Music is something that humans have been producing for millennia. Perhaps one of our first exports, our songs, rhythms, instrument design, and theory have passed from land to land. Today with so many styles and proficient artists, the world of global music has never been so connected and alive. Music bonds communities together, gives a common theme to a set of people, and helps everyone to understand the same stories and morals. We of course want a diverse set of songs and pieces of music available to us so that we don't all think the same things. Although it can be frustrating at times, having diversity of thought among similar peoples is an essential part of a truly democratic and free society.
Music is one of the best ways to communicate ideas and how we feel about them. It conveys emotion, masculine and feminine energy, softness, hardness, and all sorts of other human experiences. How the brain processes music is an area of research called neuromusicology. This subject concentrates on themes such as comparing human responses to music with people from different parts of the world. It also looks at the physics of vibration and how this can manipulate the chemistry and biology of the brain itself. The mind hears the music and listens to it while the brain actively responds in measurable ways. We can ask the subject about their mind and physically measure the brain.
Certain themes have been made clear in the study of music and the mind. It is evident that many aspects of listening to music are indeed universal to our entire species and not determined by culture specific nurture. Musical cognition will involve culturally significant processes too, we can expect people's reactions to music to depend on whether or not they have an experience in it and have pre-determined cultural knowledge of it. However, beyond the veneer of societal conditioning are set rules and results that music adheres to with us all.
It's been shown in study that music actively uses every known part of the brain. By correlating responses from each specific area of the brain, various functions and mental effects work together to form an all encompassing experience of the sound. The various parts of a piece of music, including rhythm, instrument type, timbre, amplitude, and lyrics all require various parts of the brain to fully comprehend. Putting them all together requires synchronous usage of all these sections.
It doesn't stop there, either. Because music actively uses all of the brain, those who play music or listen to it consciously with applied thought naturally have brains with more connections. Memory is improved and areas that are responsible for motor control, with playing musicians, are on the whole larger than for the rest of us.
Music really does bridge nations and in such a way that no-body really minds. That is unless we play it too loud of course. We all love our sing-a-longs when the time is right and it's one of the best ways to teach people information. When we can remember a song the words can double up as the answers to a test. Perhaps not so easy for post-graduate material but we were all six once. Make sure you find the time to enjoy some music today, and if not today then tomorrow. Comment below with some music that you like listening to.
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