Music is an art form consisting of the right combination of sounds to produce a melody. Sources of sound can be anything from improvised means to special instruments.
In layman’s terms
Music is an agreeable combination of sounds.
One can argue about its origin in infinity. There is no authentic information about how and when music appeared in the world. Maybe it was an australopith whistling some invented melody, or a mammoth hunter attracted the beast with a rhythmic clatter.
But, what can be said with certainty – in today’s world, music surrounds people every day, and it affects our moods, actions, and emotions.
Scientists have long drawn parallels and begun to study the effects of this phenomenon on the workings of the human brain. We will try to look into the results and explain in simple words how music affects the student in and out of school hours.
But, before parsing the effects of music on our gray matter, it’s worth first introducing a little understanding of how sound works.
What is worth knowing about how sound works?
Sound is capable of propagating in liquids, in gases, and even in solids. The sound we are familiar with that is transmitted through a gas is air.
Sound is an elastic mechanical oscillation that propagates in a medium.
Particles of air, due to mechanical vibrations, begin to move, transmitting sound, and when the wave reaches the ear, the eardrum also vibrates, reproducing the same sound to our brain.
But what about dog whistles and stuff? Why can’t we hear them?
The thing is that the range of human hearing is in a fairly narrow range from 16 hertz to 20,000 hertz, although studies have shown that the ears do not perceive sound vibrations below 20 Hz, they are felt through the other senses. All sounds below 20 Hz are infrasound and those above 20 kHz are ultrasound.
Sound has two characteristics: frequency and amplitude. The first is responsible for the very pitch of the sound. And the second characteristic is loudness; the greater the amplitude, the louder the sound. But how is the sound that makes music different from the noise we hear in everyday life?
Noise backgrounds are sounds that have non-periodic oscillations and a continuous spectrum. That is, they are frequencies that fill a certain interval continuously.
Music and musical sounds are harmonic oscillations with a linear spectrum, filling a certain interval with a chosen periodicity.
Still complicated and unclear? Hopefully, our illustration will help to dot all the i’s and cross all the i’s.
Now let’s move on to the direct effect of music on the human condition.
Dopamine and Music
The human brain has many different centers responsible for various aspects of life, one of them is the pleasure center. Thanks to him, when something pleasant happens to the body, the hormone dopamine is released. You don’t need a chemical explanation, so let’s put it in simple terms: it is thanks to dopamine that pleasurable sensations are spread throughout your body. It is produced during a good meal, a pleasant massage, sex, or when listening to your favorite music. A lack of dopamine can cause mental health problems and can lead to depression.
So what does this experiment give us? If you’re sad and lonely and you can’t get your dopamine up – listen to your favorite music! And if you not only like to listen to it but also practice it, it helps your all-round development.
How can music help a student?
A gentle melody and creativity
Of course, for solving complex integrals, music won’t help. The exact sciences don’t mesh with music. But, what an open space for creativity, wow! Studies have proven that soft background music has a beneficial effect on people engaged in creative work: artists, writers, musicians, and other creators. It can even be useful in programming homework help.
According to a study by European scientists, sad music helps to cope with depression, roughly speaking, helps all the sadness go out with the music. And cheerful music, on the contrary, worsens the condition, driving into “depression” even faster.
Of course, not everyone dares to argue with the scientists, but I will take the liberty. This study is too subjective because sadness can pull out and aggressive, harsh music. It all depends on the person.
The relationship of musical preferences and character
There is a huge variety of musical genres and, strange as it may seem, their number is growing: rock, blues, jazz, hardcore, hip-hop, rap, classical music, new wave, electro, drum’n’bass, and many others. Scientists can’t sit still and have been able to identify a pattern between music preference and character.
Reggae fans are people with high self-esteem, not lacking in creativity, but a little lazy.
Country music lovers are workaholics, easy-going. An interesting fact: the number of suicides among country music fans is higher than among any other genre.
Fans of rock (not extreme metal) are the calmest and balanced, rarely having mental problems. They are characterized by low self-esteem.
No matter what kind of music you like, all people are different and it’s not worth judging them only by their tastes. The main thing is that the music should please you! And also remember Friedrich Nietzsche’s saying: “Without music, life would be a mistake.