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Pitch Perfect: The Best Selling Singles in Music History
Music is significant in almost all our lives, no matter where you live or which type of sound you like best. It helps us process our emotions and has sometimes inspired major cultural revolutions. But only a few songs manage to obliterate every boundary and land a coveted spot as one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Some of the top songs are surprisingly one-hit wonders; others were made famous by some of the industry’s biggest music icons. They all made music history during the last 100 years. From pop wild child singers like Miley Cyrus and Kesha to extremely catchy Christmas songs, some of the best selling singles in the entire world just might surprise you.
30. “Kung Fu Fighting” – 11 Million Units
Let’s start things off with one of the silliest old-school songs that everyone knows. (Admit it — you know you do!) Kung Fu Fighting is an absolute icon in the music world. Although it turned out to be a one-hit-wonder sung by Carl Douglas, it is without a doubt one of the most successful (and fun) hits of all time.
The song was created in just 10 minutes and wasn’t taken seriously by anyone — even the creator of the funky melody. For the first few weeks after its release, no one cared about the song. However, it eventually took off in dance clubs — and the rest is history.
29. “Believe” – 11 Million Units
The one and only Cher has been making music since the ’60s. She first rose to mega-popularity when she made a duet with her then-husband, Sonny Bono, called “I Got You Babe.” Cher had numerous hit songs over the years, but the biggest by far was the catchy “Believe,” which has sold more than 11 million units (2020).
The album of the same name also launched the start of the “Cher-effect,” as it was one of the first projects to use the infamous Auto-Tune. Over the years, Cher became well known in the pop world and remains a household name today. Let’s be honest, everyone has at least heard “Believe.”
28. “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – 11.7 Million Units
It’s no surprise that some of the best selling singles on this list include Christmas songs that have managed to earn the “timeless” title. Band Aid was a charity supergroup created with the intention of raising money for starving people in Ethiopia.
The song became one of the fastest selling singles in the U.K. And the best part? Every time it is played on the radio, the income still goes to the charities supported by the band. The song’s creators also support any re-recordings, as all their proceeds still go to charity. That was the main goal behind the song in the first place, and it has been hugely successful.
27. “Y.M.C.A” – 12 Million Units
If there’s a song that deserves the crown for being a timeless song with iconic choreography, it is definitely “Y.M.C.A” by Village People. The tune quickly became an anthem among the LGBT community. Although the lyrics themselves don’t explicitly say so, its creators say it was definitely written for gay people.
Featuring unique costumes and play-along roles, the song’s music video showcases the iconic choreography that is known around the world. No one is surprised “Y.M.C.A ” has sold as many units as it has — the song is eternally catchy and fun!
26. “Time to Say Goodbye” – 12 Million Units
Although Andrea Bocelli sold more than 150 million records on his own, the world-famous tenor’s song with Sarah Brightman remains one of the most popular singles of all time. It has sold more than 12 million copies and is considered one of the most beautiful songs in the Italian language.
The song sounds absolutely stunning in its own language, but once translated, the lyrics aren’t quite as smooth. Suddenly things become much less poetic. Some things are simply better left alone. The song was actually written for popular boxer Henry Maske and was performed at his final fight.
25. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – 12 Million Units
Released in 1963, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” started off with an impressive pre-order of 1 million units at a time when “pre-order” still wasn’t really much of a thing. Of course, The Beatles were in their prime and had already made a splash with their previous top-selling singles.
The group sought to create a song that would make them a hit name in the U.S., and they definitely succeeded. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was their international ticket to fame, allowing The Beatles to expand past the British borders. It was later revealed that the song was completed in 17 takes.
24. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” – 12.5 Million Units
Here’s another popular Christmas song that made the cut! Selling more than 12 million units over time, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was an immediate hit after its release. Invoking a sense of nostalgia with adults, the song was also adored by children who were excited by the Christmas spirit.
The song remains popular to this day, with many artists, including Destiny’s Child and The Supremes, covering it over the years. The lyrics “all of the other reindeer” have been misheard as “Olive, the other reindeer” so frequently that the phrase was used to create a book series and a television Christmas special called “Olive, the Other Reindeer.”
23. “Da Da Da” – 13 Million Units
The German band Trio released an unlikely hit that managed to sell more than 30 million units in Germany and 30 other countries. The official English version of the song translates to “Da Da Da, I don’t love you, you don’t love me.” It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s easy to learn.
The band described their music as New German Cheerfulness, and by the sound of it, they were definitely right. Unfortunately, the group split in 1987, but the legacy of “Da Da Da” forever lives on as one of the top 30 best selling singles in music history.
22. “Sukiyaki” – 13 Million Units
“Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto is the only Japanese song on this list. It has an alternative title of “I Look Up as I Walk,” and the lyrics focus on a man who looks up to the sky in order to not cry. The original “Sukiyaki” title directly translates to a Japanese hot-pot dish with cooked beef.
The song rose to popularity in the ’60s and has sold more than 13 million units around the world. It’s now an important part of history and was one of the first pieces of music to be played by NASA for its astronauts in space.
21. “Sweet Mother” – 13 Million Units
Voted as Africa’s favorite song to this day, “Sweet Mother” is a happy-go-lucky tune featuring a celebration of motherhood. It’s often referred to as Africa’s unofficial anthem. Although the flamboyant Prince Nico Mbarga failed to repeat his “Sweet Mother” success with his later music, the single became a huge influence in African culture and is still appreciated by many communities to this day.
Eventually, Mbarga left music to pursue his other passions. He passed away in a motorcycle accident in 1997, leaving behind one of the biggest legacies in African popular music.
20. “We Can’t Stop” – 14 Million Units
“We Can’t Stop” is definitely one of Miley Cyrus’ most controversial tracks. It featured her in a brand new light, officially grown out of her Hannah Montana role. The song was a dedication to Cyrus’ strong fanbase, who never stopped believing in her over the years through every up and down.
Cyrus says that the drug references are definitely meant for her adult fanbase. The misheard lyrics of “Miley” versus “Molly” can also be interpreted in both ways, depending on the age of the listener. The popular song introduced a brand new Miley Cyrus era and was also accompanied by a shock-value music video.
19. “I Will Survive” – 14 Million Units
If there’s a number one karaoke anthem out there, it is definitely “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. It’s no wonder that this timeless tune has sold more than 14 million units across decades. The ultimate disco anthem quickly became one of the most empowering songs ever written. It’s about moving on from a bad relationship — with attitude!
The single was first regarded as a B-side track, otherwise known as the less important song on the record, but Gaynor’s vocals and empowering lyrics soon took over the world. “I Will Survive” has been covered by countless amazing vocalists, including Charice Pempengco (Jake Zyrus), Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin.
18. “Wind of Change” – 15 Million Units
“Wind of Change” is an important historical song, serving as the soundtrack to political revolution as the anthem to the end of the Cold War. The song immediately rose to popularity, selling more than 15 million units since its release. It eventually became one of the best-selling singles of all time and has been re-recorded in other languages.
The band formed in 1965, but the Scorpions still perform to this day. They have released an impressive 18 albums. Although “Wind of Change” remains their biggest success, it’s definitely not their only hit. Remember “Love at First Sting” and “No One Like You?”
17. “You’re the One That I Want” – 15 Million Units
When you think about a karaoke duo song, “You’re the One That I Want” by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta probably comes to mind. The energetic single was popularized by Grease , the movie version of the hit musical, and the song soon became known all over the world.
Although Newton-John was reportedly nervous about playing her role in the movie, it instantly catapulted her into stardom. On top of “You’re the One That I Want,” the pair also basked in the success of “Summer Nights.” However, it didn’t sell nearly as many copies as this signature song.
16. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” – 15 Million Units
When it comes to ballads, Bryan Adams definitely knows how to crank out some tunes with enduring appeal. One of his most popular songs of all time is “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You.” Adams revealed that it took the team 45 minutes to create the song, and they instantly knew it was going to be a huge hit.
He said that a feeling like that only happened a few times during his career. The song first appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner, and it soon became one of the best selling ballads ever.
15. “Wrecking Ball” – 16 Million Units
“Wrecking Ball” was an instant success for Miley Cyrus. Although the song was originally meant for Beyoncé, Cyrus certainly managed to give the song stunning and raw emotions. She was reportedly going through a breakup at the time it was recorded. The surprising love song was extremely relatable and became one of Cyrus’ best selling singles, although she famously has more than one song on this list.
Accompanied by a controversial video that raised quite a few eyebrows among parents, it was yet another song that marked a brand new Cyrus era and separated her from her Hannah Montana image. Fans had to accept that Cyrus had officially grown up.
14. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” – 16 Million Units
Ah, an instant timeless Christmas classic — “All I Want for Christmas Is You” only took 15 minutes to compose. The iconic Christmas song was written by Carey and her writing partner, Walter Afanasieff. She believed she managed to completely capture the essence of Christmas, and millions of fans agree she was right.
Although her label was worried that putting out a holiday album wouldn’t be good for her career, the public proved everyone wrong. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” manages to get back on the charts every single year around Christmas time.
13. “Tik Tok” – 16 Million Units
Before there was the app TikTok, there was Kesha’s song “Tik Tok,” her very first single and an instant success. It launched her career and her ultimate pop wild child image. The song was inspired by Kesha’s hippy lifestyle. Do you remember the lyrics “Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy?” Exactly!
Diddy’s actually a part of the song, saying “Hey, what up girl.” The song’s rise to fame also crowned Kesha as the first female vocalist to have a number one debut single on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s still her best selling single to date.
12. “Party in the USA” – 17 Million Units
Is it starting to feel like Miley Cyrus is hogging the list? Let’s see if you can guess how many Miley Cyrus songs are on the list in total. Okay, so, “Party in the USA” might be her most successful song to date, but it’s obviously not her only huge selling record. This one is particularly notable, because it was Cyrus’ lead single from her first-ever album.
The song had to be released earlier than planned due to potential demo leak threats, but it didn’t matter. Fans were so curious to hear Cyrus outside of Hannah Montana , that “Party in the USA” became an instant hit. She revealed that she didn’t write the song, and she never expected the song to be that huge.
11. “My Heart Will Go On” – 18 Million Units
This beautiful ballad comes with an instant association — Titanic . The truth is none of the professionals were fans of the song — not Dion, not the director of the movie, no one. Yet the song became an instant hit with viewers and is now completely synonymous with Titanic .
It also appeared on a Dion album, which helped get it to the number one spot in several countries. Many believe “My Heart Will Go On” contributed to the overall success of the movie, proving everyone wrong. It’s often crowned as the best movie song of all time.
10. “Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie” – 18 Million Units
Not many songs from the ’70s managed to take off with as much force as “Yes, Sir, I Can Boogie.” A total European hit, this is what every boomer was vibing to back in the day. It really does make you want to get up and boogie! Baccara was the very first duo to ever achieve a number one song on the U.K. charts.
The band’s rise to fame allowed them to compete in the 1978 Eurovision Song Contest, which is basically Europe’s musical Olympics for original songs. However, “Yes, Sir, I can Boogie” remains Baccara’s greatest success.
9. “If I Didn’t Care” – 19 Million Units
We’re taking it way back to the ’30s with this one. This true melodic classic will have you swaying and closing your eyes. It was The Ink Spot’s only huge hit, and it focused on some dark times in the music industry’s history.
Reportedly, each member was only paid $37.50 for recording the song. However, the contract was later destroyed by the studio, which meant the group could finally profit from one of the music world’s biggest hits. The band officially disbanded in 1954, leaving behind a true legacy that shaped the world of music.
8. “It’s Now or Never” – 20 Million Units
Although many people can list plenty of Elvis Presley’s songs, some of them may not realize which of his songs was his best-selling gem. This classic features the same melody as the Italian favorite “O Sole Mio.” Presley first heard the song when he was still in the U.S. Army in Europe. As soon as he was discharged, he asked his record company to translate the song.
Presley’s version was a huge influence for Barry White, who first heard the song while he was still in prison. Priscilla Presley claimed that “It’s Now or Never” remained Elvis Presley’s favorite of his own songs as well.
7. “I Will Always Love You” – 20 Million Units
Very few have the chops to sing “I Will Always Love You” as well as Whitney Houston. Many have tried, and many have failed. This timeless classic is full of emotion and incredibly complicated vocals.
Written by Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You” was personally picked by Kevin Costner for the soundtrack of the movie The Bodyguard starring Houston herself. The original version of the song — sung by Parton — had more of a country sound. It was turned into the emotional ballad we all know and love by Houston. The rest is musical history.
6. “We Are the World” – 20 Million Units
Created and recorded to support African victims of famine, “We Are the World” was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. The song was inspired by Band Aid’s success with “Do They Know It’s Christmas.” Not only did “We Are the World” replicate that success, it far surpassed it!
The song was recorded on the night of the 1985 American Music Awards. All the featured artists were asked to leave their egos at the door during the recording. Interestingly, Prince was asked to join, but he refused due to his policy of not collaborating with other acts.
5. “Rock Around the Clock” – 25 Million Units
This is the anthem that gets every boomer up and dancing. The fast-paced tune first hit the airwaves in 1953 and was the first rock song to stay on the charts. At that time, using the term “rock and roll” was unheard of in the music scene. The meaning has changed since then, of course, as you really wouldn’t call this rock music today.
Bill Haley & His Comets added a unique country twist, which turned “Rock Around the Clock” into an instant success. The song was the U.K.’s biggest-selling single in the ’50s, and it remains one of the biggest selling singles of all time.
4. “In the Summertime” – 30 Million Units
If there’s a summer anthem that remains a true classic, it’s definitely Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime.” Featured on plenty of soundtracks, this is the ultimate feel-good summer song. Written by the group’s lead singer — yes, Mungo Jerry is a band — the song was inspired by typical American beach movies.
It doesn’t feature a chorus, but it does have a catchy melody that’s all about celebrating life. It pops back up on the charts every summer and remains one of the top-selling singles in the world. Only three other songs have managed to beat its impressive number of sales.
3. “Silent Night” – 30 Million Units
While “In the Summertime” is a dance tune, “Silent Night” is the exact opposite. Written in 1918, it was performed for the first time by Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber. It remains one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time and has been translated into more than 300 languages.
The song was popularized by Bing Crosby in the ’30s and has sold more than 30 million units around the world. It has many different musical interpretations. In fact, you can listen to more than 26,000 different versions and covers of Silent Night!
2. “Candle in the Wind” – 30 Million Units
Known now as the anthem to Princess Diana’s life and death, Elton John’s re-released “Candle in the Wind” instantly became a timeless classic. Selling more than 30 million units, the song talks about a promising life that ended way too early.
Originally released in 1973, the song was first written as a tribute to another fallen star, Marilyn Monroe. When Princess Diana tragically died in a car accident in 1997, the entire world froze at the loss of the “People’s Princess.” Elton John was stunned and knew that he had to dedicate a revamped version of the song to the beloved princess.
1. “White Christmas” – 50 Million Units
Is there really any surprise that the best-selling single of all time is a Christmas song? Bing Crosby was fortunate enough to have two of his popular Christmas classics set sales records in the music world.
“White Christmas,” first released in 1942 as part of the Holiday Inn movie soundtrack, is an absolute timeless classic. The song is simple, featuring only eight lines, but it captures the beautiful longing for a snow-filled Christmas. Many have tried to beat Crosby’s impressive record, but as of 2020, they have all failed. This really proves that nothing can beat Christmas nostalgia!
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and that is one reason how language can be compared to the art of painting. -Facts and emotions are depicted through the colors and objects used in paintings. We tend to associate language with a visual reality as a combination of the facts and emotions, but we can see and think only what our language has trained us to see and think. This is known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. (e.g dogs, angry, emotions in general) - The cultural celebration will have a painted background for each dance…
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music and emotions
How can different types of music affect people’s emotions? Music has many different ways to affect people. In some ways, it is good for the body both physically and mentally. In other ways, people think it is nice to listen to. More detailed, music has personalities, which can express what people feel. There are many observations involving different ways to express human emotions. Emotions are very interesting things, especially when they involve music. Music can have many personalities, affect people’s emotions, and be used as therapy. If music reveals emotions, it is not a normal emotion like any other (Stecker 273). The expression in music can be considered a traditionalized phenomenon (Stecker 273). There are common questions about how many or what type of emotions music can create (Stecker 273). People question the possibility for music to be an element in a certain pattern (Stecker 273). Which can be a very emotional pattern (Stecker 273). This can go from laughing hysterically, to being uneasily scared, to surprise, to unusual panic, to strange sorrow, to acceptance, and finally serenity (Stecker 273). Musical expression might consist of one personality instead of multiple personalities. The concept is that music indicates a designated emotion. That is, if a particular listener listens to the music and hears the identity of a certain emotion. Musical expression has a wide variety of identities. People can take those identities and make them their own emotions. Music affects the body and its health. When certain music plays, it can have an effect on heart rate (www.bellaonline.com/articles/). The heart rate can either increase or decrease (www.bellaonline.com/articles/). Rock music has had an impact on people... ... middle of paper ... ...ide of people, which is generally excited by happiness in the central case (Matravers 174). Music is not the whole part of the feeling ; it just causes it (Matravers 174). When the volume from the music goes up, emotions will rise (Matravers 174). As the music goes down, the emotions decline as well (Matravers 174). The connection between music and emotions are similar to a mirror (Matravers 174). Whatever happens to the music, the human feelings will follow. In conclusion towards the arguments and observations, musical expression consists in presenting emotion characteristics in appearance. It turns out people listen to music as having a purposeful nature and that it has an effect on psychological emotions. If there is a case in which music showing emotional qualities with no reference to feelings, there is a case of happy music that is not powerful of happiness.
In this essay, the author
- Explains how different types of music affect people's emotions. music is good for the body physically and mentally, and can be used as therapy.
- Explains that music reveals emotions, but it is not a normal emotion like any other. there are common questions about how many or what type of emotions music can create.
- Explains that musical expression might consist of one personality instead of multiple personalities. music indicates a designated emotion. people can take those identities and make them their own emotions.
- Explains that music affects the body and its health. rock music has an impact on people and surprisingly, their heart rates at the same time.
- Explains how fast-paced music can increase or slow down if there is softer music playing such as a lullaby. the vibrations from music have an impact on the body, which can change people’s moods and bodily functions.
- Explains how music affects the mind and helps patients stay healthy. music therapy has been used to help people with heart problems, which worked quite effectively.
- Explains that mozart has a big impact on people and their bodies. listening to mozart improves communication, thoughts, and emotions.
- Explains that music can help release anger and pain or produce happy feelings. fast-paced music with high frequencies triggers the brain, strengthens alertness, and boosts mentality.
- Explains that music and emotions are surrounded by many different questions. one question inquires if music can express human emotions.
- Explains that emotions are varied towards different songs, meaning it isn't the same emotion for every song. if one listens to bach and changes to mozart, there is a very different reaction.
- Analyzes how beethoven's melancholy seventh symphony is shocking to the people in his time. the intentional objects of music and its emotions determine what certain emotions are.
- Explains that music and psychoanalysis are very important in the area of emotion.
- Explains that if people give music an emotion such as sadness because of the sorrow surrounding humans, that is telling others we should sympathize a piece of music.
- Argues that happiness excites the feeling inside of people, which is generally excited by happiness in the central case. music causes emotions, and the connection between music and emotions is like a mirror.
- Concludes that musical expression consists in presenting emotion characteristics in appearance. people listen to music as having a purposeful nature and that it has an effect on psychological emotions.
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Essay On Music And Music
Music dates back many centuries ago. Music was used for an array of things. In some cases, it was used for rituals, to pass messages, or even for celebrations. There are approximately five to six hundred genres of music currently in existent today. Most music would have been said to originate or birth from folk music in America and evolved overtime to form different genres of music. Music has a long history and connection to human beings and their behavior. Music can also affect someone’s behavior whether it be negatively or positively. There have been many studies and research on the effect of music towards human behavior. Specifically hip-hop and soundscape music seem to have the most interesting effects on human behavior. Moreover, to gain better understanding of how music effects human behavior knowing how the brain functions is also essential.
Music, Emotion and Language: Using Music to Communicate
ABSTRACT: There has yet to be a culture discovered which lacks music. Music is a part of our existence, but we do not fully understand it. In this paper, working in the tradition of Aristotle, Wittgenstein and Langer, I elucidate some of the connections between music and the emotions. Using contemporary philosophy of mind theories of emotion, I explain how we can have a better understanding of our emotive responses to music. I follow the pattern through representational painting and abstract painting to music, and show how each functions as an intentional object for the object of our emotions in response to each art form.
Stress and Music: Music Stimulates Multiple Areas of the Brain
Music stimulates multiple areas of the brain by provoking auditory, emotional, autonomic, and cognitive processing. Once the sound waves from the music are heard, signaling travels from the auditory system to the areas of the brain responsible for processing and dissecting the sound information. These areas are the primary auditory cortex, heschl’s gyrus, the frontal operculum, the superior temporal sulcus, and cortical language areas. Following sound processing, emotional processing of the sound heard takes place in the amygdala, cingulate gyrus, and medical orbitofrontal cortex of the brain. Feedback from the processed music can lead to physiological responses and changes in the autonomic nervous system as a result of the type of music heard (Nizamie and Tikka). For example, harsh, fast paced music tends to increase sympathetic nervous system activity (increased heart rate, faster breathing), whereas gentle, soothing music stimulates the body to relax, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and slower breathing) (...
Rhythm In Music Therapy
Music produces both emotional and physical responses (Clair & Memmott, 2008). It aids and improves social interaction, and provides effective communication and emotional expression. Music stimulates associations and triggers reminiscence. When experiencing recent inactivity, discomfort, and changes in
Music is Therapy
Koelsch, S., Offermanns, K. & Franzke, P. (2010). Music in the treatment of affective disorders: an exploratory investigation of a new method for music-therapeutic research. JSTOR.
Musical Expression and Musical Meaning in Context
Before we discuss those emotional qualities a number of other preliminary remarks are in order. When we speak of the expressive properties of music, these are distinct from the expressive properties of sound. Sounds may be loud, shrill, acoustically rough or smooth, and so forth. These acoustic qualities have expressive correlates and may trigger emotional responses, and of course one cannot have music without sound. But musical expression is more than this: it requires the attention to the music qua music, rather than as mere sounds. The opening "O Fortuna" of Carmina Burana may shock (and indeed scare) the listener due to its sudden loudness (especially when the bass drum starts whacking away), but this shock isn't a musical effect--we get the same reaction when we here a sudden "bang" at a fireworks display or when a car backfires.
Baroque and Classical Periods in Music
“Music” as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “vocal or instrumental sounds combined in such a way as to produce the beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.” Emotion, and the treatment of emotion, is indubitably an important aspect of music from all eras, but the manner in which emotion is expressed, has changed over time. Throughout the Baroque period (c. 1600 – 1750) musicians attempted to cause a specific extreme emotion in the listener, while during the Classical period (c. 1750-1825) composers sought to produce a balance of emotions. Due to philosophical and artistic movements that occurred, emotion, a critical element of music, was conveyed differently between the Baroque and Classical periods.
The Effect of Music on Psychology and Behavior
There have always been discussions of the effects music has on ones behavior, and how it’s related to Psychology. The truth has never really been verified among common knowledge, but it’s usually something that intrigues people. They say heavy metal and rap can make teenagers violent, sad and depressing music can make teenagers sad and depressed, and some say it’s best to listen to classical music when doing schoolwork because it makes your brain more active. There have been many people that reported how music has effects on their behavior. It can lift their mood, “fuel the fire” when they’re angry, or even make it easier for them to fall asleep. People never really get the chance to research the actual science of music, and how it changes people attitudes.
The Effects of Music
Emotions are easily affected by outside forces. Music can provoke emotions of sadness, grief, joy, and even ecstasy. There are several different aspects of music that change how a song is interpreted. From these interpretations come emotions. Among them is the tempo, which is the speed of the song. If a song is sad, the tempo is often slower. If a song is meant to be happy, the tempo is quick and light. If the intention of a song is to bring about fear, it is either extremely slow and eerie or quick and adrenaline pumping. Another factor of interpretation is the key it is in. A key is, “a particular scale or system of tones” (Dictionary.com). There are 24 different keys that are separated into two categories. These categories are major and minor. The major are made up of more sharps, and the minor of more flats. The major key is used to express feelings of joy and happiness. The minor key however, is used to express feelings of sadness, depression, and regret. When the two are awkwardly combined, the key of the music changes to neither minor or major, and is referred to as a dissonance. A dissonance is defined as, “a simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion” (Dictionary.com). When a passage of music uses a dissonance, the ultimate goal is to create ...
The Effects of Explicit Music
"Emotional Responses to Music: Implicit and Explicit Effects in Listeners and Performers." Psycology of Music. N.p., n.d. Web. April 2011. .
How Music Has Influenced Me
Throughout my life, music has always been a major influence. It has the power to change my mood when I'm feeling down, but the thing I find most intriguing about music is that it doesn't always end up improving your mood: like all forms of art, it imitates life, which is not always portrayed in a positive light. The musicians that I admire most have the versatility to induce several different emotional responses in the same piece. This quality is present in most of the wide variety of music I listen to, from Russian composer Dmiti Shostakovich, to Chicago jazz band Tortoise, to California pop/rock sextet Mr. Bungle.
The Effects of Music on the Mind, Brain, and Body
Music has incredible effects on the brain and body! Ever since the beginning of time, music has been around. It can influence the way a person thinks and behaves, and also social interactions. Teens are more susceptible to this (Revatto 1). Music can be used in therapy by helping people with depression, and can even be a more natural way to heal the body (“How Music...” 1). In some cases, songs and melodies can help or make diseases worse. Music is a powerful thing and can affect your brain and many other things in your body in numerous ways.
Influence Of Media On Delinquency
Music is can be a very complicated and delightful at the same time. Music affects our bodies in several ways when engaging with it. The complicated and delightful apparatus we call music affect people physically, psychologically, and is great with healing emotional affliction, strengthens emotions, and is known to cure illness. Music also plays an influential role in the socialization of teenagers. Mainstream music is available practically everywhere. It is conveniently accessible over the internet, radio, individual recordings and other forms of technology
Conclusion Of Music Essay
It has been justify by the researchers that music has a big impact on our emotions or mood. It is because of the rhythm and tone that we hear when we listen to music. When we listen to a rhythm, our heart beats actually begins to flow or synch with it. Tones are also highly significant, when you hear a pleasing tone and it is easy to remember you can do it actually. Music composed in a major key and usually sounds happier, joyful, lively etc. and music is also composed in a minor key normally sounds sadder, alone in darkness etc. Music may cause you to feel a lot of expression. and sometimes you can feel more than one emotion during a song. As the researcher sigth, music not only affects what kind of emotions we may be in, but we also seem to have a habit of choosing music based on the emotion we are already feeling.
The Healing Power of Music
Music has a larger affect on feelings and emotions than most people realize. It is an automatic response for the human body to react to music in certain ways. Miller explains that “By the age of five, almost all healthy children have developed an unconscious framework for listening that will form the basis of their emotional response to music.” Sometimes the emotion that the music brings is very noticeable. For example, if someone is attempting to recover after the death of a loved one and they hear a song that reminds them of that person it can create different emotions quickly. The song could make that person remember the good ...
More about music and emotions
Writing help, paraphrasing tool, how does music affect your mood essay.
This essay will explore the psychological effects of music on mood. It will discuss how different genres, rhythms, and melodies can evoke various emotional responses, backed by scientific research and personal anecdotes. The essay will delve into the therapeutic uses of music in mental health. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Emotion.
How it works
With its synchronized sound patterns, music has enormous potential to influence human emotions. It can raise spirits, bring comfort, and even lead to addiction. Music profoundly affects emotions, as it can elicit a wide range of feelings, from happiness and relaxation to anxiety and anger. Studies have shown that music can influence perception, with listeners associating upbeat music with happy faces and melancholic music with sad faces. Different genres can elicit different emotions.
A Positive Relationship Between Music and Cognitive Development
Music’s therapeutic power: emotional regulation.
Music is also an effective tool for emotional management. It can assist people in relaxing, reducing tension, and changing their mood and attitude. Soft, classical music, for example, promotes relaxation, whereas explosive genres, such as rock or hip-hop, promote excitement.
Music Therapy Improves Emotional Well-Being
Music as an expression and identity tool for teenagers.
Music is an essential form of expression and identity for teenagers. Numerous studies have demonstrated that music substantially impacts emotional responses, making it an effective stress and melancholy coping technique. Listening to favorite songs causes positive emotional alterations, promoting happiness and decreasing negativity.
To summarize, music has an unquestionable impact on emotions and moods. It can heal the soul, promote cognitive growth, and improve emotional management. By understanding how music influences emotions, individuals can create playlists that foster positive emotions and mental wellness. Regardless of musical taste or talent, music is a vital tool that can enhance the human experience. Accepting music as a form of emotional expression can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling life.
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How music can influence our behaviour Essay
Introduction, music redefines how people experience time, music creates social order, music increases work productivity, music and its influence on creativity, how music alters group interactions.
Music shapes the way people interact with another, how they define their identities and how they respond to their surroundings. DeNora (2004, 5) explains that “instead of using music to understand people, one should focus on how music constructs them”.
Indeed, music has the capacity to shape and affect behaviour owing to its effect on mood, feelings and emotions. This essay aims at showing how music affects people’s behaviour in everyday life. It will do so by drawing on various effects on mood arousal, induction of feeling and music signifying emotion.
To understand how music redefines how people experience time consider the example of someone who is impatiently waiting for a lift door to open. If that person needs to hold on for five minutes for the elevator to come down, it is likely that he or she may feel impatient and quite eager to get to his or her destination.
Time may seem like it is standing still (possibly because of the person’s fast movements prior to reaching the elevator or because the person may assume that lifts are always supposed to be fast). However, if one’s favourite slow tune were to be introduced in the scenario, chances are that one would not even notice that the five minutes had elapsed so quickly.
In fact, one may even think of the elevator as an interruption to this grand time. Essentially, music alters one’s experience of time because it changes the body’s reaction; it does this by altering neural actions within the body (Husain et al., 2002, 152). If, students are in an aerobics class doing rigorous and fast exercises, they would require music that resonates with their prevailing experiences.
A fast tune would cause their bodies to respond in a similar manner and hence enhance the time spent in the gym. Correspondingly, the person who was standing at the elevator needed to slow down his or her pace as he or she was waiting for the elevator to come down.
Slow music caused the body to follow the same rhythm and thus changed his or her experience. De Nora (2004, 15) affirms that she uses the same tactic when waiting for her dial-up internet to work. She listens to the Habanera’s slow tunes (La commission de San Roque Habanera, Legran Orchestra by Jose Suarez) and thus enhances the experiences brought on through the same.
Boutcher and Trenske (1990) agree with De Nora’s sentiments on the effect of music on the experience of time De Nora (2004, 15) explains that time moves fast when doing passive activities while listening to music). The former two researchers analysed twenty 4 young females who were riding bikes while carrying physical workloads.
One phase of the experiment involved listening to one’s favourite songs while cycling (the favourite songs were mostly pop and rock music); another phase involved total removal of all background noises and interruptions through the use of goggles and ear plugs. The other phase entailed no music and no deprivation of the senses. It was found that the cyclists’ heart rates did not change in all three instances.
Therefore, no physical alterations had been made; all the effects related to their mental faculties. The ladies felt that cycling was much easier with the music. They seemed to be less exhausted in this situation than when they were in the control phase of the experiment. This can be explained by the effect that music has on feelings. It may also be understood through the mood arousal created by those tunes.
The researchers recorded participant’s mood prior to the introduction of music and after. Their mood ratings had increased by 5-10% after listening to their favourite songs. Music can influence behaviour through mood but it is critical to question how this occurs. Husain et al (2004, 153) might have the answer to this enquiry.
They affirm that people who listen to sad music tend to record decreases in heart rates and increases in skin conductance; whereas those who listen to happy music have greater respiration.
Emotional implications of music can therefore be understood physiologically. If music creates internal physiological conditions that correspond to the same conditions that occur when in certain moods, then this explains why the cyclists moods increased.
The stimulation offered through music provides an avenue for lifting mood (Husain et al. (2002, 154). This effect eventually causes listeners to carry out “seemingly boring tasks” without focusing on time (De Nora, 2004, 20).
Many people actually listen to music when travelling or washing because these are considered to be repetitive and uninspiring tasks. Music serves as that go-between that enhances one’s time experience. As such, it provides an entertainment value to the listener and also boosts that person’s frame of mind.
Society is characterised by immense use of technology, so it is necessary for consumers to behave in a certain manner in order to derive the benefits of that invention. De Nora (2004) uses the example of passengers in an aeroplane. When people aboard an aircraft, they need to act appropriately so that the flight maybe uneventful. Their actions should be well coordinated and ought to be carried out at the right time.
Conformity and agreement are key features in causing these effects. Many airlines have mastered the secret behind creation of social order; it is music. In order to get people to trust them, airlines often play music that passengers are likely to respond to. Before departure, one is likely to hear very slow music that often comes from the predominant culture of the people in the plane.
However, just before departure, this slow aura is usually interrupted by loud brass tones that come before the pilot’s announcements. After the instructions, another set of brass tones will be aired, and the flight will take off. The contrast between the slow music played earlier on and the loud brass sounds often causes passengers to realise that it is time to get serious.
Most of them will listen attentively to the instructions and will conform to the said rules simply because of the musical cues used. As such, music becomes an element of social control that causes the masses to behave appropriately and in an orderly manner. One can see how authorities, businessmen and other stakeholders use this component of music in everyday life.
For example, when visiting shopping centres, some stores may play loud music in order to attract clients to their premises. Alternatively, others may do so in order to keep buyers on the go such that effective crowd control can be maintained. Music is such a powerful tool in enhancing social order because it affects people’s feelings. Once one can change how people feel then it is relatively easy to change how they behave.
In order to understand how music relates to feelings, then one must understand the meaning behind the term. Feelings may be regarded as another component of one’s unconscious, which denote the level of significance of something to the concerned person.
As a result, feelings carry out a psychological function that determines whether or not something needs to be rejected or accepted. Experiences gain value when the person decides to allocate a certain level of significance to it (Becker, 2004, 22). Feelings are different from emotions because they are definite. Emotions signify excessive reactions to situations like pain, anger and guilt.
People respond strongly to music because it represents certain components that they can relate to. When looking at the airplane situation, its administrators may have decided to choose American music because it induces certain patriotic feelings in the concerned parties. Those feelings therefore generate a desired effect and eventually lead to behaviour alteration.
In certain circumstances, music can cause people to engage in pro social behaviour by making them less aggressive or stressed. Thus music can manipulate mood and thus lead to desirable behaviour. North et al. (2002) affirmed these findings when they carried out a study on people’s helping behaviour in a gym. In the experiment, they subjected a certain group of gym attendants to aggressive and loud music.
The other set was exposed to ‘happy’ music. All sets had equal numbers of participants, i.e., 128 participants in the aggression- inducing side and the 128 in the happy-inducing category. After completion of the gym session, subjects were asked to distribute flyers which would assist an association of disabled athletes.
Only 23 people from the aggressive group were willing to participate in this charitable event while fifty people from the happy group did the same. The study showed that music tends to increase cooperation levels amongst individuals and this enhances pro social behaviour.
However, one must be selective about the nature of music one listens to. If this happens to be too aggressive, then chances are that it would cause the exact positive effect. When an employer wants to increase work cooperation, then he or she needs to consider playing ‘happy’ music to his employees.
North and Hargreaves (1999) carried out research on the effect of music on work productivity. They focused on people who do relatively repetitive work. The banking industry is ideal for this situation, so the researchers decided to analyse how cheque-clearing employees would respond to music. All seventy two employees cleared 12.5% more cheques than they normally did when there was no music.
It should be noted that not just any kind of music can affect productivity positively. If the work is repetitive, then individuals need to listen to fast music. In the experiment, slow music led to 22.3% less cheques being cleared in the same department (North and Hargreaves, 1999, 40). Fast music has the ability to increase work productivity because of its relation to mood arousal.
It heightens arousal levels and thus causes staff to engage in greater activity. Music can be constructive or destructive depending on its effect on the mood. If the task at hand requires a certain mood, then music will only be constructive if it accelerates or causes workers to have that frame of mind.
However, when the opposite occurs, then work productivity is likely to be diminished. Generally speaking though, music maybe understood as a mechanism for enhancing job satisfaction. Workers who are in a better mood simply perform better than their counterparts who are not.
In order to understand exactly how work productivity increases as a result of music, it is essential to know the difference between mood and arousal. The term mood refers to long lasting emotions which have a direct effect on cognitive aspects of the mind such as reasoning and thinking. Conversely, arousal denotes the intensity of emotional responses, and this has a direct effect on actions performed by the subject.
Arousal can be described through terms such as vigour, wakefulness and activity while mood is described using words such as depressed, gloomy, and happy. Music has an effect on both arousal and mood; hence illustrating why people actually listen to music. If a person listens to music that sounds sad, then the person’s heart rate is likely to go down, his or her skin conductance will reduce and so will the blood pressure.
However, if a person listens to music that sounds frightening, then that person’s heart rate is likely to increase. The reverse is true for people who listen to music that sounds ‘happy’. Such people often tend to record lower heart rates than the frightening case. Frightening music therefore affects arousal and mood while sad and happy music only affect mood.
People who carry out tasks that require immense levels of cognition such as cheque clearance should be subjected to music that alters their arousal rather than their mood. However, if certain job positions require people to think and reason, then it would be best to play music that affects mood and reduces arousal. Their levels of cooperation, helpfulness as well as their creative input are likely to go up once this takes place.
All this takes place because arousal has an effect on cognition. The Mozart – effect (as many researchers call it) usually arises when subjects record better spatial abilities after listening to Mozart. The Mozart sonata is a happy sounding piece of music. It therefore has the ability to alter how people perform spatial tasks because of its effect on mood rather than arousal (Husain et. al, 2004).
Music has the ability to influence one’s creative side because it focuses on the subjective rather than the objective. It usually deals with the inner emotional side rather than the events or the objects that lead to the emotion. When compared to other art forms, music has a greater impact or power over participants because emotions are used as the platform for interpreting a person’s feelings.
As one listens to a piece of music, one is likely to try and understand the piece. In this process, a relationship will be formed between the person and the music (Radano, 1989). Music can only make sense to an individual when that person had a certain level of expectation prior to listening to the piece. Therefore, a creative process is involved during the appreciation of music.
Studies indicate that students who listen to music and participate in other art forms tend to possess a higher creativity score (Martin, 1967, 314). The latter study entailed analysis of students who took part in musical arts class on the basis of their creative thinking.
Music can be linked to one’s past and one’s future. Subjects often associate a physical object with an abstract concept. As such, past and present events have the ability to influence a person’s future, and are indicative of what is to come. This is how creativity can be enhanced through the very act of listening, producing, understanding and appreciating music.
A painter or sculptor is likely to play some music in his or her studio background in order to maximise his or her creative potential. Alternatively, a writer may be going through writers block and may need to come up with new ideas for an article or book that he or she is working on. Music can stimulate these creative thoughts through the process mentioned above.
In fact, many professions that may not traditionally fall in the ‘creative’ category still require fresh injection of ideas. Advertisers, software developers and others may need to develop a new product or service and more often than not, music is the mechanism that causes these creative juices to flow from them.
It sometimes reminds them of an event that had occurred in the past and thus propels them to solve their current predicament, or it may inspire a different approach by diversion.
Human beings have a tendency to perceive other people’s emotions. This can be seen during riots or periods of mass unrest. Music tends to alter people’s behaviour in a group because it has the capacity to connect individuals to each other (Becker, 2004, 58). Usually, this can be seen when people are in a sports game, carnival, music concert, party or a dance floor.
When people participate in these practices, then their roles are normally defined by the group. As young people gather together to listen to their favourite rock artist perform, their actions will often be more pronounced than an elderly group that maybe sitting together in a classical concert. Nonetheless, both categories are still affected by the group phenomenon.
All listeners must conform to crowd expectations by moving and altering their behaviour in order to suit perceptions of those people around them. Therefore, music becomes the means with which identify formation occurs in that particular group.
It now becomes quite personal because it has been internalised. In just the same way that people use clothes, tattoos and other things to define themselves, music is usually seen as a personal issue that can generate aggression if criticized by others.
Whenever a group exists, each member inside it must have a role. However, individuality cannot be permitted. The group ought to have shared norms where certain rules exist. Some members will be dominated while others will submit. Furthermore, the group literary defines what one is or is not in relation to others and to oneself.
One must accept the role ascribed by the group; otherwise one would not qualify to belong to it. In order to communicate group expectations, it is normally expected that the members will take part in a ritual. These rituals often cause people to get into a trance like state that will lead them to greater awareness.
In the case of music, the listener is a part of a group if a number of people are also listening to the same thing at the same place. In these circumstances, the music lover now becomes a component of the collective movement. If active listening takes place, then chances are that the listener would get absorbed into it and possibly cut out all other things going on in his or her surroundings.
Becker (2004) explains that when people listen deeply to music (when no distractions are permitted and one gets submerged in the tune or song), they tend to enter a trance just like someone that is under a state of hypnosis. The music listener then follows a particular script without questioning or thinking much about it. At this stage, the listener will have merged with others in the group.
Concert performances or other instances (where people gather together to listen to music) tend to change group interactions because of these same factors. One can therefore say that music has a deep impact on group behaviour and group identity owing to its ability to bring people together.
In other scenarios, music can be used to share emotion and empathy. When a person is mourning, he or she is likely to experience very sad emotions. These can be expressed through words or may also be transmitted through music.
People who attend a funeral may sing songs that are designed to convey those sad emotions. Through immersion and involvement in that music, friends can share the experiences and emotions of the grieving person.
Creativity may also be enhanced through the process of discharge. If one has accumulated too many thoughts and worries in one’s head, then these may act as a mental block to the inspired thinking process. At such times, one must adopt a mechanism that will allow one to dislodge those thoughts. Music causes one to eliminate these thoughts through its mood altering abilities.
When one selects a type of song or tune that matches one’s emotions, it is likely that the music will lead to the process of cleansing and purging. One’s mind may then be clear enough to come with new ideas as desired. Alternatively, music may divert one’s attention from unpleasant and negative thoughts and thus put one in the right frame of mind that is needed in order to be creative. In this sense, music will have changed behaviour.
Music alters people’s behaviour through a series of avenues. It changes people’s experiences of time and thus allows them to enjoy tasks or activities that would normally seem dull. All these come about owing to mood arousal. Society can benefit from greater social order if more of its citizens listen to music. They would be more cooperative and subjective because of its ability to resonate with their values.
Furthermore, music causes people to be more productive at work due to its effect on arousal. The same mechanism also explains why music increases creativity and idea generation.
This phenomenon influences adolescent peer group formation and identity formation since it creates a platform for identity creation as well as norm building in the group. These effects have been proven through adequate research and explain why authorities manipulate such aspects in order to get the behavioural results they want.
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Husain, G., Schellenberg, G. & Thompson, W. (2002). Effects of musical tempo and mode on arousal, mood, and spatial abilities. Music perception journal , 20(2), 151-171
Martin, F. (1967). The Arts and the transfer of learning. The journal of aesthetics and art criticism , 25(3), 313-322
Meyer, L. (1956). Emotionandmeaninginmusic . Chicago: Chicago University press
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How Emotions are Affected by The Music?
Table of Contents
The field of neuroscience and music is expanding at a rapid pace. Several benefits of changing and engaging the brain waves can be witnessed largely. Oftentimes, the experts perceive music as a perceptual illusion. On the other hand, both the order and structural aspects are imposed by the brain. It helps in giving an entirely brand-new meaning to the system. Most importantly, music possesses the ability to manifest various feelings and images which may not be directly linked with the memory. Interestingly, listening to music can help the human beings to become happy. Moreover, the people derive happiness out of the same by investing a large amount of money and time. It is important to understand whether the aesthetic and familiarity preferences pertaining to music have any role in dissecting the listener’s involvement or not. Music is extremely important for everyone, especially when any emotional involvement is concerned. For instance, it can be witnessed in the real-life scenario as well, when any infant’s attention is easier to hold merely, by singing instead of speaking. At times, the caregivers also communicate with the infants in a music-like tone. They oftentimes, use rhythmic rates, a large and slow pitch range, high overall pitch, and the exaggerated pitch contours. The adults report that the music regulates their affective state and assists in expressing various emotions in an effective manner. Alternatively, music is specifically an effective stimulus so as to tone-down the varying emotional states. For example, a self-selected music which is depressing in nature is also quite effective at altering the mood to negative, from positive. Apart from all these things, the context and the listener’s age are quite relevant for anyone, in regards to the music. On the contrary, the older adults seldom report that they experience intense emotions in comparison to the younger ones, especially when listening to the jovial music. Both the cognitive and emotional processes are hardly dependent on one another. There are two distinct concepts implied by the emotional intelligence such as the emotional and rational aspects. They operate independently. Thus, this paper will elucidate how there is a proximate relation between the emotions and music, from the perspective of psychology.
Emotional responses and music
The emotional responses that the human beings have are very individual in nature . For instance, all the happy songs may not be perceived as the most uplifting ones. They do not even guarantee anyone that they will be continuously, in a jovial mood. On the other hand, oftentimes, people find conform in the melancholic music. Thus, abruptly, a song which is technically depressing may turn out to be more soothing and cathartic one in nature. According to the neuroscientists, music enters the human beings’ nervous system via the auditory brainstem. On the contrary, music often delves into the consciousness through the process of bottom-up phenomenon. Practically, the human heart desires to align with the music. Alternatively, the randomness in music is seldom linked with the surge in dopamine. Interestingly, the predictability is a rut as a playlist which is mundane does not intrigue anyone or rather reduces the anticipation. Monotony is created when a particular sequence is known to the listeners (Perlovsky 539). Several mental and emotional disorders can be cured by hearing to different types of music. The effect of music is examined by the music psychologists to understand how the emotions of human beings turn up. Even the cognitive theory also studies the human perception on music. Moreover, it is also important to understand how the cognitive schemata gets activate by merely listening to various songs. Music is perceived to be a therapy across a variety of population. After all, it assists in inducing the emotions. Both the psychological and physical reactions are prominent in this situation. In fact, the music performers and non-knowledgeable people react to the music, emotionally. An emotion always tends to direct towards a person or circumstance. Under the heading emotion, various types of emotional experiences and responses can be witnessed. In the musical context, any apparent biological function remains absent. Even the influences of the real-life scenarios are also not present in the same context. Most importantly, even if there is a presence of threatening or frightening aspects yet the sense of control is hardly lost. However, this happens when the music is turned off. A majority of the emotional responses are focused towards the arousal and appraisal components, in varying psychological researches. It is important to understand that the music often functions as a stimulus or catalyst, for the emotions.
Theory of emotion and few other relevant models
The theory of emotions is appropriate to decipher the relationship between the emotions and music. There are some components in music which create different expectations regarding the development of music that can take place in the future. For example, a particular rhythm or melodic line helps in recalling the past, largely. Thus, the listeners’ expectations and the other cognitive aspects are determined by the musical emotions. For instance, music arouses various expectations which can be immediately or directly satisfied. The affect arousal element elucidates how the music arouses various tendencies. Firstly, the emotions are experienced by the build-up and release of tensions. It is true in the case of both the listener and the music. As per the Meyer’s theory, any conscious insight can reduce the music’s effects. It also implies that the trained listener mainly reacts cognitively, by listening to the music. In certain instances, the cognitive theories pertaining to the emotions can also be brought into the forefront. Emotions are caused mostly by the future event-related expectations and their interruptions. The personal involvement determines the level of interruption. On the other hand, when the arousal is caused some or the other explanation is sought after. Contradictorily, emotions are vividly related to the information processing. Thus, the arousal experience is mostly the result of a misalignment between the new information’s integration and existing knowledge structure. As a result, a link can be found between the Meyer’s proclamation and the mismatch aspect. The change in the expected musical patterns leads to the experiences of arousal. On the contrary, the negative emotions are mostly the result of mismatch between the existent musical schemata and the musical information. Thus, just its opposite manifests in the form of positive emotions (Schubert 18). The factors, for example, the familiarity, complexity, and music’s novelty are taken into account when a person listens to the music. As a result, the familiarity determines whether the music is uncomfortable or pleasurable for a listener. For example, when music is quite new for a listener, its hedonic value remains low. It progresses with the degree of familiarity. Thus, the hedonic value once more decreases with the familiarity. The reversed U-shape curve can depict this relation better. Alternatively, the experience of emotion and arousal are quite important. In fact, the more arousal is caused by the complexity of music. However, the listeners’ tendency to seek activation is limited in nature. The preferred arousal constant is maintained with the musical preference. In fact, the complexity of the music manifests in the form of arousal.
Furthermore, Berlyne’s theory portrays how the music can produce varying emotions at different times, in those same people. In many of the experiments, it was observed that the consumption of arousal drugs leads to the preference of complex music. Both the mode and tempo showcase the strongest impact on various listeners. For instance, when the piano music is played in a fast tempo, it is described to be more cheerful, by the respondents. On the contrary, the sensitive and dreamful aspects were prominent when the piano music played was slow in tempo. Oftentimes, the emotional responses and reactions are induced by the music, especially in the specific moments. In many of the music therapy sessions, it has been witnessed that the patients are likely to prefer only the classical or heavy metal music. It is because of the emotional attachment to the same, which helps in healing.
Cognitive psychological experiments on music and their results
In the field of cognitive psychology, both the music cognition and perception are prominent as they help to understand the underlying mental mechanisms pertaining to the appreciation of music. Interestingly, the cognitive science has merged from a number of fields such as the neurophysiology, linguistics, computer science, and philosophy. The human beings’ mental capacities are highlighted in the cognitive science. In order to understand the musical forms’ cognitive structure, many of the ideas pertaining to the linguistics have been borrowed. For example, the cognitive psychology would help to understand the exercise and acquisition of various musical skills so as to listen and perform. Even the musical performances are greatly related to the emotions of a person. Multiple perception levels help in working with varying complex process structures and novelty. The memory structure is equally important as the musical structures tend to extend with time. Alternatively, the accumulated memory pertains to the musical piece formation.
Sociocultural approach to music psychology and its implications on the human emotions
From the socio-cultural perspective of psychology, the emotional episode that has been constructed from the cultural ideas and social customs can be regarded as the prototype for the researches. On the other hand, the emotional prototype mostly comprises of the events which are having the core-affective quality. As per the aspects mentioned-above, the basic emotions are often created by the music. The brain-imaging studies reveal that the real emotions are the products of music. An extra-musical association is often created by the same. Alternatively, the listeners can also project varying interpretations on a musical piece. An object containing emotions are aroused by the music. For example, love is an object that often gets triggered. On the other hand, the complex emotion such as nostalgia is a matter of communication via the musical piece. Contradictorily, the theories related to the communication decipher that only the simple and basic emotions are conveyed in music with little or no objects. Oftentimes, it can be observed that the lyrics do not play any role in the expression of emotions rather the tone and tempo determine the same. Some of the recognized emotions triggered are the frightening, sadness, and happiness. The unconscious appraisals should be responded to the cues in relation to music as the same leads to the expression of basic emotions. However, the process’ rapidness deciphers how the working memory cannot be accessed easily and thus, only a handful of computational power is valid in this case. The mimetic cues are visible vividly. For instance, happiness emotion corresponds to the loud, medium tempo, major scale, wide pitch range, and consonant aspects. Alternatively, one’s anxious emotions are evident when he or she listens to the moderate volume, rapid tempo, and minor scaled and low-pitched music. Thus, it can be understood how the appraisal of events take place when the cognitive theories are applied to the situations. However, the most controversial part is the emotions’ nature. Emotions are potent enough to gunpowder and glue the human social relations.
Few important aspects of sociocultural perspective
According to the sociocultural elements of music, the natural selection process has shaped the evolution pertaining to the species. The musical behaviors can be considered as the manifestations of possible selection pressures. In the social group context, music can provide an advantage for the reproductive purpose. Arguably, some of the criticisms are also evident in this case. For instance, there are two main elements which have been negated by the previous psychologists, of the music evolutionary psychology (Eerola and Vuoskoski 309). Firstly, the music is hardly a product of memetic transmission or the cultural evolution. Secondly, several innate capabilities which the human beings apply may not be related with the music perception rather their connection can be witnessed in regards to the conceptual representation, auditory perception, emotion, timing, and language.
Biological relevancy in the cognitive music psychological perspective
The positive effects of music on the emotions help in bettering the cognitive performances of an individual. On the other hand, the biological aspects such as the brain areas pertaining to the expression of various emotions get activated by music. The pleasure experienced during music-listening is because of dopamine transmission through the hippocampus and amygdala. Cognitively, the loud as well as fast music contributes in delayed comprehension-reading. Thus, here the music is emotionally quite agitating. For example, one cannot simultaneously, ride a rollercoaster and read a book. Pop music is not a good influencer for the teenagers as they tend to indulge in topics such as the alcohol, drugs, sex, and violence. It is music which helps in fortifying the lyrics. Hence, the destructive and negative lyrics are venomous for the human minds. As a result, a vivid range of self-destructive behaviors and degradation of women have occurred since the emergence of many pop songs. The moods are also affected by the gothic and somber genres, in a negative manner. On one hand, some of the songs may catalyze the jovial nature of various teenagers while others can prove to be detrimental for their emotional well-being. In general, music tends to delay or reduce the fatigue. The muscular endurance is increased by the music. Hence, the music psychology is proximately linked with the evolutionary approaches and the cross-cultural aspects, simultaneously.
Music is nothing but the product of mind. Until and unless the vibrational elements of amplitude form, frequency, and duration are neurologically transformed, the same cannot be proclaimed to be music. The neurological transmissions are interpreted in the form of timbre, pitch, time, loudness, and others. The musical inputs stimulate the neural structures, like all other sensory inputs. Unfortunately, the human beings are more of the imitators. In this world, the new ways are invented by the people. As per the behavioral psychology, each and every one is in need of listening to the music. The music structure is the core of emotions and feelings, deciphered by a person. Many psychologists refer to the music as a form of behavior in the human beings. It is powerful and unique in its influences.
Expectancy is quite an important aspect in understanding the variety of behaviors, for example, speech understanding, perception, skilled performances, and production. Sometimes, music theory may combine other broader topics as well. The emotions of the listener are unveiled when the musical patterns are brought into the open. The listeners remember those chords and tones which are often expected in a particular context. On the other hand, stylistically, the tones that are unexpected are not remembered adequately. However, the change to any expected element from its counterpart is noteworthy.
Some important social and cultural components of the music psychology
The sub-cultural and social boundaries are defined by the music. A large number of aggressive behaviors are increased by the violent music. It is more influenced by the peer groups than that of the parents. The emotions are likely to become disruptive due to the interference of the peer groups, in a large amount. In this way, the children spend less time with their parents thereby leading to less parental supervision (Swaminathan and Schellenberg 192). If in those formative years, the children tend to listen to the music which is full of pathos, they can become violent in the subsequent years. As a result, the emotional manifestation may not be pleasant at all. The emotions of teenagers are swayed the most by music-listening. They prefer hard rocks, heavy metals, and hardcore rap. Most importantly, it has been discussed earlier how the tempo affects the youngsters, largely. For example, the children have been reported to behave well after listening to the classical music. On the other hand, quite background music helps in unwanted thought blockage and surging the concentration. It may not be completely applicable for each and every one. The anxiety is decreased and tranquility is promoted when the soothing and pleasing music is played.
The musical preferences are largely biased towards the culturally, similar musical traditions that often begin right at the infancy stage. On the other hand, the adults’ classification related to the emotion of any musical piece mostly, depends on the structural features and cultural specifications. Thus, in case of the memory abilities, various individuals like to listen to the familiar music, which are culturally known to them. Alternatively, they do not opt for the unfamiliar music, culturally. Hence, emotions are triggered by the music most, when the people can listen to their favorite or culturally preferred pieces.
Behavioral perspective on the music psychology
It is noticeable that the emotions are often evoked by nothing but the stimuli. On the contrary, those stimuli are appraised when the processing occur on the multiple levels. A psychological link between the emotional states and musical activity is not at all new. The aesthetic evaluations cannot be solely based on the gut feelings (Koelsch 176). Arguably, the human beings are hardly predisposed genetically, to various sounds or value images such as the safe environments, healthy mates, and a consistent food source. In other scenarios, the artistic phenomena may often acquire the virtue of being special, by value. It is evident in relation to the experiences, conventions, social patterns, and others. Alternatively, the neuroscientific and behavioral evidences showcase all the emotional systems are mostly, implied by the appraisal of value and various preferences. Music is also an emotional signal which can be regarded to be multimodal in nature. When singing or speaking emotionally, all the emotional facial gestures and expressions are combined along with various auditory emotional signals. It helps in creating a more multimodal affective experience which is quite powerful, characteristically. In the music-related researches, psychological often emphasize on the communication of different emotions. For instance, not only the listeners but also the singers themselves use varying body and facial movements to supplement or reinforce a large number of emotional messages. Contradictorily, the visual cues linked with the movements of body can also nurture an emotional connection between the audience members and the musicians. Thus, even when the sounded music is absent, the body movements provide different clues in relation to the expressivity of emotions. Emotional information may be sourced from the facial expressions of the listeners and viewers. The vocal production and the emotional messages conveyed via the singers are often aligned with one another. Alternatively, the facial expressions are potent enough to interpret the vocal emotional signals successfully. The emotions of humans are not only affected during the simple settings of listening to music but also the impact is visible during various activities such as the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Many times, the same rhythmic patterns help both the men and women to concentrate on their works, which are actually monotonous in nature. For example, during shopping, soft and loopy music is played on the background for affecting the moods of all the buyers. However, even in this scenario, the technicalities such as the tempo and tone of music are relevant.
Gender distinction on the music preference and portrayal of emotions
The impact of music on women is comparatively more than the men. They mostly listen to songs for various emotional reasons. Alternatively, the men listen to different music when they need some cognitive boosts. According to the cultural theory, the cultures are more of the adaptive systems. Thus, the people adapt to the norms and rituals of a culture which they have encountered from the childhood (Vuoskoski and Eerola 268). It is also related to the aspects of familiarity. Importantly, it is crucial to understand how the familiarity is associated with the several layers of memory. Therefore, the music also helps in decoding the memory by boosting its layers. Lastly, it can make anyone quite emotional in nature. Thus, a proximate relation is visible between the sociocultural themes and the music. On the other hand, the tonal-harmonic music’s experience can be better understood by examining the rhythm, meter, key, harmony, and scale. Music theory is not known to the listeners, in psychological experiments. The psychology seeks to understand the general principles that lie under the complex behavioral patterns. Alternatively, the differences between many individuals can exist. However, the same is treated as the systematic method.
Significant models and theories
One of the significant models which can help in dissecting the listener’s cognitive response towards music is the realization-implication framework. Narmour’s model is considered to be one of the initial experiments of the cognitive psychology. The shorter stimulus sequences help in conducting various experiments. Even in the music psychology, the top-down process can be adopted for explicitly understanding the incoming of perceptual information. It is later related to the previous experiences of an individual. The proposed aspects of model such as the melodic expectancies are influenced by nothing but the melodic expectancies (Juslin and Sloboda 591). Even the principles largely depend on the immediate musical context, perceptually. The melody-related cognition can often be described as the successive points of implications, closure, and realization. From the above-discussion, it can be dissected that the emotional responses are the results of changing expectancies pertaining to the listener.
The Lev’s theory on sociocultural aspects decipher that the caregivers, parents, peers, and extended families remain responsible to develop various higher order functions. Thus, learning is associated with varying people’s interaction. It also emphasizes on the fact that the attitudes and cultural beliefs affect how the learning and instruction take place. In the above-sections, it is evident how the familiarity factor in music always triggers the emotional reactions of the respondents in varying experiments.
Music psychology is largely intertwined with the Piaget’s cognitive model. For instance, it also focuses on the adaptation process, schemas, and cognitive development stages. In case of the music psychology, how the excessive adaptation or zero-surprise element can nullify the emotional arousal process in the subjects when music is played to them has been vividly elucidated.
Last but not the least; the Skinner’s behavioral theory can showcase the language’s proximity with the music psychology. He focused on the reinforcement aspect in order to change the subjects’ behaviors. The reinforcement can be either positive or negative in nature. On the contrary, like language, music is also perceived to be the habit which can definitely be acquired by conditioning. The musical stimuli can help in gaining control over the human emotions and behaviors.
In this report, it can be observed that the music psychology genre has blended the social, cultural, behavioral, and cognitive approaches in a healthy manner. Some of the theories that have been applied in this paper are the Lev’s theory, Piaget’s cognitive framework, and the behavioral theory portrayed by Skinner. Music extracts emotions out of the men and women differently. For instance, a piece of music can make a woman more emotional than a man. It is because the men perceive the same in a more cognitive manner. Therefore, right from the biological relevancy to the varying genres of psychology must be compiled in the experimentation of the music psychology, for the best results. It can also be inferred that both the listener and singer are equally affected emotionally, where music is concerned. Apart from these, the effect of music is different for the varying age groups. The working memory is not much disrupted by the music rather it penetrates through the various layers of a person’s memory.
- Eerola, Tuomas, and Jonna K. Vuoskoski, “A review of music and emotion studies: approaches, emotion models, and stimuli.” Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal , vol.30, no.3, 2013, pp. 307-340.
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