The Power of Music

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.

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26 Responses to The Power of Music

  1. Beth says:

    I love all kinds of music and I have several hundred CDs to prove it.  I love Willie Nelson and other classic singers but I enjoy other types of music.  My favorite from my own personal jukebox would be anything sung by George Jones.

  2. Embrace says:

    Love this .  I understand all too well . I love all tpyes of music. From the young to the old.
    It gives me a mental break , to hear the sounds and value the Art and Artisty that has gone into it..
    Somedays I have silence and some I just need to have music. Sarah Brightman is amazing, right down to Eva Cassidy , she is Blues mostly, . Its an Art so many of us appericate. Country music sometimes brings me down so I love to all have a varitey.
    Thank for this wonderful Blog

  3. Fenix says:

    Hello Jorge:
    Music is feeling… we can express us through the music… Different types of music combine with the different states of our spirit… therefore music is very important, and this is valid for the humans and for the animals

  4. Etan says:

    Now if they could only combine music and say… the smell of cinnabuns! That would be out of this world!
    ps. here by way of Marge.  

  5. PJ says:

    Good Afternoon Jorge,
    Well…well…well….if I had to choose only one favorite musician or type of music..I could not do it. Music is indeed the universal language.  Depending on my moods or mental "needs" is usually what will be heard from my jukebox. I love all types with the exception of R-A-P. No can do the RAP thing. LOL. Believe it or not..I do not even have to ever choose a is sublimally chosen and up to this point in my life..has always been "right on" with my "needs".
    Thank you once again for your thought provoking entry. I always enjoy my time here.
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  6. EbonyWyvernDragon says:

    Well….imagine that – I am out blog-hopping and find myself here looking at this entry of all things……. music is my life – my life is music…….. Sometimes the mood determines the music, sometimes the music determines the mood. I don\’t know what the connection is to it…. and there is no particular kind that I enjoy – there is only one that I canNOT seem to enjoy – RAP….. I just can\’t find the music in there. I can find the poetic justice in some of it but not the music……… if I had to pick only ONE – I find the most comfort in the soulful tunes of Bruce Springsteen…. For a combination of reasons – his lyrics and that beautiful, sexy, plaintive, melodic saxophone of Clarence Clemmons….. its soulful and speaks volumes without ever uttering a word….. Dragon

  7. Marge says:

    There are some things I\’d rather not try to explain, Jorge; music\’s effect on me being one of them.
    One little tidbit I\’ll offer, though: just about every one of Barry Manilow\’s songs concludes with the
    melody repeated a last time one half-step above the key of the begnning of the song. There\’s a little
    "boost" in our pleasure centers when that happens (Manilow isn\’t the only one to use that little trick).
    Like you, my tastes in music are pretty eclectic and impossible to pigeonhole.
    Keep warm!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Having played the piano for years, no matter what the day, I could always find relaxation by playing..  It is a universal audio experience and one I think most of us enjoy.  Glad you do too.  hugs, lottemae

  9. Jane says:

    Though the genre is irrelevant, soft, smooth music has always appealed to me; Kem, Norah Jones, Celtic Women, Grieg, Yolanda Adams, Babyface, Charlotte Church and many more. I find raucous music agitates me.

  10. Barb says:

    I love all kinds of music although for me sometimes my mood denotes the tempo
    I seldom play rock n roll or anything super upbeat if I float in a hot tub. Then I enjoy
    something soothing romantic or classical. Doing chores and mustering up energy means
    something very up beat. Interestingly enough I notice my dog always has enjoyed the
    soothing sounds of classical music, it has always made her feel safe, secure and content.
    It is also interesting to see her mood change with the genre.

  11. sweeti's says:

    Music  can bring tears to me…Music  brings me joy and  sometimes when im in sad mood..i beter not to  but i do
    listen to  Bryan Adams   and makes me more sad..LOL I know…thats not smart
    Now im writing first in Word    and then copy…Much safer….Clever  dont u think LOL
    enjoy the relaxing of music   and ur weekdn Jorge

  12. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  Music is part of the fabric of life that enriches the experience of being human.  During the holidays I was chatting with my deaf friend Sassend and she told me that she was playing a Christmas CD for her niece.  Our conversation went something like this.
    "Sassy,,,,,,Isn\’t a deaf person buying a CD rather like a blind person buying a painting?" I asked.
    " No ya big  Dork!  I did not buy it because it came with a Christmas movie!  Jer and I can feel the vibrations and a blind person could run their fingers on a painting and feel the texture."  Pause.
    Then Sassene typed, " Sheesh!  Stephen you know better than that!"
    " Yeah, I do. "  I replied and smiled.
    As ever be well.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  13. Aimee says:

    i agree 100%…
    *~*   :o) if you don’t have a smile to give today…  :o) I will give you one of mine…  :o)   *~*

  14. Holy says:

    The sound of music…so primeval – and the sense of smell…so unbelievably powerful, but then I imagine we each privilege  one sense above all others – for me, it assuredly must be smell.And my song? Currently, it\’s Mack the Knife. Holy Son and I went to the local Starbucks last Friday – I let him play hooky (how horrible, I know but I allow one get out of jail free card per child, per year)….and so we spent an afternoon downloading songs to a custom cd – amidst rap and trance dance and rock and pop, I snuck in Bobby Darin\’s Mack the Knife.  Now when we play the CD in the car, Holy Son and Daughter groan as if in pain.  Mostly because they now have marching orders to play yet another song at my funeral.  I had forgotten to add Mack the Knife to the list.  Holy Son is also on strict orders to learn how to play it on his cello – ideally before V-Day, when he plays pizza chef and chief cellist for our romantic tete-a-tete at home.But digression aside, I will say of the senses that I think we, global we, are sadly out of touch in Western society with the interconnectedness between the senses and the cosmos. For I believe there is an indelible and primordial connection.  Perhaps that\’s why, of all worldly creation tales, I love \’Hymn of Purusha\’ – in the Rig Veda best:"The moon was born from his mind;From his eye was born the sun.Inda and Agni came from his mouth.His vital breath became the wind.From his navel arose the atmosphere;From his head came the heavenly vault.From his two feet came the earth,And from his ear the cardinal directions of the sky."Sigh – That Purusha – he was like the proto-vitruvian man. In fact, of all ancient and dualistic worldviews, I do find myself most attracted to Samkhyan thought, with its mind/matter duality, and its connections between consciousness and the elevenfold capacities such as mind, hearing, touch, taste and smell. There\’s just no ignoring how sacred the senses can be.So, yes, call me idealistic and an eco-theologian, but I\’m convinced if we would all but learn to tap deeper into these primordial senses, we could re-mythologize a new or at least more acute and reverential kind of religiosity towards nature and the elements.  But ask me how I really feel.  :)Q: how can you tell she hasn\’t blogged in awhile?A: she posts mini dissertations on OPBs (other peoples\’ blogs)However, you seem to have a vast pasture of land here in the garden of Jorgelandm so thank you for lending some corn ears to a friend, Roman, countryman.Good night, and good luck.

  15. Deborah says:

    I have yet to hear music that I dislike.  It doesn\’t matter whether it\’s the Seattle Opera or a commercial jingle, rap or rock, classic or jazz, and there are times when the Blues just are the perfect mood enhancer. 
    Blessed be,

  16. Pamela says:

    Hi Jorge,
    Ahh, music…also said to tame the savage beast…my whole family has indulged in the art of music for generations. My father was a radio dj and played drums; 2 of my sons play guitar; my daughter is in her 4th year of orchestra playing violin. Now you\’ve got me rambling…I cannot imagine a life without music. Not a day passes that I don\’t listen to or play music. (I play the piano) I guess you could say that my life definitely has a soundtrack…a very unique, ecclectic, eccentric soundtrack. I\’m also certified as a Sound Healing practitioner so the benefits of musical tones most certainly have the power to change one\’s state of mind and even cure physical ailments.  Keep listening to the music, Jorge!
    Be well.

  17. Hope says:

    Music is just a part of life.. and give it flavor.. like flowers give out a beautiful fragrance, music pretty much does the same.. sometiems it can stink.. "smile" and sometimes it takes one into a different realm.. its one of many "get away" things..
    and I think we tend to relate to what ever music we hear to what emotion we had when what ever song is playing at the time.
    I like all types of music.. and have raised my children to do the same.. the only music I really don\’t like is rap.. its beat truley hurts my heart.. its like it beats up against it.. and i can\’t breathe.. no other music does that to me..
    strange. huh..
    hope your day has been soft and kind..
    hugs Hope

  18. Gelert says:

    Jorge – the rugby just made me yell for joy and laugh – Wales came back from 19-6 at half time – within 9 minutes they had won 24-19. Did my joy level good.
    Music, yes. Drums seem to touch a primitive chord of some kind in me, and Spartacus, when it reaches its crecendo never fails to make me surge. I love music – it can make me weep or dance, and certain tunes take me backwards in time to other places, complete with feelings, smells, everything. Learning music is also good for children\’s brains. It\’s an area that must have some fascinating research possibilities.

  19. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    Hello Jorge,
    You certainly know how to string us high!  I enjoy most music but would say…..instrumental and opera are some of my favorites. As much as I enjoy music, there are many times I wish to hear nothing.  I find it too much of a distraction when i want to read….and that is my favorite down time activity.
    It is gloomy in the northeast.  Lots of ice, sleet and wet snow yesterday. Fortunately it has warmed up and much has dissipated.
    I spent yesterday glancing at seed and flower catalogues….. a favorite free time for easterners in late winter!
    My Sydney is well.  Only took a few days to get back into the swing of things.
    Be well….Bittersweet in the east.

  20. Holy says:

    that\’s generous of you to say so. :)I just came back from a very beautiful memorial service – – and I realized as I wept through some of the songs that music has a way of moving me to tears – funeral or not.  I have a friend who cries buckets to any and all music. Music is definitely his thing.On that note, I feel a desperate need to go blow my nose.  In a very out of tune fashion, I might add.

  21. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  Here are a couple of links

    This last link is not music but it may be life saving.   As ever be well my friend.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  22. Joe says:

    Wow.  You know, if I\’m going to visit your blog, I set aside a chunk of time because I cannot resist reading every last comment.  I just love the responses you invoke in people…but of course that\’s why you have a blog, isn\’t it?  One thing leads to another & I start visiting blogs of the people who comment. 
    Anyway, I always plug myself into the Bose headphones when I\’m on the computer.  Right now, it\’s U2\’s version of "Lucy in the Sky" that was done for "Across the Universe".  Just before that it was Rodrigo Y Gabriela\’s version of "Stairway to Heaven".  Just when you think you\’ve heard "Stairway" too many times, try that one.
    Best Regards,

  23. no esta disponible says:

     thank you for your wishes…

  24. dawn says:


  25. Sarah says:

    Cool that you notice this, and choose to write about it……sound is so full of vibrational energy–the vibration that is picked up by the ear.  And since all of reality has to do with vibration, it is only natural, literally, that we are so affected by it.  I have had tonal therapy twice–and both times just two notes, played from tuning forks at the same time, creating a chord, moved me to tears from the beauty of just the tone…..weird, and magical……..I do not cry easily.  It did cause me to ask the same question–what is it about a tone that can move us so profoundly?!?  There wasn\’t even any rhythm asking me to move and jive……I\’ll not soon forget it.  I now use sound in my Reiki practice, with good effect. 

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