The Effect of Music on Humans

Music is the art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds in such a way as to produce beauty and express emotion, whether composed by humans or created naturally in nature. Music can be performed live, broadcasted over radio, television and the internet or recorded onto CD players and MP3 players; its emotive power is universally acknowledged.

No matter the genre of music we hear, its impact on humans remains the same: music affects our emotions and stimulates our brain to act positively, making us happier while increasing productivity and improving focus at work. Music may even help combat insomnia by soothing our minds before sleeping.

Different cultures and eras have various definitions of music. In ancient times, music was employed primarily for religious or ceremonial use as well as accompaniment for theater performances, dance performances, silent films or silent/synchronized film screenings. Later with the invention of pianos and other instruments came classical music as its own artform.

One of the main purposes of music has been social cohesion. According to Oxford University musician Jeremy Montagu, music predates language and was created for emotional communication – such as when mothers would hum to their baby before humans learned how to speak.

Music can evoke positive feelings such as joy, happiness, anger and sympathy, as well as encourage motivation and increase energy levels. Research has also demonstrated how listening to music can help keep one focused during complex tasks such as writing or studying.

Listening to music may even increase test scores and productivity at work. But selecting appropriate pieces is necessary in order to enhance performance without distracting from tasks at hand.

Platonian and Aristotelian teaching on music remains prevalent today, yet many modern writers have abandoned its central tenet that its tones can be reduced to mathematical or acoustical factors and instead have taken an alternative view based on psychology. Aristoxenus for instance gave considerable credence to human listeners’ powers of perception while disparaging mathematics and acoustical considerations as the sole basis for understanding individual tones as components of formal units such as chords or rhythms that make up whole compositions rather than individual tones standing alone as components.

Confucius was an early thinker who believed that music and government mirrored one another and that an ideal leader would understand and appreciate both. Additionally, great music displayed emotions such as sorrow, satisfaction, anger, love and piety–essential elements for leading an ethical lifestyle. Martin Luther was another religious reformer who advocated using music as an aid to prayer; he criticised voluptuous, effeminate or disorderly musical pieces as unnecessary distractions to prayer.