The July/August issue of Scientific American Mind contains an article about the role of music in our lives. Among the highlights:
- Music is truly the universal language. When people in an African village who had never heard western music listened to excerpts of classical piano music, they described the mood of the excerpts in the same ways that Western listeners did.
- Perhaps because of this, music is a form of social bonding. When we go Christmas caroling or sing "Happy Birthday," we create empathetic connections with the other members of our group.
- Music can affect our emotions more than words in many circumstances. Favorite tunes have been found to reduce pain during surgery and childbirth, and to reduce levels of agitation in Alzheimer’s patients.
There is a lot more to the article than this, of course. If interested, you can pick up a copy of the magazine or download it here.
Or for a deeper exploration of the topic of the role of music in our lives, check out The Singing Neanderthals by James Mithen.