Research shows that music is part of a person’s daily existence and is heard in advertising, film, radio, TV and sporting events. Not surprisingly, for most people listening to music is a pleasurable experience, whether they listen to it intently or participate in the making of music. We found the following definitions for the word ‘music’:
“The art of arranging sounds in time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.”
“An aesthetically pleasing or harmonious sound or combination of sounds”
“Music is an art form whose medium is sound”
The main reason why most people engage with music is for the emotional experience. It can excite, emotionally move and entertain people more than most stimuli.
Music provides people with ways of understanding and developing self-identity; connecting with other; maintaining well-being and expressing spirituality. Music has also been found to enhance the quality of people’s experiences and human relationships.
It is even believed that music has healing powers. The scope for understanding the healing nature of music has recently been studied and documented. Music has been found, through the use of imagery, to be capable of altering (to some degree) the perception of pain. Music can also help to reduce stress and tension and thereby induce relaxation.
People generally use music in different ways depending on the time, mood and space. For instance, some people use music as a stimulant, others as a tranquilizer, some for intensity and beauty, others as an alternative therapy, some for gaining understanding of their world, while others enjoy its pure abstraction qualities. It can help people to initiate movement in their mental state and cue them towards feeling more positive about life.
Music is an important part of the lives of people because it is through music that they can come to know and reflect upon their own personhood. People generally use music as a symbol for defining their own sense of ‘self’ and identity. Music is a symbolic representation of who someone is and how someone wants to be perceived by others.
For many people, music is an essential way of communicating with others who have lost the ability to communicate effectively through language. For example, people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke and aphasia. Music could facilitate forms of communication and feelings of connection within relationships where loved ones could no longer verbally communicate.
Music can also connect you to people who may no longer be living, validated memories, can give meaning to life and facilitate a greater sense of spirituality. Music is also used as a powerful symbol for how people choose to live their life, assign meaning to experiences and act and react to his or her world. We’d like to close this article with one of our personal favorite music quotes:
“The present has a home.
Let regret, live alone
Time flies, seize the day.
Let love lead the way.
Live the moment, live free.
Life is changing fast.
Just be free.”
– JDX ft. Sarah Maria – Live The Moment
Source: Psychology of Music