Music and it’s Effect on the Brain

The will of men at the behest
of a beat

Music on Guitar
FOR MANY centuries it has been a mystery as to why people respond the way they do to music. Little was known and more is yet to be unmasked. Human beings have flirted with different music styles and tastes over the ages, from the days of the Greeks to the Romans rigth to the present day.

Music has taken on different purposes and functions in many civilisations that have existed at different times in history. It has been a means of expression, depending on the nature of the event; to celebrate achievements, mourn a loss, and usher in a season.

Music has always had the ablility to induce reactions and responses in it’s listeners. This has been a subject of investigation by scientists for many years and has led to a multiplicity of breakthroughs.

However, it wasn’t until the invention of modern diagnostic tools like the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanners with their ability to detect and monitor brain activity levels, that scientists could better understand the functioning of the brain and most importantly its vast cognitive abilities that make life’s experiences possible.

Modus Operandi
Music has been found to activate brain regions involved in movement, planning, attention and memory.

On Stage Performance

This and a host of other findings has helped to entrench music, and it’s use, the more in daily life as it’s effects are more understood and better techniques developed to induce these effects as when desired.

Music is used now more than ever in promotion of new products and services, boost retention of memory, manipulate emotions, and modify behaviour.

For instance, songs are used to enable children memorise and remember learned material better. Words woven together with a beat – songs, have been shown to receive better reception, retained longer and recalled faster than merely spoken words.

Music has been found to over-ride the brain’s protective-seiving mechanism for any incoming messages especially those channeled through the auditory senses. This renders the brain vulnerable to the waves of music that are directed at it as one listens to any piece of music.

It therefore shouldn’t come as a suprise for one to thump their feet or even dance at the sound of one’s favorite song.

Beats of manipulation
The ‘mode of operation’ of music per say isn’t a bad thing. It’s a fact that cannot be ignored. As a matter of fact it points to an attribute of sophistication locked up in nature, a good thing considering the many useful benefits of music.

The risk is, as is always the case and mind you the case now, that this knowledeg is used to propagate a misleading and counterproductive message that only serves the interesest of a select few foe example the promotion of violance in movies.

Any image or animation can be made appealing or ‘cool’ to an audience by the type of music played in the background. The message portrayed in that image or animation is more likely to be adopted or accepted with minimal resistance.

The ability of music to induce ‘desirable’ effects and responces in listeners is one of the beauties of not only music but nature as a whole. It makes life as it is known, possible. However, with this comes a susceptability to any message carried – good or bad – and nature has know this truth for centuries.

Humans have been merely riding on this attribute of nature. They have only come to understand this in the immediate past. More is yet to be unmasked.

Until such a time when a one significantly understands the known effects of listening to music, it’s proper and safe to take caution in all matters pertaining music and musicans as whole, be it secular or gospel, lest ones will be at the behest of a beat.