What Is The Connection Between Music And The Mind?
Music is more than just a hobby or a skill – did you know that it has a profound impact on our brains as well?
For example, most children will grow up hearing music in some form. Whether it’s singing along to their favourite songs at home and at school or learning an instrument, music shapes many of our earliest memories.
Even if you don’t have any musical ability of your own, chances are you can recognise the structure of chords and notes and know when something is out of place. This supports the idea that the way we react to music is often instinctive and unlearned.
In fact, many studies have pointed to the fact that the ability to understand beats, rhythm and notes might be unique to humans and only a few other species. Music itself can be seen as another type of language just like English, Mandarin, Spanish or others. It has its own structure and rules and we can understand how different phrases or groups of notes produce different effects and meanings.
Many people feel an emotional response to music. Whether it’s sadness, happiness, anger or other emotions, music is known to stimulate certain types of feelings through the arrangement of notes and chords.
Because of this, music can be a powerful tool in enhancing creativity and productivity. It can energise us, make us feel lighter and happier or sombre and sad. Some types of music can also have a strong calming effect, which can be a great stress-reliever.
A study based at the Glasgow Caledonian University is taking this idea further by analysing how different types of music could help to treat emotional and physical pain. The researchers hope to develop a mathematical model explaining why music has different emotional effects on us.
In the future, this could even lead to ways of identifying the pieces of music that could influence a person’s mood – further changing the way we interact with music.