Music surrounds us everywhere. At the sounds of a powerful orchestral crescendo, tears come to my eyes and goose bumps run down my back. Musical accompaniment enhances the artistic expression of films and performances. Rock musicians make us jump to our feet and dance, and our parents lull babies with quiet lullabies.
The love of music has deep roots: people compose and listen to it since the inception of culture. More than 30 thousand years ago, our ancestors already played stone flutes and bone harps. It seems that this hobby has an innate nature. Babies turn to the source of pleasant sounds (consonances) and turn away from unpleasant (dissonances). And when we feel awe with the final sounds of the symphony, the same centers of pleasure are activated in the brain as during a delicious meal, having sex or taking drugs. Continue reading
When jazz musicians improvise, areas responsible for self-censorship and inhibition of nerve impulses are turned off in their brain, and areas that open the way for self-expression are turned on instead.
A companion study from Johns Hopkins University, which included volunteer musicians from the Peabody Institute, and which used the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) method, shed light on the mechanism of creative improvisation that artists use in everyday life.
Jazz musicians, improvising, create their own unique riffs by turning off braking and turning on creativity. Continue reading
Listening to Mozart’s music enhances our brain activity. After listening to Mozart, people who answer the standard IQ test demonstrate an increase in intelligence.
This phenomenon, discovered by some scholars, was called the “Mozart Effect.” From it, far-reaching conclusions were immediately drawn, especially with regard to the upbringing of children, whose first three years of life were proclaimed decisive for their future intelligence.
This theory received such a strong public outcry that Mozart’s CDs, with the appropriate recommendations from their parents, were at the very beginning of the best-seller lists, and the Governor of the US state of Georgia presented the Mozart CD to each new mother in her state. Continue reading