The psychology of music


Music is an important element of a person’s life. When the child is born, family members celebrate his or her welcome with music or any cultural celebration. When the child is growing gradually, lullabies are needed for him to get sound sleep, and go to school, they learn many poems, school anthems, or national anthems. Children celebrate the school’s annual day and their birthdays with music. Gradually, in teenagers, when they feel attracted to or loved by someone, they listen to songs. When they experience a break, they have different genres of songs. Even in marriage ceremonies, it is sung by relatives, and in old age, people do religious practices in which they sing religious songs for God and goddesses. In short, it is used and enjoyed in every stage of life. It is used as a medium to enjoy emotions to a greater level.

Let’s talk about music in more detail

Music as a medium of catharsis:

Have you ever noticed that when people are experiencing heartbreak or painful situations in life, sometimes they listen to any song in a repetitive mood? They even sing the song while they play it. It’s because the song’s emotions seem similar to their emotional experience or expectations, which makes them relate to the song. In such situations, it is used as a catalyst. Catharsis means a feeling of purification or purgation of emotions through art. When people realize their negative emotions, and at this stage, they often even cry while listening to the songs, they feel better. As the storage of negative emotions gets released, it has a healing effect on a person’s mind and body. They feel relaxed and light after listening to songs as they process the stored emotional energy.

Also Read: What Does Your Music Taste Tell About Your Personality?

Music as therapy:

nowadays, music is even used as therapy. Such therapy involves a variety of variations. Sometimes it is used in the form of dynamic meditation, where it is played and the person has to just dance the way they want to and just be in the moment to feel better. Through this process, a person feels better, as body movements help them release energy in an easier way.

Five rhythms:

It’s a movement therapy given by Gabriel Roth. In this therapy, she talks about five different movements and how to use them. People can find 5Rhythms music on YouTube as well. These five movements are:

  1. Flow: In this stage, the person has to move like flowing waves.
  2. Staccato: in this movement stage, the person has to use their hands and feet in such a way that they are drawing geometrical shapes or chopping something.
  3. Chaos: in this stage, the person has to do a collusion of flow and staccato.
  4. Lyrical: in this stage, the person has to move as if they are falling snow.
  5. Stillness: this is the last stage where a person uses slow motion to gradually find a relaxing state and remain in that state for some time.

By using this technique, gradually, people will realize that they can enjoy one stage over another. And then they can go ahead to that stage to feel relaxed.

Also Read: Why Do We Listen to Sad Music?

Reason of Individual Preferences in Music:

It’s common to see that people enjoy one type of music in comparison to others, and the reason behind this is their individual differences, which are based on their personality traits, age, cultural preferences, and surroundings. For example, a person who has high aspirations likes to enjoy the lyrics of music that talk about dreams, achievements, and visions for the future. Whereas fun-loving people prefer more party songs.

Similarly, age also plays an important role in song preference. Family members of all ages have different preferences in music. For example, old people enjoy soft and slow music, while teenagers enjoy music that is fast in beat and meets the emotional needs of their phase of life. Also, the it is a person listens to in their childhood and teenage years shapes their preference for music for the rest of their life. Because of changes in life situations and experiences, these preferences can change as well.

The culture in which a person grows also has a lasting impact on their musical preference. It’s seen that songs in mother tongue languages give more emotional arousal and release compared to any other language.

Also Read: How is Music Actually Beneficial to Our Mental Health?

Benefits of listing music:
1) Impact of music on a person’s health and stress:

Stress causes an increased level of stress hormones. Cortisol in the human body and listening to music reduce the secretion of these hormones. 60% of human illnesses and diseases are caused by stress; hence, listening to music is good for health as it reduces stress and enhances their work performance. One study shows that if people actively participate in making music by playing various percussion instruments and singing, their immune system is boosted more than if they passively listen.

2) Impact of music on sleep:

Sound sleep is very important for good health. When people are going to sleep, they often think about how their entire day was, what did not happen as expected, or how they will meet work challenges and expectations. It’s because it’s very difficult for them to get good sleep, which leads to such thought-provoking ideas. The problem of insomnia is increasing day by day. To find the impact of music on sleep, a study was conducted on college students, and it was found that students who listened to relaxed classical music for 45 minutes slept significantly better than students who listened to audiobooks or did nothing different in their regular day.

3) Impact of Music on Diet:

The foot is not only for filling the stomach, but it is also for enjoying the taste. But in their regular routine, people hardly focus on enjoying the taste and try to eat in a hurry or eat while watching TV or on their mobile. In this way, they eat more than they require.

To study the impact of it on food, research was conducted at Georgia Tech University, and the results of the study showed that softening the lighting and music while people eat leads to enjoying the taste of food and letting them consume less colour.

Also Read: Love Music? It says a lot about you!

4) Impact of Music on Depression Patients:

It elevates mood, and the mental state of depression is contradictory to this. A study showed that 90% of people who are experiencing depression also suffer from insomnia. Hans Joachim Trappe conducted a study in Germany to explore the significance of music on depression symptoms. The study revealed that it can be beneficial for patients experiencing depression symptoms, contingent upon the type of music. It also shows that classical music and meditative sounds uplift people’s moods, but techno and heavy metal bring people down even more.

5) Impact of music on happiness:

A person feels good when they sing because when they sing to their favourite songs, their brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter. Valorie Salimpoo, a neuroscientist, conducted a study at McGill University. He injected a radioactive substance that binds to dopamine receptors into eight music lovers’ ears after they listened to their favourite music. In the PET scanner, researchers observed a significant release of dopamine, which elicited increased feelings of happiness and excitement in the participants.

6) Impact of music on Driving and pain:

A study shows that listening to music while driving can positively impact a driver’s mood, which can lead to safer behaviour (following driving rules) than not listening to it. Maintaining a balanced mood helps individuals avoid road rage and handle heavy traffic without feeling frustrated. Listening to music helps individuals experience less severe pain. At Drexel University in Philadelphia, a research study found that pre-recorded music and music therapy were more effective in reducing pain in cancer patients compared to standard treatment. Studies also show that it can reduce pain in intensive care patients and geriatric care patients. But the selection of it also plays an important role in this process.

Also Read: Think Healthy, Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy

7) Impact of music on stroke patients:

Stroke can impact a person’s cognitive functioning. Helsinki University conducted research to assess the impact of music on stroke patients’ lives, and they discovered that stroke patients who listened to music for 2 hours a day experienced improved cognitive functioning compared to those who did not listen to audiobooks. If you know any person suffering from strokes, ask them to listen to their favourite songs, as this will help them significantly ramp up their recuperation.

8) Impact of music on verbal intelligence and Alzheimer’s Patients:

A study found that music training has a transfer effect on children’s ability to understand words and explain their meanings. Another study demonstrated that adult women and children, who had received musical training, outperformed those without music training on verbal memory tests. Alzheimer’s disease is about several symptoms, among which memory loss is one of them. A non-profit organization called Music and Memory helps people with Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias remember who they are by making them listen to their dearest songs.

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