Creative music is a way of communicating meaning, creativity and meaning, but the key to unlocking it is understanding what we’re doing with the music.
For most of us, this means playing our favourite tunes.
But what does it mean to us when we sing, or how does it impact the way we think?
Here’s what you need to know.
We sing to be loved, but we sing to do it The music that makes us feel loved, and therefore enjoy our lives, is a by-product of a complex social and cultural process called musical empathy.
Music has been described as “the universal language of human existence”, and it plays an important role in shaping the way that we perceive the world around us.
We all know that we love our loved ones, and yet, it’s not always clear how exactly we are connecting with them.
Our minds, our emotions, and our emotional state all influence how we feel and interact with others, and how we interpret what we see.
“We are all musical animals, but there is one thing that makes a human being an animal: their musical instinct”, says David Kwan, a musicologist at the University of Toronto.
He points to the human voice as a particularly good example.
Humans have evolved to use their vocal chords to convey emotion and to communicate with one another.
And the voice is a crucial tool for this process, says Kwan.
“It is our most powerful tool because we have a voice to say and do things.
We can say ‘I love you’ and ‘I want you to love me’.
So we have this innate emotional communication that we use to communicate.”
We have a strong musical instinct, and this instinct informs our perception of the world.
So it makes sense that our music and our emotions are linked.
But does it actually make sense?
A study from the University on the Psychology of Music at Cambridge, published in 2012, suggests that there are some subtle differences between how we perceive music and how it affects us.
In their study, they recorded people singing songs that had an emotional meaning and then asked them to write down their feelings about them.
Some people reported feeling a strong connection with the song, while others felt disconnected.
“What we found was that some people found that singing songs with an emotional tone had a very strong impact on their feelings of connection with other people”, says Kwon.
But the connection didn’t last.
Some of the people who reported a stronger emotional connection with a song did not find the emotional tone of the song to be an important factor in their feelings.
“So it seems that the emotional connection to a song does not carry much weight in people’s emotional response to the song”, he says.
“The connection to music is not a factor in how people respond to the music, but in how they respond to themselves.”
The musical tone we hear in music is linked to our perception Our musical experiences are all about the sounds we make.
When we listen to music, we make the sounds that go into making it.
These sounds are part of the music itself, but they are also an extension of the sounds and emotions that are created in the songs.
Music is all about sound.
“When we hear a musical tone, our brain interprets it as a sound that is being made, and we think that the sound is something that is coming from the listener”, says Dr Maryam Nafisi, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London.
“If you have a musical experience in your head, then it’s like hearing the sound of a guitar playing.”
So the more you hear a music, the more likely it is that you will think of it as being created by the sound.
The music you hear can be something that you have previously experienced, or it could be something new.
“You can hear the music and think that it’s a piece of art, but you don’t actually feel the music in your body”, says Nafisis.
In other words, the sounds you make in your music don’t carry much of a psychological weight.
And when you make music, your brain processes it in a way that is different from how it does with other kinds of sounds.
Music affects how we think and experience emotions “If we hear an emotionally positive song, it is likely that we think of the musician as being good or worthy of praise or appreciation”, says Professor John Collins, from the Psychology Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
“That may be a reflection of our own internalised expectations of the quality of the musicians in the piece.”
But if we hear something that we believe is bad or unfulfilling, we may become frustrated and disengaged.
This is called “anhedonia”, and a lot of research has shown that it can affect how we see ourselves.
It can even lead to anxiety and depression.
“People with anhedonia often have a low level of activity