Music can have a physical impact on humans. It can help us to relax or can make us energetic and happy. It has a huge effect on our moods and has a greater impact on the human psyche than most other forms of culture.
Very early forms of music, usually in the form of drumming and voices, were used by our ancient ancestors for similar reasons why we use music today. We use it to celebrate, to mark occasions, to escape the stresses of normal life and to take a break from our daily routines.
As a result of the huge range of uses for music and the wide variety of emotions it evokes, the human race has developed a diverse variety of music. From a classical concert, to a live dance DJ or an Indian wedding band, it never fails to impact our lives and make an impression on us as humans.
Although we are all familiar with the effect music has on our emotions and moods, some research has offered a greater insight into this phenomenon
One piece of research looked at the effect music had on fish swimming in a tank. The study found that the beats of the music changed the way the fish swam, with the fish's swimming patterns corresponding with the beats of the different songs.
Music as therapy is another interesting area for those involved in the music business. Anand Avinash, founder of a Neuro Linguistic Consciousness workshop, points out that music has been used as a kind of therapy for centuries, if not millennia. He says, "the mystics and saints from ancient to modern times have shown how music can kindle the higher centres of the mind and enhance quality of life."
He uses the example of chants and mantras used to reach another state of consciousness among holy people like monks and among others who use chanting as a meditation technique.
In addition to its role as a stress-reliever, it can also be used in therapy. Conditions including dementia, depression, dyslexia and post-traumatic stress disorder can be helped through musical therapy, according to some doctors. Children with learning difficulties and problems with coordination can also benefit hugely from music therapy.
Even if you have no use for music in a therapeutic sense, and do not see it as a way of relieving the stresses and strains of life, most people can get something from music. And by this we do not just mean classical, spiritual or meditative music. People can benefit hugely in terms of their mood and their perspective from listening to their favourite pop records, heavy metal music or hip hop tracks.
Let's face it, it's hard to think of anything else that speaks to humans the way music does. After all, we make the music and it is a uniquely human creation and one we should all cherish.
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