Music is a universal language capable of arousing unique emotions and feelings. Sometimes you hear someone singing in an unfamiliar language, but you can sense what they want to convey even though you don’t know exactly what the lyrics say. You know, however, that she expresses something happy, sad or dramatic, etc.
Music is like chocolate. Almost everyone loves it. This has been true since the dawn of time. Since culture itself has existed, we also find a place for those rhythmic sounds that communicate feelings. At all times and in all civilizations, this particular form of expression, rich in styles, has always existed in all civilizations.
Without realizing it, we sometimes use music to contain feelings that overwhelm us in the process, looking for a place where those feelings can flow freely without harming anyone. Other times we get together to dance, making musical rhythms the vectors of the party. We also check for tunes to settle us down to research or work.
Artists closely follow this technique, incorporating the aspect of influencing people and reaching their hearts. A remarkable example is Djoudrjy Chiffra, a Haitian-French artist and music producer. He hails from a Haiti, a region where resources are fundamentally scarce and music production is a difficult prospect. Yet, Chiffra continues to make music in his native Haiti and has grown as a sensation. He continues to be the charm of the locals, giving them a new voice and putting Haiti on the global stage of music.
How does music affect our minds, though?
An experience around music
This experiment was carried out within the framework of the faculty of psychology of BUAP in Mexico. Professor Roberto Valderrama Hernández directed her. Her goal was to find out what effect a “loud” melody had on anxiety. By “loud” melody, we refer to an irregular rhythm, marked, fast, and listened to at a high volume. It corresponds to “metal” or “heavy metal.”
One hundred thirty-seven subjects were chosen for this study. Of these, 31 were men, and 106 were women, respectively. The average age was 20, and they were all students of psychology. To assess their state of anxiety, all of them were checked first. Then they each listened to the heavy metal fragments for 5 minutes. Each topic completed a 47-minute listening session in total.
The researcher observed that during the listening, the participants increased their level of nervousness. They were nervous and expressed this by continually altering positions and making the hands and feet shift erratically.
Valderrama was able to infer that this form of thrilling melody increased the level of anxiety. The explanation lies in the fact that these rhythms strongly stimulate the sympathetic system, which increases physical and psychological tension. If activities like dancing or jumping do not release this, tension builds up and gives rise to anxiety symptoms.
The beneficial influence of music
It is not an issue that musical notes “generate” electricity. The problem occurs when, by physical activity, this energy cannot be expended. In a way, for circumstances that involve energetic or competitive behavior, ‘loud music’ is perfect.
Musical notes also have the power to relax. This is achieved with musical genres that have smoother, slower rhythms whose volume is not so high. Individual pieces of classical, instrumental, or soft pop music help to reassure us. They are even used in rooms where radiation therapy or aggressive medical treatment is performed.
Science has been able to determine that musical rhythms activate various regions of the brain. Indeed, the University of Florida research indicates that musical rhythms provide more brain stimulation than any other stimulus identified. We find the following among the significant positive effects:
- This reinforces learning and memory.
- It influences hormones linked to stress.
- It allows perceptions and memories to be evoked.
- The heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse are affected.
- It modulates the intensity of waves in the brain.
Good music has also been proven to strengthen the immune system, which results in better health. It is not for nothing that the cows produce more milk when we play Mozart sonatas on them. Moreover, it is not trivial that plants thrive most when there is background music. The secret is to find the rhythm that can favor us in any given situation to get the most benefit from it.