Music and its Effect on the Mind Essay

Music is something that almost every person has their own preference to and their own idea of what genre they like above all else. It is something so simple that is involved in almost everyone’s life. Just walking down the street, one may see a jogger listening to an iPod or a driver in a car listening to their stereo. Music is all around and is used in so many things. Commercials, movies, television shows, and so many other means of media rely on getting the right song to relay this specific message to their audience, but how exactly do they know that what they are playing will even affect their listeners?

Sensing sound starts in the ear. Human beings, as well as every other living creature capable of hearing, transform sound waves into an impulse in the nervous system. These sound waves hit the outer ear and act as a stimuli to the nerves in the ear, sending a signal to the brain of what precisely it is hearing. The frequency of these waves creates the pitch and the height of these waves creates the degree of loudness (4). Our ear can only be used to describe how the mind hears the sounds of music, but how can one’s mind be affected by the sounds it perceives?

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If the brain is only changing the stimuli of sound waves into actual music the body perceives, then how do people have preferences in music? Do these sound waves have an effect on the brain outside of simplistic perception? There are several areas of the mind that are used when perceiving music, which was used in a study at the Rotman Research Institute of Toronto, by Valorie Salimpoor. Nineteen participants underwent a fMRI scan and listened to different songs and were questioned on how much they would pay for song. This used two parts of their brain, the nuclear accumben…

…erapy, at least I know that I can still apply this newfound information in some part of my life. Knowing all of the different forms of this therapy, I can apply therapy to more than just listening to music. Therapy could also involve other things, such as making music and even as simple as drumming to relieve stress and anger.

Works Cited

1. Landau, Elizabeth. “This Is Your Brain on Music.” Cable News Network, 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. .

2. “Music and Your Unborn Child.” BabyCenter, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. .

3. “Music Therapy.” American Music Therapy Association, 2013. Web. 10 Nov. 2013. .

4. Myers, David G. Psychology. Tenth ed. New York, NY: Worth, 2013. Print.


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