This article is supported by Ray Khan. Many of you may know this about me. I’ve talked about it before, but when I was younger, I was really into music. I want to be a musician really more than anything I played piano when I was a kid between, like the years of 7 to 10, took piano lessons.
I took violin lessons in my preteen years and then, when I got into high school, I played trumpet in high school band, which apparently makes me a jerk. According to 90 % of the girls, I tell that to high school dramas.
They cut deep. The first major purchase I made in my entire life was a Yamaha sy 77 keyboard that I was able to use to compose all kinds of music that was awful and thankfully lost a time. I actually picked my college based on their music program and then once I got there, I realized I didn & # 39.
T really have the chops to make it in the big league. So I kind of switched over to radio TV film, which I was perfectly happy with. I enjoyed that wound up sticking with it and the rest is history, and I never really played music again and that really bothers me.
It was just it was such a big part of my life. When I was growing up, I really hate that I kind of let all that go. You know so some of you have noticed in my tangent cam shots that I do have a Fender Stratocaster sitting right back here and I get asked a lot if I play it and that’s.
The thing in all the instruments that I’ve played over the years. I never really learned how to play guitar. You know the one. The girls, like also apologies to all the girls I tried to seduce with my sexy trumpet playing, I mean I’ve dabbled on the guitar a little bit here and there over the years, but I’ve, never really learned it.
So when the Quarantine, a thing happened, yeah that kind of became my new hobby was trying to learn how to play guitar. I’m still not great, and I’ve, never really played in front of anyone before until now so yeah.
I’m gon na play this song that I wrote specifically for guitar, and this is kind of a big deal for me. I’m honestly. I’ve, never played in front of anyone before so it’s, not it’s. Honestly, I don’t even care.
If you like it or not, it’s, just a it’s, just a thing I need to do. You know to kind of like get past that so I do hope you like it, but it’s, certainly not important that you do something’s. Gon na do this and it’s.
Actually so it’s, it’s, a song that’s about you, know like when you, when you stop being one thing and you become transition, I guess it’s, a song about transition and becoming a It’s, it’s clear you’ll, you’ll, get it in the I’m.
Sorry, I’m stalling. I’m nervous and I just I don’t. I’ve, never done this before okay’ you to be hated tummy and they got ta get as funny in this coming you summertime colossal”’. Thank you for letting me do that that’s.
Song is my soul. Music seems to be intrinsically entwined with the human experience it’s kind of part of who we are as a species. We place a value on music that we just don’t place on other areas of our lives.
Take school. For example, since 2008, 80 % of schools have had their budgets cut and most of them have been prioritizing STEM fields because they & # 39. Ve been pressured to up STEM scores, which means that art programs have been slashed all across the United States, dance and theater classes, especially they went from being in 20 percent of elementary schools in 1999 to 3 percent in 2009, but music classes didn’T suffer the same fate in that same 2009-2010.
School year, 94 percent of elementary school still had some kind of music program in it. We clearly value music in a different way than we do. Other arts programs, the music isn’t just something we listen to it’s, something that can relieve or create stress.
It actually changes our brain chemistry, socially, music Bond’s, us together. It transcends language and culture all around the world. People with no musical instruction whatsoever know the difference between a sad song and a happy song, and it’s, something we’ve, been doing for thousands of years, the earliest known musical instruments that we know of or a pair of flutes.
That were found in a cave in Germany that dated back to 43,000 years ago. They were made out of a hollow wing bone of a Griffon vulture, and they had five finger holes down the side of it with a mouth hole that you played through kind of.
Like a modern-day recorder, which means some poor in the end earth, all parent had to listen to this”’ now, most believe that the first instruments were probably drums. But since those are made out of skins and wood, there aren’t any those survived to modern day the world’s oldest song.
Is that here en Hempton a call? It was composed in cuneiform by the hearings around the 14th century BC to honor na’kal, the semitic goddess of orchards, and it was found partially inscribed on clay tablets in 1950, but the oldest composition to survive.
In its entirety is the second lowest epitaph which was written in the 1st century AD in greece, and it sounds like this. That is what ancient greeks would call a bangor before the written language. Music was used to transfer information and oral traditions from one generation to another, and the music actually helped people to remember the words better, for the same reason that you sang your ABC’s when you were a kid.
Music was also used in battles to communicate information over long distance and coordinate forces. So you can make the argument that music is so intertwined into our culture, because it’s been a useful tool that we’ve, been using for thousands of years, but you could also argue that it’s.
Something else entirely something deeper, something maybe even encoded into our DNA. There’s, a article that’s, always kind of blowing my mind. It was shot in the 2009 World Science Festival where Bobby McFerrin was on a panel Bobby McFerrin by the way is a musical genius who, unfortunately, is known mostly for one of the most hated songs of all time’, be happy’.
Don’t. Tell me what to do. I don’t want to be happy. I want to worry, but at this panel he engaged the audience to show how we all universally understand the pentatonic scale, and he started by giving the audience a note.
That notes a c-sharp by the way he then gave them a second note, a D sharp, but then he guided them back and forth between those notes. Before jumping to a third unprompted note and look what happens? Okay, the audience instinctually understands what the next note is supposed to be.
He continues with this and then within 30 seconds. He’s, improvising a song in real time using an audience full of non musicians as an instrument and according to him, this is not just a Western thing.
This completely transcends cultures. This absolutely fascinates me like what is it about music that we just instinctually get it like that? I think a possible answer might be something that I’ve discussed across other articles, which is that we as humans are pattern seekers.
It’s, a survival technique that’s, helped us to survive over thousands of years. You know when we hear a pleasing, harmonic, sound like say the call of a bobwhite. We know that it’s, just a bird and we create a mental image of a bird in our minds.
But if you hear a screech, you don’t recognize some dissonant, sound that’s jarring. That can increase. Your stress levels and tell you that you know it’s, time to hide your kids and your wife and your food over in a place until you figure out what that sound means.
Music, of course, is subjective. One person’s. Sonata is another person’s, death metal. What we find pleasing is what we understand and, of course, like most things. This begins in utero, not the Nirvana album, although that is awesome.
Studies have shown that fetuses can hear, while in the womb, if a mother has music playing around in the background, maybe the fetus hears that and starts to get accustomed to it, and it becomes something they understand and even if music isn’t being Played when they’re in the womb, once you get out of the womb there’s, music playing on radio and Herschel’s and nursery rhymes all over the place.
Music surrounds us 24/7. So maybe it’s, not surprising that we pick up on musical cues, even subconsciously and while yeah there are differences in cultures with when it comes to music. There are some Universal similarities.
In the 2015 study, researchers identified 18 different musical features across nine different regions of the world and of those six of them contain what they called rhythmic universals and those are a steady, beat two or three beat rhythms like waltzes and marches.
To beat rhythms preferred strong and weak, regular beats limited, beat patterns per song and using those patterns to create patterns or phrases. Then a 20-17 study took it a little bit further. It took those six rhythmic universals.
I was just talking about and basically had 48 non-musicians play a game of telephone with them. They split the participants into groups of eight and then gave the first person in a group. A series of twelve random computerized beats making sure that none of them fit the six rhythmic features from the 2015 study.
Then each person in the group had to repeat the beats to the next person. Again like a game of telephone. The goal is to see what would happen to the random rhythms by the time it reached the last person in the group and, of course, what happened was through the translation of those eight people.
The random beats had changed in the structured patterns, all of which fit the six rhythmic universals. Now, one of the reasons that we’re attracted to music is because it actually releases dopamine it’s, a mood regulator not too different from a drug.
We play certain songs. We want to get pumped up to relax to set a mood to escape drugs. Drugs. Drugs, drugs music can also affect how we see others. In a 2009 study, researchers played music prior to showing subjects a picture of faces, happy sad and neutral, and found that the tone of the music changed, how the subjects viewed the faces, especially the neutral ones.
Speaking of sad music, why do we like listening to sad music when we’re already depressed? We just gluttons a punishment or something what’s that about, but once they explore this idea by looking at the difference between perceived emotion and felt emotion, result from 44 participants showed that music is perceived as more tragic, but the experience of listening to Sad music is less tragic.
In fact, even romantic light-hearted the researchers concluded that what people experience when they listen to sad music is sort of a vicarious emotion. You know we feel comforted by it and understand by it.
It’s like you know, someone. Finally gets me – and there are other physiological effects like apparently listening to sad music helps the body to create prolactin, which is a soothing hormone that mothers produce when they’re.
You know breastfeeding babies and it can affect your cortisol level. Cortisol being the stress hormone, it can go down if you’re listening to pleasurable music and it can go up. If you’re listening to music, you don’t like you, can also boost the immune system, both by increasing the number of natural killer cells in your immune system, but also increasing immunoglobulin a which is an antibody that helps boost immunity.
In the mucous system, healthy snot, for the win now, of course, all of this happens in the brain without the brain processing it music is just a variation in air pressure at a microscopic scale. So what’s happening in there? The short answer is a lot there’s, no one area of the brain that processes music according to fMRI and PE T scans.
It’s, sort of like several areas of the brain sort of harmonizing together. For example, a small area on the right temporal lobe helps to perceive pitch and a brain center closed by that help. Ducote Imber, the cerebellum processes rhythm and the frontal lobe interprets the music’s, emotional content and the more you like, a song, the more these parts of the brain tend to work together.
When you’re listening to it, and it truly does not matter what the genre is, one person might light up that way with Beethoven. Another person’s. Brain would light up exactly the same way from the Beastie Boys in a 2014 brain scan.
Studies showed that listening to your favorite, music can actually increase connectivity between areas of the brain that are responsible for, like self-referential, thought and making of memories. In other words, it can actually improve your capacity for introspection and self-reflection and again this is regardless of genre.
So, whatever kind of music you’re into be into it to your fullest extent, it’s good for you. Do you boo? Alright, that’s listening to music, though, what about playing music? What parts of the brain does that engage so yeah? Once again, hundreds of studies have shown over the years that playing a musical instrument does enhance different parts of your brain, which is not surprising, considering the plasticity of the brain.
But specifically, these studies have shown the musicians have an increase in gray matter, volume in the sensory motor cortex and increased intraocular length of the precentral gyrus aka primary motor cortex, which executes voluntary movements in large cortical the sensory representations of fingers and enhance motor and sensory Learning capabilities.
Clearly, this is why rock stars get laid. Musicians also have increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, which is where learning and memory formation is stored, obviously created through repeated practicing and playing just like any other skill.
Musicians also have an increased production of myelin, which is sort of an insulator for nerve fibers. It helps to speed the transmission of nerve signals, and this happens mostly in white matter, which is sort of a connective tissue in the middle of the brain that connects the various different cortices of the brain together.
In other words, musicians need to coordinate various parts of the brain together at the same time, and this speedier white matter helps to facilitate that they also tend to have better motor function.
After all, you are using your hands to actually make this music, so they tend to have higher synapse formation in the motor, cortex and sense musicians do use both hands when playing their instruments.
That means that they do have to coordinate both sides, their body together, and that comes to the corpus callosum in the middle of the brain. So yes, of course, musicians have larger corpus callosum and like everything in the brain, these changes are affected most when a person is young, because that’s when the brain is still kind of forming itself.
All that is great at all, but of course the question becomes: how do all these brain changes affect a person’s, decision-making and academic performance? Well, the study in 2014 tried to figure that out two experiments were performed, one with 30 adults, some of whom had musical training and some didn’t and one with 27 children who were also some musically trained in some untrained and they were matched For cognitive abilities and socio-economic variables and whatnot, and using an fMRI, the adult musicians showed better performance and cognitive flexibility, working memory and verbal fluency compared to the non musicians and musical children showed better verbal, fluency and processing speed compared to children who weren & # 39.
T musically trained the researchers in the study said quote our results support the working hypothesis that executive functioning may be one of the mechanisms mediating. The often reported link between musical training and heightened academic skills as executive function, skills and academic skills are highly correlated.
They also cautioned that quote. It is important to consider that replacing music programs with reading or math instruction in our nation’s. School curricula in order to boost standardized test scores may actually lead a deficient skills and other cognitive areas.
So yeah, if you want to boost stem scores ironically, and one of the best ways to do that in early years anyway, is teach music. Now, with all this evidence of music, psychological and cognitive effects, you might be asking yourself.
Could this have some kind of medical use, and the answer is yes, absolutely that’s? What music therapy is music therapy is a growing field that uses music to evoke and assess emotional responses to help people relax or to heal through both listening to music or by playing or singing it.
Some of the ways music therapy is used includes restoring lost speech. Easing discomfort and anxiety during a medical procedure, reducing cancer therapy side effects, enhancing physical therapy and rehabilitation, helping with pain relief and improving the quality of life for those who suffer from dementia.
One of the methods of music therapists use is called entrainment where they actually try to match a person’s. Motor systems to a rhythmic beat so most auditory signals go into your brain for processing, but some of it does actually go into your central nervous system through the spine.
So entrainment kind of takes a back door into the brain by making the muscles move to a rhythm without having to actually think about it, and this can help stroke, patients relearn how to walk or gain upper body strength.
Music therapy can also help with speaking impairments due to brain injuries. Oftentimes people find that they can’t speak certain words, but they can sing them. So, since music occupies the same neural circuits as speech, therapists can kind of use that to help people learn how to talk again, it’s.
Pretty cool music is also strongly tied to memory, which is why you can remember all the words to your favorite song. When you were a kid when maybe you can’t remember what you had for lunch two hours ago.
So therapists can use music for Alzheimer’s, patients and dementia patients, so by playing stuff from when they were young, that they loved them, they were young. It can kind of strengthen connections to other life experiences in their memories.
It is both the social conquest of Earth. Biologist, IO Wilson wrote to create and perform music as a human instinct. It is one of the true universals of our species, but there’s. Still, the question of: why is it just something that we absorb because it’s around us all the time through osmosis? Is it something hardwired in our DNA or is it the ultimate mind hack, a self soothing technique that also just happens to coordinate different parts of the brain in a way that boosts our creativity and cognition? You know other animals like the aforementioned bob-whites use music.
As a form of communication, and maybe that’s, how we got started you know and then over time it became something else. Something that made us who are. Maybe that caveman, who made those flutes 43,000 years ago, had no idea that what he was really carving into existence was humanity itself.
So now that you know all the great things that music can do for you, you might want to see what you can do about. Boosting your music experience, and for that I can recommend today’s, sponsor Raik on earbuds.
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I have really enjoyed them, so yeah 15 % off at the link down below and thanks again to rake on for supporting this article, and also thanks as always, to the patreon supporters. The answer files on patreon that are helping to support this channel.
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