The Power of Music
Scientists have long recognized the power of smell; it’s ability to link directly to the old, primitive dinosaur brain, eliciting long forgotten memories, powerful emotions with a single whiff. So what is there about the power of music, it’s ability to so directly influence the human psyche?
I can come home after a long day of work, feeling tired and drained. Then, after putting in a CD of Mozart, Bach, Paul Simon, Coltraine, Bob Marley, Beck or Willie Nelson, I find myself in a different world, a different place, a whole different mood. How does music accomplish this magic, not unique to me, but shared by most members of our species? Do our brain waves respond to the harmonics we hear? Is it all a trick of association, a linkage of a memory to a previously heard tune?
Music is said to be a universal language. What makes it so? Which rhythms, cadences make you want to dance? What melody captivates your mind, forming recursive loops you can’t seem to escape, even through effort of will? What sound is most likely to bring joy to your heart? What is the power of the Blues? Sad to say, I am not a musician. Beyond sucking on ice cubes in 4/4 time, or beating my hands on the nearest table top to the sounds coming from the stereo, my musical abilities are non-existent. Yet, I love and appreciate all different kinds of music, and each seems to have a profound effect on me. Feel free to weigh in, to educate me, or just share your favorite from you personal jukebox.