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Music and Emotions

Why does different music makes us feel different emotions?

By Siddharth ThapaPublished 4 months ago 3 min read

Music is present in our lives practically from the moment we are born , since we begin to perceive the voices of the people around us as a melody . Furthermore, music is closely related to emotional intelligence , therefore, it allows us to develop skills such as empathy, that is, putting ourselves in other people's shoes.

People's behaviour can be affected by music , since it intervenes in our mental processes, perceptions and sensations. This relationship is studied by the psychology of music , which studies how music affects our brain.

What happens in the brain when we listen to music?

One of the main reasons why music can affect our emotions is because it activates the brain's reward system , that is, listening to music releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which are associated with pleasure and happiness. That's why music can lift our spirits when we're feeling down.

Many studies try to demonstrate how music stimulates both hemispheres of the brain. Professor Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis of Princeton University's Music Cognition Laboratory has conducted several studies on the influence of music on cognitive science.

She claims that most of the music we listen to is made up of melodies we already know . That feeling of knowing the songs is what makes music generate in individuals a feeling of joy and tranquillity .

How does music influence our feelings?

Music can also affect our emotions by evoking memories . For example, listening to a song that you listened to when you were in high school can bring back memories of that time and the emotions associated with it. Similarly, music associated with a place or event can also trigger memories and emotions related to that experience. For example, listening to a song that reminds us of a summer vacation. This is why music is often used as a form of nostalgia , as it can bring back memories of happy times and help us relive those feelings.

Impact of lyrics:

Song lyrics can also have a powerful effect on our emotions. Lyrics that express love, sadness, or anger can resonate with listeners and provoke different emotions.

Additionally, a song's melody and harmony can also contribute to its emotional impact . A slow melody can evoke feelings of sadness, while a fast, upbeat melody can create a feeling of excitement.

Different conotation, different impact:

Another factor that can influence the emotional impact of music is the cultural and personal context in which it is listened to. Different cultures have their own traditions and musical genres that are associated with specific emotions. For example, in Western culture, love songs are often associated with romantic feelings, while in some Eastern cultures , music with a slower tempo is associated with more melancholic emotions.

Likewise, an individual's personal experiences and associations with a particular song or genre can also influence its emotional impact. For example, a person who has suffered many heartbreaks may experience feelings of sadness and nostalgia, while someone who has had more positive romantic experiences may find those same songs uplifting and happy.

In addition to these factors, the way music is performed can also affect its emotional impact. A live performance of a song is not the same as a recorded version. Live it can have more emotional force, since it allows a more direct connection with the performer and the music.

Classical Music:

It has always been said that classical music has beneficial effects on people, especially babies . This comes from the fact that in the 90s several studies were carried out in the United States that determined that classical music, and specifically that of Mozart, has beneficial effects on babies already in the womb, the so-called Mozart effect.

Although it would be next to impossible to determine why we feel what we feel when we hear certain type of music but these were some of the plausible explanations that could help us understand what the game behind all of this really is.


About the Creator

Siddharth Thapa

Just a regular guy who loves to travel, read, and write.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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  • Manikandan Blog Writer4 months ago



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