Why music is good for you

on   /   in The Arts 9:27 pm   /   Comments


There is not a single culture in this world of ours that lacks music. People across the globe have fashioned instruments of all sorts to express the musicality inherent in them. It is about the only thing that engages both right and left sides of the brain.

With music we calculate tempo and rythym and emotion too comes into play.
Whether we play or listen to music it has the power to lift the spirits and some types of arrangements can cause some people to burst into tears. Ten years from the death of John Lennon, the former Beatle Stevie Wonder said Lennon’s Song “Imagine’ would drive him to tears. I don’t speak a word of Spanish yet the Tune Guantanamera, since I was nine never failed to affect me. It is my favourite song above any other. It has tension that is later resolved as release.

It is what musicologist describe as an appogiatura – Ave Maria and yesterday are other examples.
Tests in Austrialia found that loud music played in a vehicle actually enabled the driver to be more focused. As part of the ambience in a restaurant customers felt more relaxed and liked to linger while head bangers made customers with money buy more than they initially planned – if they had the money.

Apart from swaying the emotions music played or listened to benefits both mental and physical health. This finding coming from the review of 400 research papers in the neurochemistry of music detected that music can improve the function of the body’s immune system and abate levels of stress.

Listening to music was also found to be more successful than prescription drugs in lowering one’s anxiety prior to undergoing surgery. A report from 2011 showed that anxiety in cancer patients can be reduced by music according to Prof. Levetin. He says; “we found a compelling evidence that musical interventions can playa health care role in settings ranging from operating rooms to. family clinics. But even more importantly, we were able to document the neurochemical mechanism by which music has an effect in four domains: managements of mood, stress, immunity and as an aid to social bonding.”

It was found that music increases an antibody that plays an important role in immunity of the mucous system immoglobulin A as well as natural killer cell counts, the cells that attack germs and bacteria attacking the body. Listening to and playing music can also lower levels of cortical (the stress hormone) according to Levitin and Dr Mona Lisa Chanda, his postgraduate research fellow.

It was previously published in the British journal, of Psychiatry that music therapy when paired with standard care is a successful treatment for depression. All this points to the fact that we should never be far from music!


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