music. David Tame also did studies on plants and animals and how they respond to the different music. In a study performed classical music had appeared to bring more produce and better looking flowers than rock music (Tame, 196). ​According to BBC, Dr. Lamont did a study where the same song was played for the last three months of the pregnancy and then was played again after the child was born, even after they were a year old they recognized the song (BBC, Womb Music: How Will Music Affect oner Unborn Child?). Another study done by Dr. Lamont concluded that “that there was no evidence that playing classical music to babies helps to make their brains develop.” Dr. Lamont has done many studies for this topic and could be considered an expert. She has discovered much information for example: babies can hear just twenty weeks after conception and can remember a song for at least twelve months, and that babies cannot only...

Cited: Arnold, Copland. What to Listen for in Music. McGraw Hills, 1900. Print.
BBC, 11 July 2001. Web. 29 Oct. 2009. .
Music Ability in Children. October House Inc., 1966. Print.
Tame, David. Secret power of music. New York: Destiny Books, 1984. Print.
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