Essay on music: Why We (need to) Enjoy Music
Music is the language of the soul. It is the language that transcends borders and does not need words to be understood. For many people, music is the soul of life itself.
You would be hard put to find a single person who does not enjoy music in some form or the other. It has been a part of our lives since time immemorial; musical instruments made from bones and wood and stones have been found in archeological excavations beside remains of ancient households, proving that some form of music was being created even by prehistoric men and women. In this essay, we will look at the impact music has on our lives.
Why Love Music?
But, why do we enjoy music so much? We do not yet have a definite answer to this one. Neuroscientists have tried to uncover the workings of the brain when it is treated to the music of its choice, and some information has been unearthed, but certainly not all. For instance, in 2001, neuroscientists Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre showed that listening to the music of one’s choice activated the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain.
These areas of the brain are associated with euphoria or the feeling of extreme joy. It is worth noting that the same areas of the brain are activated when we have sex, take drugs, or eat good food. So, in a way, music acts as a drug.
Love by Association
On the other hand, another recent study indicates that our love for music stems from how we associate with it. For instance, a child who was always beaten up while Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony played will grow up to hate that kind of music, even if they do not have any recollection of the beatings.
This shows that we choose to like that kind of music that we associate with happy or particularly intense times. This explains why we tend to listen to sad songs while going through a rough phase despite knowing that it will only make us feel worse: we attempt to identify with the music.
But pleasure aside, music also plays a very important role in the social and cultural scene of a nation. How many times have you listened to a particular note and associated it immediately with a particular country or ethnicity? Like dance forms and literature, music of a region varies from one another, and contain very distinctive features that are indigenous and peculiar to the social, economic, and cultural aspects of the region.
Music of a region gives great insight into the history and current political, social, and economic climate of the region. For instance, in times of war and oppression, a lot of music will be created that will denounce war, celebrate freedom, and speak of Utopian happiness.
Effects of Music
Music is included as a mandatory activity in schools, from a very young age. Musical talents in students are highly encouraged, and we all know the kind of esteem musicians are held in all across the world. This is because music is known to have a very positive effect on developing minds.
Development of the Brain
To begin with, music is considered to be instrumental in the development of the young mind. According to the results of a study conducted by the University of California, music trains the mind to respond to various forms of data and complex stimuli. Higher forms of thinking are encouraged by regular music lessons.
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According to the study, children who indulge in some form of musical activity on a regular basis are better at mathematics and the sciences than children who have not had any introduction to music. It is possible that the performance oriented mindset of the musician becomes permanently wired for better performance.
Ever wondered why giving a great musical performance for a considerable period of time gets you so tired? That is because music is something as psychological as it is physical. You need to play the instrument physically with your hands, mouth, or feet, and you need to keep time with the other musicians on the stage with your hands, feet, and head.
You need to be healthy to play a musical instrument or sing efficiently; a trumpet, flute, and bagpipe require immense wind power which can only be possible through a healthy lung. Similarly, a guitar requires immense concentration and coordination which can only be possible by having a clear mind, which eliminates the possibility of indulging in health destroying drugs.
Mode of Expression
Most importantly, music is not just a performance. It is a form of art, which makes it a vehicle of expression. When you make music on your own, you put a little of your own self into the notes and chords. For many, it is a way of letting the world know who they are. It can be a cry for help or a mode of expressing happiness.
Music can be of many types. You have traditional ethnic music of the different ethnicities, and you also have music of different categories such as pop, rock, metal, heavy metal, techno-pop, blues, and the many variants of the same. The list keeps expanding with more and more experimentation being undertaken, and cultural barriers being broken.
Look at K-pop, which is a Korean pop genre that has become immensely popular all across the world. But, no matter what your type of music is, make sure to happily indulge in it for some time in a day at least.