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Can You Feel the Music?
Summary: See why the universal language of music has such a profound impact on our hearts and soul.
Elton John's award winning song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" helped propel Walt Disney's animated motion picture to become the top-selling video of 1995, winning it a grammy for best original song. The music in the film played an instrumental role in the success of the production.
The movie was an international success, being translated into 32 languages worldwide. An interesting point to note is that the words may have been translated into many languages but the music stayed the same. The music communicated the story universally to all people irrespective of language, tradition, beliefs, or age.
Isn't music a powerful influence?
Music underlines so many forms of communication and, most definitely, nearly any type of entertainment. A movie, for example, without music to set the atmosphere would never have the same impact as one with music, setting the tone and suggesting the mood of a particular scene. You will hear music in shops to attract prospective customers, music on the radio to entertain millions of listeners, music in advertising to sell products, and music in private homes for relaxation, parties, entertainment or any number of uses. What would a romantic evening between two people in love be without the right type of music to set the mood? Would it be suitable to use military march band music to create the right atmosphere? By the same token, would it be functional to use the soft strains of Richard Clayderman's piano pieces to incite a mob of people to rebellion and anarchy. The answers to these questions are, to say the least, self evident.Music, of all the art forms, speaks most loudly to the emotional faculties. We react to music on the sensory modal level of functioning. Music is heard in the part of the brain that receives the of sensations, emotions and feelings. It bypasses the brain centers involving reason and conscious decision making. In other words, it does not go via the master brain but enters by way of the thalamus which is a relay station for sensations, emotions and feelings. When a reaches the thalamus, the master brain is automatically invaded. If the is continued for some time then the master brain is eventually influenced to react to the "real situation" in the way the suggests it should (reason is broken down and the response to the influencing mechanism becomes automatic). Willem Van de Wall, in his book, Music in Hospitals, puts it this way:
"Much of what we call irresistible in music is so because we
react on the sensory - motor level of functioning."
Medical research has shown that the nerves of the ear have more extensive connections than any other nerves of the body. It has also been scientifically revealed that music has a direct effect on the pulse rate, blood pressure, nervous system and glands of the body.
All this scientific and medical research available to us today is of incalculable benefit in helping us understand, not only the various functions of our system, but also how certain external influences have a profound effect on the way we respond physically, mentally and spiritually to these.
Music effects emotions. It can move us to be more happy, content, peaceful, joyful and gentle or it can move us to be more irate, angry, hurtful or sad.
With music having such a profound effect in our day to day lives, would it not be wise to understand this communication tool more fully, so we can make good decisions in choosing music that will help us get to where we want to go?