Why do we love music?
By: Stefnie Meyer
I conspire to remind everybody I meet to enjoy life the way they intended when they came. We should laugh more - a lot more . . . and play at life. We are not getting out of this alive so we might as well enjoy ourselves. Life is far too important to be taken seriously don't you think? Do you know how to play? Really PLAY?
6 September 2017
We set our electronic alarms and phone ring-tones to a favourite song; we listen to music when we are sad or depressed; happy and in love; we worship God with music and many ancient scriptures declare that if we don’t praise our Creator, then the stones will call out. Well, we know that certain precious stones actually do carry frequency. Sound is woven through the fabric of our existence.
We listen to certain songs over and over, without it ‘falling out of grace’, we just ‘re-mix’ or ‘put a spin’ on the original song and it often sounds better with the latest technology’s help. We created a whole industry around music as art-form and based on the popularity of a song or album, we sit ready to vote for our favourite musicians and award the ‘Top’ performers based on the amount of albums sold.
No two people like exactly the same music & I have experienced that the music we listen to tells one a lot about the listener’s state of mind or emotions. People give themselves away with the “angry” percussions, the “love is in the air” songs or “Zorba the Greek” at festivities.
In Quantum mechanics we really get to understand how we live in a “field” or “matrix” of energy and various frequency wave forms. Vibration is our first language. We can distinguish between a baby’s tired-, hungry-, pain- or frustrated cry. They cry when they sense a hostile situation or environment. When we walk in on a conversation we can sense whether the conversation is friendly or angry.
We can now use sound, (frequency/vibration) to heal the body and emotions. Energy Medicine uses devices that amplify the healing frequencies of various organs in the body. It speeds up healing, resets the spine and normalize brain waves and emotions just to name a few.
Why is Music so magical?
Malini Mohana1 wrote a very interesting blog about “Music & How It Impacts Your Brain, Emotions”
“Music is a common phenomenon that crosses all borders of nationality, race, and culture. A tool for arousing emotions and feelings, music is far more powerful than language. An increased interest in how the brain processes musical emotion can be attributed to the way in which it is described as a “language of emotion” across cultures. Be it within films, live orchestras, concerts or a simple home stereo, music can be so evocative and overwhelming that it can only be described as standing halfway between thought and phenomenon.
But why exactly does this experience of music distinctly transcend other sensory experiences? How is it able to evoke emotion in a way that is incomparable to any other sense?
Music can be thought of as a type of perceptual illusion, much the same way in which a collage is perceived. The brain imposes structure and order on a sequence of sounds that, in effect, creates an entirely new system of meaning.
“The appreciation of music is tied to the ability to process its underlying structure — the ability to predict what will occur next in the song.”
But this structure has to involve some level of the unexpected, or it becomes emotionally devoid.
Skilled composers manipulate the emotion within a song by knowing what their audience’s expectations are, and controlling when those expectations will (and will not) be met. This successful manipulation is what elicits the chills that are part of any moving song.
Music, though it appears to be similar to features of language, is more rooted in the primitive brain structures that are involved in motivation, reward and emotion. Whether it is the first familiar notes of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” or the beats preceding AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” the brain synchronizes neural oscillators with the pulse of the music (through cerebellum activation), and starts to predict when the next strong beat will occur. The response to ‘groove’ is mainly unconscious; it is processed first through the cerebellum and amygdala rather than the frontal lobes.
Music involves subtle violations of timing and, because we know through experience that music is not threatening, these violations are ultimately identified by the frontal lobes as a source of pleasure. The expectation builds anticipation, which, when met, results in the reward reaction.
More than any other stimulus, music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory. The overall phenomenon still retains a certain level of mystery; the reasons behind the ‘thrill’ of listening to music are strongly tied in with various theories based on synaesthesia.
When we are born, our brain has not yet differentiated itself into different components for different senses – this differentiation occurs much later in life. So as babies, it is theorized that we view the world as a large, pulsing combination of colours and sounds and feelings, all melded into one experience – ultimate synaesthesia. As our brains develop, certain areas become specialized in vision, speech, hearing, and so forth.
Professor Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist and composer, unpacks the mystery of the emotion in music by explaining how the brain’s emotional, language and memory centres are connected during the processing of music – providing what is essentially a synesthetic experience. The extent of this connection is seemingly variable among individuals, which is how certain musicians have the ability to create pieces of music which are brimming with emotional quality, and others simply cannot. Be it classics from the Beatles and Stevie Wonder or fiery riffs from Metallica and Led Zeppelin, the preference for a certain type of music has an effect on its very experience. It could be this heightened level of experience in certain people and musicians that allows them to imagine and create music that others simply cannot, painting their very own sonic image.”
In summary, Malini’s research highlights that music is such a powerful tool in:
· Creating a pleasurable, joyful sensory stimulus/experience
· Energetic communication
· Discovering & expressing feelings one might have been avoiding
· Lifting one’s mood when other “tools” do not.
Dr. Cortney S. Warren2 writes in her blog “Music Is What Feelings Sound Like” about how music can help us express emotion that is hard to verbalize.
“Given the emotionally charged nature of music, it can be an incredibly effective way to express ourselves and cope with challenging life circumstances. Because sometimes life is really hard. Really, really hard. Whether it be conflict with family, ending a relationship, or experiencing trauma, we all have moments in which we are brought to our knees with pain, sadness, and confusion.
This is particularly true if you are actively working on being more honest with yourself. Self-deception, at the most basic level, is a protective mechanism: its role is to keep us safe and secure. Often unconsciously, lying to ourselves protects us from knowing truths that would temporarily harm our ego—our core sense of self. As we confront these truths, we are going to feel worse before we feel better. Feeling some discomfort is an inescapable part of the process of becoming more honest with ourselves.
In these tough life moments, music can be a constructive way to express who you are and what you are feeling:
· If you are feeling particularly sad about a reality in your life, listen to a song that connects you to that emotion
· If you are anxious, turn up the volume in your living room and dance around
· If you are angry, grab a pillow and hit is as hard as you can while listening to your favourite lyrics.”
Just like a picture can paint a thousand words, so can music express feelings where the display of emotions any other way, fail to capture the depth and fullness of those feelings.
She continues ... “The Naked Truth is this: Whether we resonate with rap, classical, house, techno, country, alterative, heavy metal, or blues, music is an incredible vehicle for expressing emotions and capturing our internal experience of life. In times of strife or newly-discovered truths, use it to find your true voice. Perhaps you may want to write your own song, analyze the lyrics of a favorite artist, or play an instrument. Perhaps you will explore new genres that are foreign to you. The key is that music is a powerful vehicle for helping you become more aware and honest with yourself.”
I can only add in summary that:
· Music is food for the soul
· Music balances our emotional lives
· Sound has the power to heal the physical body
Are you enjoying the gift of sound and music every day?
Note: If you need your event to be a success and memorable, please view DJ Dino's listing under music.
To learn more about these two writers that helped me explain the magic of music to you, you can follow these links.
1[Malini Mohana is a registered counsellor; a content writer at R.O.I Media and a Psychology graduate from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research in neuropsychology combined with her extensive clinical work and interest in South Africa's addiction treatment programmes is only surpassed by her passion for writing.]
2[Dr. Cortney S. Warren is an Associate Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.]