Psychology of Music Music is a form of art that utilizes sound and silence. People listen to music every day as a means of filling in silence or passing time. It may seem as though music and science exist in two separate planes; one of beauty and emotions, and the other of logic and reason. In recent years however, studies have found that music has a profound effect on the mind and human psychology. Music affects many different areas of the brain, and plays a vital role brain function as well as our lives.
Music exists in every culture, and seems to be a part of much of our biological irritate. Previous texts on music and emotion have focused on the emotional responses of an individual when he or she was exposed to music; however it is much more that that; it can be seen as a very social attribute to our humanity. Consider social events such as weddings, birthdays, and graduations, as well as social settings such as clubs, pubs, and festivals. The influence of a social setting on the emotional responses to music needs to be considered.
Research has largely ignored the influence of social factors on emotions, which is unfortunate because music is associated with many social aspects of everyday life. Empirical studies show support for a social bonding hypothesis, in which Joint musical activities can improve pro- social and cooperative behavior. Music also heavily influences the fluctuation of human emotions. Emotions, according to Scorcher’s Component Process Model (2004), are triggered by a cognitive evaluation process that possesses three components: physiological arousal, motor expression, and subjective feelings.
We can usually sense the tone of a piece of music, note if it is particularly happy or sad. This is not Just a subjective idea that comes from how music makes us feel’; our brains actually respond differently to ‘happy and ‘sad’ music. A study conducted by Madhya Legendary and Goodbye Apothecary of the University of London (2009) showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. Studies have shown that music can improve the attention span and strength of an individual.
In 2007, a research team from the Stanford University School of Medicine aimed valuable insight to how the brain sorts out all the external stimulus of the environment around it. Using brain images of people listening to short symphonies by random 18th century composers, the team showed that music engages the areas of the brain involved in paying attention, making predictions, and updating memory. What was interesting was that peak brain activity occurred during short periods of silence between musical movements, when nothing was happening.
The team used music to help study the brain’s attempt to make sense of the continual flow of information the real world generates, a process called ‘event segmentation’. The brain breaks down information into meaningful segments by extracting information about beginnings, endings, and boundaries between events. The researchers concluded that the changes in brain activity seen in the MR. scans reflected the brain’s evolving responses to different phases of a symphony.
The study The Brain on Music By deem brain over a period of time, and the process of listening to music could be a way the brain sharpens its ability to anticipate events and sustain attention. This aspect of music also helps develop the motivational drivers, which not only unifies attention but also motivation. Research on the effects of music during exercise has been done for years. In 1911, American researcher Leonard Ares found that cyclists pedaled faster while listening to music than they did in silence.
This happens because listening to music activates selective motivation, which in turn drowns out the brain’s cries of fatigue. When the body realizes that it is tried, it sends signals to the brain to stop and rest. Listening to music competes for the brain’s attention and can override those signals of fatigue. A recent study conducted in 2012 wowed that cyclists who listened to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same workout as those who cycled in silence. In the same way that exercising makes people happier through the release of endorphins, it is not surprising that music adds significantly to the exercise.
Music train can also significantly improve motor control and reasoning skills. In 2008, researchers Marie Forged (Harvard Medical Center) and Ellen Winner (Boston College), conducted a study in which they investigated the association between instrumental music training during childhood and the outcomes closely related to USIA training. The study showed that children who had three years or more musical instrument training performed better than those who did not learn an instrument in auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills.
They also tested better on vocabulary and nonverbal reasoning skills, which involve understanding and analyzing visual information, such as identifying relationships, similarities, and differences between shapes and patterns. The last two areas of study in particular are quite removed from musical training, so it was an interesting to find that learning o play an instrument could help children with such a wide variety of important skills.
A similar study proved that in addition to shaping specific skills related to mental function, the effects of music and music training on the brain has a profound effect on overall cognitive development. The experiment, conducted by Dry. Helen Manville of the University (2004), tested the hypothesis that music training causes improvements in several diverse aspects of cognition, and that one way music training produces these effects is by improving attention. Learning music requires focused attention, abstract relational thinking, and fluid intelligence, or ‘executive control’.
The findings in the research study suggested that if given strong attention cues, children as young as three years old can selectively analyze auditory information. It was reported that the children in the study who received music and visual arts training display a larger improvement on standardized tests of reading and arithmetic than children receiving the standard curriculum. Music is not Just the organization of sound with rhythm, melody, and tempo. It is the social foundation of humanity, and an essential part of human mental velveteen.