I wanted my first blog post to be about something I simply love. Something I could go on and on about (and I sure did!). I am confident that this is something that not only fascinates me, as it touches people all over the world. If you haven’t guessed already (headline hint hint..) what I’ll be talking about is: Music.
What amazes me the most about it is how It to me seems like a third human language. By that I mean it has this power to bring people together in a very special way. People from all over the world can come together, read music, and play together. It is amazing. From the little I know about piano and sight reading (still learning), I know there are (among others) components to a musical piece that is the equivalent of a sentence in a spoken language, which again is another example of how music is its own language.
I know that no matter what I am feeling, there are always songs that can put what I feel into words. To me at least, that is a safety. A safe haven to always come back to when I don’t know how to explain what I feel. But it is so strange how music can both make one feel so safe, and so scared. Just take horror movies for example… I always turn off the sound when I watch a trailer to a new horror movie. Music triggers so many feelings, or it can comfort one that is already present…
…But have you ever asked yourself what happens to us? Why does music have this power over us? So many times in our lives will we feel something that is out of our control. Whether that is being head over heels in love, or furious. How music makes us feel is also: out of our control.
I came across an article called “Music and its effect” in one of my uni readings. This claimed that the emotional stimulation that is the reason to why music makes us feel all kinds of ways, are issues yet not understood. That amazes me as somany people find this fascinating. How come no one really knows?
I play two instruments myself, and when thinking back at how difficult it was to learn playing, it makes perfect sense how come no one really understands how all the different components that make up music, affect the human brain. What the article thought me is that it’s believed that the humans sense of tonality evolved to convey information such as gender, size of the person, and their emotional state. How I see it, that makes perfect sense as that is exactly what people do with music: convey their feelings, and express who they are.
So what exactly does happen to us? in our heads? In our brains? something must be known about what happens to us, right? The article claimed that several neuroscientists (brain scientists) with musical backgrounds have found that areas near the primary auditory cortex (the “hearing” part of the brain) are particularly active in response to music. PET imaging have also shown that there is increased activity in brain regions that deals with reward, motivation, and arousal in relation to music that gives one “chills-down-the-spine”reaction. This means our brain tells our bodies to physically feel good! How crazy amazing is that!
I realized I used the word 'amazing' a whole lot.. but really though.. it is! As a uni student I would feel guilty without a reference (👼) so here we go...
Purves, D. et al. (2013) Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience. USA: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers