Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sound Effects

The effects of sound and music are quite interesting. It is obvious that sound travels through air, liquid and even solid substances. People do not often think, though, about how sound travel through bodies as well. Music has the power to effect how we feel, our attitudes and so much more. Some sounds can put people to sleep. Some help with meditation. Others helps to jolt the nerves and alert people. It is also obvious that music can affect peoples' emotions. There are even careers that aid people by means of music. According to, "Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program." It's a fun experiment to try to pay attention to what you are listening to and how it affects you. I've found that some of the hard core and metal music that I listen to gets me easily angry or in an on edge mood, and that some of the soft acoustic music can help settle me down. A fire siren puts my body on alert and birds chirping is calming to wake up to. There have even been studies done as to how the tempo and key affect certain parts of one's body. It just amazes me that there is so much depth to sound and that it can have such an effect on people.
Happy Listening


  1. Haha I was confused about sound traveling through our body, but now I get it. I know that when I am in a real good mood I pop out with some Indian songs my friend taught me, it just gets me in a better mood and my brother gets annoyed, I think that’s a plus haha. But, whenever I feel blank I can not find the right songs, it just gets me frustrated. I was just curious on what type of music you listen to when you feel blank. So yeah, haha, what do you listen to on those day when you are just blank?

  2. This is interesting, but I have also heard that the way our bodies interpret sounds is something conditioned by our culture. For example, in classical music, minor chords are often used to create a slightly somber atmosphere, whereas major chords create a happier atmosphere. These are emotional responses engendered by the music, but they are cultural responses as well. The music of East Asia, for example, does not utilize minor and major chords in the same way.

    On another note, I once heard on the radio that the song that causes motorists to speed more than any other is Steppenwolf's "Born to be wild". That is just hilarious!

  3. Jesenia: Sometimes when I feel blank, I try a few things. One is to put my ipod on shuffle and see if I find something that works for me in the first few songs. Other times, I feel blank because I'm feeling down so I'll just put on some relaxing acoustic music. Lastly, silence is a beautiful sound. With all the noise and sound out there, it is nice once in a while to turn everything off and just be in nature or in a bedroom of silence (although there is always some bit of noise going on). I hope this helps.

    William: That is a good point. In western music, there are only a total of 12 notes in half note increments. In eastern music though, there are different scales and some different notes like quarter tones. And yes, I have heard that listening to different styles of music will encourage people to drive different speeds. I have never heard that that song is the most likely to cause drivers to speed though. That is quite funny!