The Battle of Two Sides
If we ask different people their opinion on music, they may all most likely say that they like listening to music. Some may not like certain types of music, or no music at all. If we ask them if they think listening to music all day could help them in regular tasks, some may agree and some may say it’s a distraction. Or, some people may say music is just noise and has no effect on mood, and that people are responsible for their own mood.
Now, some people actually do not feel a connection to music, which makes them not hear music the same as others. Divya Abhat, from TheAtlantic.com says, “…in the brains of people with specific musical anhedonia, researchers found that the auditory and reward regions of the brain simply didn’t interact in response to music. As a control, to make sure that musical anhedonics responded to other stimuli, researchers also had participants play a gambling game and found that winning money activated the brain’s reward system just fine.” With knowing this information, it is reasonable to see why the effects of music may seem overrated to them. This is the same type of thing for people who don’t appreciate painted art.
But, there’s a group of people that specifically dislike new music and bash it. The people are likely to say “music isn’t like it used to be.” Others could argue that the content of certain music can have a negative impact on the youth. It is very normal nowadays for The older, experienced, humans to say that pop music is glorifying sex. Rap is glorifying drugs and violence. And others may argue that everything mainstream is pushing these images because it sells.
Others may even say that some of the same ideas were in past music, but people now just can’t seem to accept something new. And others may argue that if you dive deeper into the music, you can actually find good substance. Music is all subjective, just taste. I can understand parents wanting to protect their children from the explicit content. Six year olds should not be singing along with the song WAP, which is an adult song made by Cardi B and Meg The Stallion. But, that same parent should not shame someone else from listening to this song, that isn’t her responsibility. This song may not be good to one mom, but it may make another mom feel a special feeling. But, as a society, it is kind of weird that, for the most part, we can agree on what is a bad or good song. It’s like we evolved to have a standard. Special elements can help us agree, in general. The elements are instrumentation, voice of the singer, lyrics, rhythm, flow, and how the words flow over the instrumentation. All of these elements have evolved as we evolved as humans.
Some people may even say that music has no psychological effect and is a placebo. Sadly, it is proven that listening to music does have its benefits. Music can help while doing fast tasks like cleaning the house, driving to work, writing a quick paper, or even constructing other arts like painting. According to Dogra Shim, “Other important benefits include: Learning creative thinking, Learning to express feelings and emotions, Improving language and reasoning skills. Some studies show music programs can raise intelligence. Music can also improve something called spatial intelligence. This important ability helps with seeing the world and making sense out of what is seen. children who took music increased their IQ. It may be because of the focused attention, memorization, and concentration skills needed to study music.” Sure, for kids exposure to music has a wide spectrum of long term benefits. But even adults can experience effects along these lines. This is evident in many different ways. Sporting event stadiums use uptempo music to get the fans in the mood for some action. The rhythm of music makes it easier to remember something because it is essentially a repeating pattern. You may not know the lyrics, but you can mumble the melody until you remember. Or, you do not know the words, but you can get a feel with the drums on a song.
Even for depressed musicians, musical therapy is said to decrease the feeling. According to The British Journal of Psychiatry, “…the act of playing musical instruments requires purposeful physical movement. The role of physical activity in averting depression and alleviating its effects is well recognised.” Even though it is making music, it is still related to the concept as the musician making the music will still have to listen and be satisfied with what they are hearing.
But also, what about the people who say people curse too much in music, but they’re the same people who curse a lot in real life? I understand you can control what you listen to, but that kind of makes you a hypocrite. You can curse up a storm, but you get mad when people curse in their own music?
In the end, the emotional and cognitive effects of music are overlooked. Music does help please our senses. It creates a feeling. The sound waves enter the ears, which sends signals to our brain, which then tells us how to react. Different music affects us differently. Uptempo music can motivate us, while slow music can help us relax. Rap music can bring confidence, while R&B could make us feel in love. But, before bashing something, realize that people have different relationships to different things. Certain types of music makes more people more comfortable in certain situations. Different music affects different people differently.
Abhat, D. (2017, March 10). Why Some People Just Don’t Like Music. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/03/please-dont-stop-the-music-or-do-stop-the-music-i-dont-really-mind/519099/
Shim, D. (2017, March). MUSIC AND SPORTS – A PSYCHOPHYSICAL EFFECT. Retrieved from https://ijrssis.in/upload_papers/11072017050511112%20sharmila%20Dogra%20133.pdf
Maratos, A., Crawford, M., & Procter, S. (2018, January 02). Music therapy for depression: It seems to work, but how?: The British Journal of Psychiatry. Retrieved December 03, 2020, from https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/music-therapy-for-depression-it-seems-to-work-but-how/2E07649AADFE2F027CF0F5951B89C004