Since time immemorial, music has been embedded in life. It seeps into arts and culture, finds expression in language, and has great affect on lifestyle. The origin of music dates back to the earliest of civilizations, thereby making it difficult to pinpoint the exact date whence it started. Robert Schumann, a German composer, noted that “perhaps it is precisely the mystery of her origins which accounts for the charm of her beauty.”
Whether vocal or instrumental, music can be viewed as a form of language or speech, possessing subtler shades of meaning than the spoken word and yet displaying much more emotive force. There seems to be something innate in human beings that give them the capacity to understand and respond to musical tones, rhythms, and patterns.
Nowadays, music has become so widespread all thanks to the latest innovations and technology that permit easy access and acquisition. From the near-defunct cassette tapes, walkmans, and CD players to the more modern MP3 players and Apple’s iPod line, it has become possible for people to listen to any sort of music simultaneously, conveniently, and privately.
Music has been known to have many positive effects on its listeners. In fact, a growing branch in medicine called Music Therapy is rapidly gaining popularity in recent years. This therapy claims to speed up the recovery process of patients, whether for physical therapy or post-operative recuperation. Listening to relaxing or stimulating music has the capacity to accelerate the process of recovery for most patients, though this effect is largely dependent on the patient’s response to it – henceforth, this kind of therapy is not the primary means for recovery, but merely supplementary.
Aside from music’s health benefits, music also enhances creativity. It has the possibility to be a muse that allows people to get their creative juices flowing. Since music is administered to both the left and right side of the brain, it can help spark inspiration that might just be a proving to be a little elusive. To most artists, listening to music can help them achieve a certain creativity or ingenuity that they would not be able to do simply on their own.
Music also has an effect in a person’s task performance, since it can change moods and give more motivation to the listener. Studies show that music does not automatically increase positive attitude, for it will ultimately depend on the manner by which the music is played. It may, however, reduce the strain of an activity. As a general rule, it is important that that listener plays music he is familiar and comfortable with, in a volume that is not too loud so as not to distract the listener.
There are many other variables that contribute to the effects of music, but there is certainty in the fact that music has an effect on human, and therefore an effect on task performances. Generally however, the effect of music has usually been more on the positive side than the negative. So pop on your earphones, have a listen, and observe your performance levels increase!