How Does Music Affect The Brain? – Let’s Find Out!

How Does Music Affect The Brain? – Let’s Find Out!

The world of music is a diverse place. It has its genres, instruments, and artists. As a result, music has the power to bring people together, but it doesn’t just stop there. Many people have asked the question, “How does music affect the brain?”

There are two types of music: audio and music. Audio is vibrations of the air that stimulate the brain in a way that makes us feel good (and jittery if we listen to too much loud music for too long). On the other hand, music is the feelings and emotions we feel as a result of the audio.
The field of study that explores the effects of audio on the human body is called psychoacoustics. The part of psychoacoustics that concerns itself with how the brain reacts to music is called music perception.

Music perception is a complex process that involves the visual cortex, the auditory cortex, the putamen, the amygdala, and many other regions of the brain. This complex neural network helps us identify the different sounds that make up music, determine their pitch, and recognize the main instrument.

Many people do not understand the effects that music has on the brain and consequently don’t know how to apply this information in a real life situation. Music can profoundly affect a person’s overall mood, which in turn affects his/her behavior. If the listener is feeling good or sad, his/her actions will correspond to that emotion.

  1. How music effects the brain
  2. How music effects the brain in children
  3. Effects of certain genres of music on the brain
  4. How Music heals
  5. How Music is processed in the brain
  6. The parts in the brain that control music
  7. Tempo of Music
  8. Music Preferences
  9. Brain Waves
  10. Rehabilitation
  11. Music stimulates the brain
  12. Music brings back memories
  13. Listening to music makes you more productive

How music effects the brain

Psychoacoustics is the study of the effects of sound on the human body. Psychoacoustics is defined as the study of how sound affects our bodies and minds. We see that when we listen to music, our mood changes. Although, this may not be a new thing, it does show that music has a profound effect on our brains.

How music effects the brain in children

A study by Mark A. Pickering, Ph.D. at the University of Texas, showed that musical training in children helped to strengthen their brain activity. The study indicated that listening to music boosts the effectiveness of their brains in two ways;

  1. It helps them to localize sounds more effectively and make out more distinctive details when they play an instrument or sing.
  2. It offers them an improved vocabulary, made known by their need to describe and explain things that they hear. They are trained to evaluate acoustical information and use it to interpret rhythmic patterns.

Effects of certain genres of music on the brain

In recent studies, it has been shown that music can change our minds in a lot of ways. The music we listen to can alter our moods, increase our pain threshold and even increase the speed at which we think. While music can do so much for our brains, music is not very good for everyones. Listening to loud music can cause hearing problems and even damage the brain.

Some studies have shown that listening to certain types of music could have a negative effect on one’s brain. Heavy metal and rap are blamed for reducing cognitive abilities by as much as 40 percent. However, this has been proven to be false by other studies that show no correlation between the type of music one listens to and their reasoning skills or intelligence levels.

How Music heals

A study by the Journal of Neuroscience showed that although the brain doesn’t know the difference between real and fake music, it does respond to any kind of music. Even when hearing a hundred different types of digitally manipulated tunes, the brain did not distinguish them from any other type of music.

How Music is processed in the brain

Music is literally being processed in our brains as we listen to it. Music requires two systems to be properly understood: one for understanding pitches and another system that interprets melodies and rhythms. The two systems are interconnected to give us the feelings of pleasure and pain we experience when listening to music.

The parts of the brain that control music

It is believed that three different parts of the brain are responsible for controlling music: one for hearing, one for memory, and another part that controls emotions. The first part is responsible for interpreting sound waves and making sense of them. The second part is responsible for understanding pitch and rhythm. As a result, the last part would interpret whether you like the song or not.

Tempo of Music

We know that the brain can’t process music in only one way. Although there is a certain tempo, our brains don’t hear music in an absolute way. Our brains can process music somewhat slowly or quickly than other people hear it. In conclusion, the tempo of music does not affect the brain in any way.

Music Preferences

Listening to music can cause a huge range of different emotions in people. In a study conducted by Dr. Graziano, he proved that different types of music could cause different emotions in people. The study involved many patients who had their brains scanned while listening to music.

The study showed that when some types of music were listened to, the brain would create a positive and happy environment for everyone. However, there are many people who enjoy listening to sad and depressing music. This is a way for them to release negative energy without even knowing why they feel this way.

Brain Waves

Our brainwaves are affected by the music we are listening to. It changes the patterns in our brain waves, and it also influences our emotions. The study showed that the brainwaves of people who listened to sad music had slower and lower frequency waves than those who listened to happy music. It was suggested that they were experiencing a lot of unhappiness because of their listening habits.


Some people can listen to music to help rehabilitate themselves after a traumatic experience. Music helps the brain to heal and adapt by using the same neural pathways that it uses when making new memories.

Music is generally a very enjoyable thing to do, but if you choose to listen to it every day, there are some dangers. Although listening to music is a good thing, you should take precautions in order for you not to suffer any long-term effects from listening too much.

  1. Headedness
    For a lot of people, listening to music can help them feel relaxed and go into a focused state. However, too much of this can actually make you lose balance and create stress. This is because you’re focusing so much on one thing that you become stressed out when it’s not available to you.
  2. Memory Loss
    If someone listens to music too much, he or she might not be able to remember things that are happening in the present time. This is because the brain sort of forgets what it’s listening to because once you shut it off, it doesn’t get to be in that rhythm anymore.
  3. Brain Damage
    It is known that there is a correlation between listening to music too much and the development of damaging brain tumors on the right side of the brain. This, however, does not necessarily mean that if you listen to music a lot, you will develop this tumor; but one must consider this fact when using such an application.
  4. Value of Music
    Many people suffer from the fact that they do not have a different perspective on music and dismiss it as something which is only there to entertain. On the contrary, this form of art has changed the world for the better and should not be just looked at as a way to distract yourself.
  5. Misplacing Music Files
    If you listen to music through your computer’s hard drive, you might risk losing files that are important to you if your computer crashes. You can easily retrieve these files by restoring your computer’s original state using a data recovery tool.
  6. Loss of Audio Quality usually occurs in the hard drive of a computer, not through the music itself. This is because the digital music encoding, which is used to store music on optical discs (CDs), systematically loses information about the amplitude of sound (including its volume level) as the disc rotates.

Music stimulates the brain

Studies from 2007 indicate that listening to music is an efficient way for retraining the brain and refocusing concentration after a period of inactivity.

Listening to music with a linked device (cellphone, tablet, etc.) while driving is dangerous because it causes drivers to become angry or depressed.

Listening to loud music at high volumes can cause hearing loss, especially if frequently repeated over extended periods of time. Although some reports of KXAC in the literature claim that it is a short-term consequence of a single bout of cannabis use, more recent evidence suggests, cannabis can cause dysfunction of the ENCC and CAN and may result in continued maladaptive behavior over time. Specifically, sustained usage has been associated with long-term effects such as decreased performance on neuropsychological tests (Saunders et al., 2013), learning deficits (Cohen et al., 2002), and memory deficits (Saunders et al., 2013).

Music brings back memories

Studies of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients by Dr. Oliver Sacks and Dr. Daniel Levitin in Canada had shown that music could take someone back to a time when they were happy and feeling good. In experiments, it was shown that when these diseases cause memory loss, music can help them remember the past.

When someone listens to music for the first time, it usually becomes an instant favorite. During a study with people who did not listen to a certain style of music before, there was an immediate reaction in their brains, and they enjoyed it right away. After hearing the music, their brain showed a lot of activity, which made them feel good.

In a study conducted by Dr. Graziano in Australia, he found that different types of music can cause different emotions in people. The study involved many patients who had their brains scanned while listening to music and got them to feel happy or sad. Also, he found that when the participants listened to sad songs, they felt very blue even though they were not in a sad mood beforehand.

Listening to music makes you more productive

Studies have found that productivity increases when listening to music. When employees listen to music at work, it helps them focus and get more done. According to the study’s results, listening to music while working does not cause any distractions and seems to only help people be happier at the workplace.

It has also been proven that workers who are exposed to music during their shift tend to get more done and enjoy their time on the job. This is because they are more relaxed and feel less stressed out than those who work in silence with no background noise.


Alzheimer’s: Music Can Ease the Agony

Music Preferences

Music Stimulates the Brain

Music and the Brain

How Music Heals…..e-music

Music Preferences

Music and Memory…..ews_1414072

Music and the Brain

The Neuroscientific Basis of Music Therapy

Music and the Brain

Music as a Communication Medium Among People with Hearing Impairment: A Comparison of Song Titles, Lyrics, and Lip Reading

Music and Language Skills in Children with Autism

Lifestyle and Health, Education. “Teens and Music Lessons.” Lifestyle and Health, Education. Web. 10 November 2008.

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