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Influence of Music on the Human Brain

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Nowadays, current society is familiar with music more than in any other time in history because of the youth. A big percentage of the young listen to music everyday while performing their daily activities for many of the activities they perform. However, it is necessary to define the word music. Psychoacoustics define music as a sound with peculiar features that counts with specific patterns. In contrast, medieval theorists and Greek philosophers used to define music as tones with horizontal order (such as melodies) and vertical order (such as harmonies). (Sfetcu, 2014) Is not wrong to think that everyone can have a different opinion about the definition of music because is difficult to describe. Nevertheless, a more similar answer can be given if an individual is asked for the reason he or she enjoys music.

In fact, music has been an important part of human culture since hundred of thousand of years ago. Researchers have found a music area in the brain; and such as many other process developed in the brain, tasks involved in enjoying the music are located in different parts of the human brain. (Maulk, 2013) A perfect example of the increase of music listeners in the present time is the United States. Its population is spending more time on listening music than ever before, this information is taken from a new report released by Nielsen Music; it estimates that Americans in average spend a little more than 32 hours per week enjoying music. (McIntyre, 2017) Music and its relation with the human being is much more complex than just statistics or words.

This essay will present how the connection between music and the human brain is established and studied; specifically, the influence music can have in emotions. In addition, the way emotions are affected from one type of music differs from others depending on factors such as tone, rhythm and instruments will be presented.

Firstly, it is important to present and explain the relation between music and the human brain. Different types of music generally lead to a large set of emotions and effects on the human behaviour, which, in turn, lead to a specific class of experiences known as feelings. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies, normally, in normal people as well as in individuals with neurological lesions, show that music can modify the condition of large-scale neural systems of the human brain. Brain sectors pertaining to auditory and motor processing are not the only ones limited to the changes; they also are present in sectors related to the regulation of life processes known as homeostasis (a state of psychological equilibrium obtained when tension has been reduced or eliminated), which counts with those areas related to emotions and feelings. It is acceptable to risk that the close connection among the human brain, music and feelings beside with music that the close relationship between music and feelings along with the effectiveness of music in some social and personal contexts., that is, its roles in homeostasis, explain, in part, the considerable point of choice and replication of phenomena related to music, both in a cultural and biological way. Researchers concerned in the brain’s processing of music accord that music evokes a broad range of feelings (Sloboda, O’Neill, & Ivaldi, 2001) and have, understandably, committed a lot of effort effort to the investigation of music-related affect.

In most treatments of this relationship, however, feelings (beside emotions, commonly taken as their equivalent) are only reviewed from both sociocultural and psychological views, being different with the neurobiological phenomena which plays an important role in life regulation is not considered despite feelings are also included in this area, that is, in homeostasis. It is certainly true that socio-cultural and psychological views have to investigate music. As it can be seen feelings are central factors of the experience that music produces on our brain and it can be studied in many fields. (Habibi & Damasio, 2014)

It is also important to answer the following question: Does music produce a real influence in our emotions? And in case it was, is it a significant influence?

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