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 way do our moods effect what music we listen to?

Music has been present throughout the history of man. Of course musical styles change but the power and popularity of music never changes. But why is music so popular? What is it that music offers us and is it just a sound to drown out others?

Our emotions and thoughts are altered and influenced by music. Music can influence our emotions and our behaviour to a great degree, it relaxes us, it energises us, it can make us sad, or happy. Of course music isn't some type of mind control but it studies have consistently shown the link between music and our moods.

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

If the music is slowed below approximately 50 beats per minute it can create an atmosphere of sadness, even depression. The slow rhythm of certain music can make induce feelings of powerlessness and desperation.

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

In general, instrumental music (excluding military marches with their fast tempo) is also a way to isolate oneself from the people around. The rhythm is calm and steady, the tune is 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 a very real way, making us feel full of life.

Dance music is light and yet fast, it fills us with energy and relaxes us but it is not complicated by intellectual overtones. So it allows us to liven up and unwind without having to think or listen very seriously. For this reason it is 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 music for socializing and being together. Most rock, pop, and rap songs also do not involve special efforts for listening to and are also suitable for parties.

Rock music is often used to accompany physical labour, its heavy fast tempo speeds up the heart and one almost works in time 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 'caught up in' rock music, drivers could become excited by the speed of the music and drive too fast. But on balance there are so many sources of driver distraction that it does not make sense to blame rock music. Nevertheless studies have shown a definitive link between music and mood.

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

World music allows a different type of escape - into another country. Often people bring home CDs from holiday and when listening to the music it evokes the spirit of a nation or area 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.

In The News:

JP Devine: The music of summer  Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
In music and in life, classical pairings  The San Diego Union-Tribune

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