The Mental Side of Music


[Pixabay] Music is a prevalent element in all cultures and has been for much of human history.

Elle Richardson, Science Editor

Anywhere around the world, you will hear music. No matter what the language the lyrics are in or even if there are no lyrics at all, music will always be universal and unifying as it uses variations of the same 7 notes and its components like pitch and tone are already built into everyone’s brain. Music triggers emotions, which is also a universal language. It allows someone in Tokyo and someone in Haiti to experience the same emotions at the same time. Music is a gift bestowed on humanity to hold us together and bring us back to the basis of all human emotion.

Photo via Pixabay under Pixabay License Music has been a part of all cultures for the longest time.

People convey their emotions and mood through tone and pitch. People use tone or pitch to differentiate between a statement, or an exclamation, or sometimes even a question. When speaking, statements and exclamations are the same unless emphasis is added to the sentence. This means the human brain is naturally inclined to listen more to fluctuations in these auditory features.

“By closely studying brain activity, the team found that neurons in one particular brain area — the dorsal laryngeal motor cortex — were activated when pitch was altered. When the pitch became higher, the area showed more activity.” –Medical News Today

This pitch and tone is already important when it comes to talking, which is why it makes such a difference in music as well. They allow music to trigger different emotions in people. No matter the language a person speaks, this tone and pitch allows these people to understand the emotion that is being conveyed.

“The interval relationships among pitches of a scale are its essential feature, and a particular pattern of intervals defines every scale.” –Encyclopedia Britannica

A strong part of history and culture is displayed in music. Before written history existed, stories were passed down through generations. This helped people keep track of cultural elements, important agricultural and migratory patterns, and human development as a whole.