By Tanisha Verma
Isn’t it miraculous that our entire species processes various vibrations, trivial sequences of sounds, potent words, and perceives them as the expression of one’s sentiments and emotions?
We call this enigma music.
“We have such a deep connection to music because it is ‘hardwired’ in our brains and bodies.” 5 “The elements of music: rhythm, melody, etc. – are echoed in our physiology, functioning and being.” 6
We breathe music, better yet, we swim in an ocean of a world, which is striving on musical power.
Nevertheless, some people may misconceive music in general and think that it’s only used to communicate feelings towards lovers or to cope with grief, nothing else. However, studies have shown that music achieves far more: it helps people get emotionally rejuvenated in their daily lives, as well as treat us from various mental illnesses that we may suffer greatly from.
In retrospect, has a song ever provoked an emotional response from you? For instance, a song you listened to on repeat during your recent poignant break-up, or a song you sang at your wedding, which compelled an earnest tear to roll down your spouse’s right cheek.
Withal these potencies, the sheer power of music is still underestimated.
In a highly dysfunctional world, artists of all kinds raise the voices of unprejudiced issues, and liberation in order to bring a sense of alignment to the planet through music. Music is therapy, a therapy everyone relishes in on a day to day basis. According to the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, in the past 10 years, the “interest and progress in adopting music as a therapeutic tool in neurological rehabilitation” has inordinately increased. Hence, music can also be used as a therapeutic tool to assess the cognitive ability of people who have advanced Alzheimer’s disease – (a disease which has no known cure till date) , who indeed “respond to the evocative powers of music” 4 . Furthermore, a sensational performer, Matt Giordano, “uses drumming to help control his Tourette syndrome”7.
Personally speaking, I feel my heart with song; music is engraved in my every memory. Due to my father’s rousing career, I have traveled to many places. Thus, the only constant in my life would have to be my music. Music has helped me pave my way through arduous times that I have come across, during my life. According to the American Music Therapy Association it is proven that music does provide “positive changes in mood and emotional states”. Hence, whenever I used to migrate into a new environment and a gust of loneliness suddenly used to take over my entire being, I would spend my time playing music; it transports me into a sarial world, eradicating all pain and sorrow in life.
Furthermore, according to ‘Plato’ (A philosopher in Classical Greece), “musical experience is not an autonomous affair, isolable from other arts or the business of daily living.” 3 This proves to show that music is abstractly conjoined within our “daily” functioning. Therefore, we are always, whether it be consciously or unconsciously, involved in some type of musical endeavor. He mentions that “musical harmony’s primary value lies in what it does for mind and character.” Thus, character development is also an area which music nurtures in absolutely anyone in this world, no matter how old or young.
Therefore, music’s unprecedented powers cannot and should not be underestimated.
While in the past two decades there have been advances, neuroscience engineers and scientists have still yet to discover the true essence of the question; why does music have so much power? That is the underlying question for humanity; the beat of the drum of the human heart.
We all know its power, yet we cannot put it into mere words.
We all hear it.
We all feel it.
We all need it.
That is the paradox of music itself.
1)“American Music Therapy Association.” Music Therapy with Specific Populations: Fact Sheets, Resources & Bibliographies | Music Therapy with Specific Populations | American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/
2) Ion Olteteanu. “The Listener’s Phenomenal Experience of Music’s Expressiveness: the Centrality and
Objectivity of the Musical Expression of Emotion States, http://ezproxy.iskl.edu.my:2082/ic/ovic/AcademicJournalsDetailsPage/AcademicJournalsDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Journals&currPage=&scanId=&query=&docIndex=&source=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC%3AGIC&mode=view&catId=&u=60iskl&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CA267134520&windowstate=normal&activityType=BasicSearch&failOverType=&commentary=
3) Sacks, Oliver. “Power of Music | Brain | Oxford Academic.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press,
4) Särkämö, Teppo, et al. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers Media S.A., 2016,
5) “The Benefits of Music for Older People.” Handicare,
6) Whiteman, Honor. “The Power of Music: How It Can Benefit Health.” Medical News Today,
MediLexicon International, 19 Nov. 2015, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/302903.php
7) Hale, Mike. “Our Brains on Music: The Science.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 29
Image Credit: “Your Brain on Music.” Violinist.com, www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/20147/16023/.