Exploring and Understanding the Power of Music

Even if the majority of us cannot sit down and write out a scientific explanation of why, every single one of us understands that music affects us. When people are driving in their vehicle, working, or exercising at the gym, a change in music can have a profound effect on how they act and feel. If a fast-paced song is playing on the radio, they are inclined to put their foot down on the accelerator and to drive a little faster, walk a little faster on the treadmill, and work a little harder.

Commenting on the power of music, Frederick Nietzsche said, “life without music is a mistake.” Scientists are only now scratching the surface of the way that music can affect the human brain. One thing that they have learned is that music can affect the way that we see another person’s face. Why? Well, when our brain hears music, it determines whether or not the music is happy or if it is sad. Our brain reacts differently to happy music than it does to sad music. Even after listening to sad music for a short period of time, participants of a study interpreted the neutral facial expressions on images of people that they saw as sad. The same thing happened when they heard happy music and then were showed images of people with neutral expressions on their face. The participants viewed the images they saw as those of happy people.

Music changes both heartfelt emotions and our perceived emotions. This is because when we listen to music, we are able to understand emotions that are being transmitted by the music, even if we are not feeling those emotions at the time. This explains why a person can sit down, listen to a sad piece of music, and thoroughly enjoy it. They listen to the sad music and they don’t feel depressed, yet they understand the emotions that the music is transmitting.

Even though the music that a person listens to may be sad, it does not pose any real threat or danger. People are able to perceive the emotions in a vicarious way without actually feeling them.

Many communities, especially in New York City, have been using the power of music in a positive way. Pop up pianos in New York have served as a way for random musicians to play music that is both uplifting and encouraging to the entire community.

That’s why nothing can stop me from listening to my favorite defunct pop band if it makes me deliriously happy.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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