Music and Mood
Music and Mood For hundreds of years, human civilization has used music to incite feeling in a person or people. Military bands use music to inspire courage and strength. Mothers often use music to calm small children down.
These examples are only a few ways that music has been used to manipulate the feelings of people. When you listen to music, stimulus is sent to your brain through your ears. This stimulus releases serotonin and flushes the body with dopamine, giving you a surge of euphoria that can lift your spirits and lessen depression. With the help of the public organization EIRC (Educational Information and Research Center), I conducted my research on this topic through the R.O.G.
A.T.E. program, which is just one of the many opportunities that EIRC has to offer.EIRC is a public agency specializing in education-related programs and services for parents, schools, communities, nonprofit organizations and privately held businesses throughout New Jersey. Its programs also reach into more than thirty-six states and eight foreign countries.
The publication of an article is a way that I have chosen to extend my research in this field to qualify for the highest award that the R.O.G.A.T.
E. program. For more information on this program and others like it, visit www.eirc.org. Through experiments and research for this program, I have come to the conclusion that this occurrence is common in people, and almost 95% of people feel something when they listen to music.
However, 5% of people feel absolutely nothing when they hear music, because to them, it sounds the same as white noise. This is due to a condition called congenital amusia which means that a person is quite literally tone-deaf. They physically cannot hear changes in pitch. This is a genetic condition of the brain. In spite of this, most people feel deep and intense emotion when listening to music.
The majority of listeners can hear the music, and it can provoke different feelings in people such as sadness, excitement, happiness, and calmness. Different rhythms and melodies can produce different feelings. For instance, if the rhythm is upbeat and the melody is higher, then the subject usually will feel happy or excited. The fast pace reminds them of memories of excitement, or the high melody can bring memories of intense joy in the subject. Inversely, when the rhythm is slower, or when the melody is on lower notes, a person can experience calmness in the music.
The same effect happens in reverse, where the slower beat can remind the listener of a lullaby, and the lower melody can calm them as well. Studies have also shown that music plays a part in improving a person’s mood. In a study I did recently regarding this very topic, test subjects were exposed to different songs of varying musical genres, and they were asked how they felt while listening. The effect described in the previous paragraph was in line with the results of the study. Most of them felt something when listening to all of the genres.
They expressed that their feelings were energized(excited) during the songs with faster tempos, and that they felt happy when they listened to the songs with higher melodies. The test subjects said that they felt calm during the songs that had slower rhythms and lower melodies. An interesting pattern in the study showed that none of the subjects felt sadness or any other negative emotions. The music mostly calmed them or made them happy or excited. Indeed, music does have a positive effect on the human condition, and though some do not know this joy, it is evident that it is therapeutic for listeners who are exposed to different genres.
This may well affect treatments of stress and anxiety in the future. This study as well as others have shown how music is quite effective to calm a person down, and it may be a possible alternative to taking drugs to resolve their anxiety and depression.