Music Information

Music to Echo Your Mood

In what way do the kinds of music (rock, rap, classical,instrumental, etc.) change or alter our mood and in what waydo our moods effect what music we listen to?

Music has been present throughout the history of man. Ofcourse musical styles change but the power and popularity ofmusic never changes. But why is music so popular? What is itthat music offers us and is it just a sound to drown outothers?

Our emotions and thoughts are altered and influenced bymusic. Music can influence our emotions and our behaviour toa great degree, it relaxes us, it energises us, it can makeus sad, or happy. Of course music isn't some type of mindcontrol but it studies have consistently shown the linkbetween music and our moods.

Slow music calms down. Ballads, some forms of classicalmusic and New Age, as well as meditation music create apeaceful atmosphere that is good for relaxing after a busyday or for a romantic dinner. For most people slow music isde-stressing. It allows them to sit down and relax.

If the music is slowed below approximately 50 beats perminute it can create an atmosphere of sadness, evendepression. The slow rhythm of certain music can make inducefeelings of powerlessness and desperation.

This kinds of slow music is often found in jazz andclassical music, many people listen to it when alone, atnight usually, when it seems to suit their mood.

In general, instrumental music (excluding military marcheswith their fast tempo) is also a way to isolate oneself fromthe people around. The rhythm is calm and steady, the tuneis clearer, since there are no voices interfering.

Faster music (such as rock, heavy metal, and dance music)tends to uplift us. It energises us, and awakens us in avery real way, making us feel full of life.

Dance music is light and yet fast, it fills us with energyand relaxes us but it is not complicated by intellectualovertones. So it allows us to liven up and unwind withouthaving to think or listen very seriously. For this reason itis very popular at parties.

Rock and pop music and rap are also often played at parties,when large groups of people gather together. This is musicfor socializing and being together. Most rock, pop, and rapsongs also do not involve special efforts for listening toand are also suitable for parties.

Rock music is often used to accompany physical labour, itsheavy fast tempo speeds up the heart and one almost works intime to the music making the work more enjoyable.

Some people think that rock music can cause road accidents,it is not difficult to see why, it is easy to become 'caughtup in' rock music, drivers could become excited by the speedof the music and drive too fast. But on balance there are somany sources of driver distraction that it does not makesense to blame rock music. Nevertheless studies have shown adefinitive link between music and mood.

Some kinds of music, like techno, are produced usingcomputers and almost constitute an escape into an alternatevirtual world, the music is reminiscent of sci-fi,technology and the futuristic world we imagine.

World music allows a different type of escape - into anothercountry. Often people bring home CDs from holiday and whenlistening to the music it evokes the spirit of a nation orarea and seems to take them back there.

The best music information can be found online at FBX Music.Devon Rynders is a senior writer and you will find articles,resources and a free newsletter at:FBX Music.


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How Music Evokes Awe (The Science of Happiness podcast)  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

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