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Does music effect your mood?

  1. Jul 13, 2005 #1
    Hello. The Q is, as before stated, can music effect your mood?(affect or effect?) Anyway, my mom and I have had arguments about this more than a few times. She says that me listening to metal makes me agry. Is there any scientific proof that this happens? Examples.....

    Metal= angry

    country= sad

    classical= relaxed

    and so on.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2005 #2


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    Of course music can affect your mood.

    Take yourself for an example. Listening to metal has already affected your spelling. Who knows what could happen next, sperm count maybe? Perhaps you'll go blind.
  4. Jul 13, 2005 #3
    Not a metal fan huh? And my spelling has nothing to do with the mood I'm in, which is rather like this..... :cool:
  5. Jul 13, 2005 #4

    I've even learned to regulate my mood with music.
  6. Jul 13, 2005 #5


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    I'm a fan of almost all music!

    I was just surprised that any music fan would question its ability to affect the listener's mood. I'm not saying that listening to metal will turn you into a psycho, but ask yourself why you listen to it.
  7. Jul 13, 2005 #6
    I think music can affect a person's mood. Whether or not your mood, Mr. Dude, changes due to you listening to heavy metal music, I cannot say. Also, I think it affects people differently.
  8. Jul 13, 2005 #7


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    happy hardcore, trance, and vocal trance pretty much the only music i listen to, and the only music that can make me happy
  9. Jul 13, 2005 #8
    When it comes to emotions, i think nothing beats classical music. I can't think of a vocal pop/rock/goth whatever song that beats a sad melody from a piano or violin in terms of evoking emotions.
  10. Jul 13, 2005 #9

    hah thats what i listen to woot.
  11. Jul 13, 2005 #10
    A lot of people say that music works by creating tension (dissonance) and then resolving that tension. My theory is that the tension-resolution patterns in music elicit some sort of bodily responce (think chills down your back, relaxation, anxiety) that is similar to the ones that occur when a person has an emotional experience. Therefore, similar bodily responses due to music can elicit memories of how that person felt during that emotional experience. I think, in part, that's why certain types of music work so well with certain scenes in movies. The music 'guides' your emotions.
  12. Jul 13, 2005 #11
    Not sure whether music would convert me from feeling happy to feeling sad but the right sort of classical or metal (Enter Sandman by Metallica...I love it) music can either put me into a deeper state of relaxation or fire me up
  13. Jul 13, 2005 #12


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    I'm not sure, sometimes I think my mood affects my choice of music as much as my choice of music affects my mood.

    I like metal, but it doesn't make me angry; I listen to it when I need the energy to stay focused on something that requires a lot of concentration for a long period of time.

    And classical doesn't relax me either. It ranges from grating on my nerves because it's too much like a boring lullaby to seeming invigorating with a full orchestra playing boldly.

    While I think music can invoke certain emotions, I also think that is dependent on the listener's state of mind at the time they are listening. A song that may seem upbeat when I'm blasting it on the stereo while driving through winding country roads may seem downright melancholy when played at a softer volume while I'm thinking of someone I haven't seen in a while.
  14. Jul 13, 2005 #13
    Yes, it affects my mood, and more importantly from a day-to-day grind, it affects my children's mood!

    A tip for parents of young children:

    Find the music that your children like to sing along to. Keep it in your car or other places where sibling squabbles drive you nuts. When your kids start to squawk:
    "Mom! She looked at me again!" "Mom! She flipped her hair again!" "Mom! I want an ice cream!" .... you can, without saying a word, simply put the music that they like to sing, on, and they :::forget their worries,::::start singing along::::and life is good again.

    It's *amazing.*
  15. Jul 13, 2005 #14


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    :rofl: Now that I think of it, my mom did exactly the same thing with us (4-6 kids).
  16. Jul 13, 2005 #15
    Any other trance fans in here? www.di.fm Greatest. Music. Ever.
  17. Jul 13, 2005 #16
    Does hemi-sync count? I occasionally use it to achieve altered states of consciousness (increases likelihood of lucid dreaming etc.) Definitely gets me into trance, but I wouldn't call what I use - music. Just different frequencies going into each ear. Still, I wonder if "trance music" uses some of the same principles?
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2005
  18. Jul 13, 2005 #17
    I'm not sure why you are getting so elaborate. It seems clear to me that we have emotional responses directly to the sound of the music, with no need for the intervening body response you propose.

    You are right about the obvious fact that a musical score guides the audiences' emotional response. As Homer Simpson said while watching TV: "I know the guy's evil! Can't you hear the music"?
  19. Jul 13, 2005 #18


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    Yea I mostly listen to DI.fm vocal trance or hardcore channels only.
  20. Jul 13, 2005 #19
    certain rock music, it seems can cause ppl to drive faster.
    I want to mash on the gas,when a song like rader love plays on the radio.
  21. Jul 13, 2005 #20
    The reason why I mention body response is because emotion causes this as well. There are times when our minds become use to hearing a certain type of music during a certain scene in a movie or play. For example, in action scenes, the music is upbeat and grandiose, and in horror films, it's often dissonant and minimalistic. However, I'm not convinced that every emotion that a piece of music can elicit comes directly from experiencing an emotion with that type of music at the same time. When I hear slow cocktail-bar-like jazz piano, I often feel humbled and melancholy and picture a midnight snowfall in a busy city (sorry for the melodrama). I'm fairly certain that I've never actually listened to light jazz while staring out a window during winter, but that picture arises anyway. So how does my imagination lead to such a picture. Why wasn't I picturing a wildfire in the midwest? It's because the picture in mind elicits an emotional response and I believe that emotional experiences have physical feelings attached - these are the same feelings that you get from experiencing the progression of musical chords and nuances. I also believe that at first, the physical feelings that are attached to music are not based on emotion but through how the mind interprets tension and resolution. For example, it is said that to get Mozart out of bed in the morning, someone would play a major scale and stop at the leading tone (second to last note) which, if you know what I'm talking about, just begs to be resolved to the tonic. The tension of the unresolved progression would force Mozart out of bed to play the last note. I don't know if that anecdote is true or not, but I definitely know from experience what the point of story is.

    If you have a piano (or any instrument for that matter), try playing a dominant 7 chord (like G-B-D-F) and resolve it to the I chord (C-E-G). Play that two chord progression a few times and then just play the dominant 7. When I hear this, I get an uneasy feeling, knowing that the I chord should resolve it. This uneasy feeling is what I'm referring to as the body response and it's my explanation for the ability of people to associate images or emotional experiences from music, even though that piece of music was never a direct association with that experience in the past.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2005
  22. Jul 13, 2005 #21
    Well I couldn't get a direct link to the song but you can find it on almost any music search I'm sure. It's a song called "Join me" by HIM. Nothing personal I just had to get that off my chest. I think it's pretty relaxing....kinda. Also, I tried that chord progression you gave me on my guitar and I see what you're saying. pretty cool. Thanks all.
  23. Jul 13, 2005 #22
    one for the joke thread
    Q: what did the raver say when the drugs wore off?
    A: dayum, this music sucks!!
    :rofl: :rofl:

    i for one listen to metal (dimmu borgir, cradle of filth, deicide, cannibal corpse, anaal nathrakh, etc) & industrial stuff (nine inch nails, ministry, etc) when working out. why metal, probably because of the screeching vocals (black metal anyway) & fast drums. the rest of the time (reading, studying, etc) it's mostly old-school baroque stuff.
  24. Jul 14, 2005 #23
    The emotion is the physiological "body" response in the first place. Emotions never take place on any disembodied level. It is true they are generated in the brain, but the brain itself has no nerves, and the emotion has to be experienced via the various physical sensations the brain generates in the body, some gross, some subtle.

    Music causes emotions by working first on the brain through the sense of hearing, and the brain generates the physiological responses you are aware of. When I say it works on the brain, I don't mean through any kind of conscious cognition, but by directly signaling the limbic system where emotions are generated.

    Why some sound progressions seem unresolved and others resolved to the limbic system isn't something I've ever looked into, but I suspect it is a spin off of the reason any sound carries an apparent emotional valence. The sound of squeeling tires, or the famous chalk screech on a blackboard are inherently disturbing noises to us, but the very pure and resonant tones of most musical instuments affect us conversly. All of these sounds, however have no effect whatever on the emotions of deaf people. They ought to have the same emotional effect on the deaf and the hearing if your suggested body-to-mind route were the operative one.

    So, while I think you're absolutely right in pointing to the interplay of tension and resolution as the primum mobile (to throw out some pretentious sounding latin) behind all music, I do not believe it works directly on the body in the way you suggest.

    (Or: You don't have some interesting form of synesthesia we should know about, do you?)

    Synaesthesia - Physics Help and Math Help - Physics Forums
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2005
  25. Jul 14, 2005 #24
    Perhaps you're right, though I don't think this part necessarily disputes my point. As emotions are still generated by the brain, an association with the situation to which they were evoked is still created.

    Perhaps my post was a bit misleading. I didn't mean to imply that sound/music causes a response without first being heard through the ear. I meant to say that such physiological responses are the result of one's initial interpretation. Like you said, someone scratching a chalkboard creates a response of pain and uneasiness but without relying on a person's recollection of a chalk board scratch being annoying. My theory (and I'm knowingly using this word loosely/incorrectly) is that when someone hears music and if such a bodily response occurs, then the way it elicits an emotion is by matching it to ones that one feels during a certain emotion.

    For example, earlier, I said that horror movies often use minimalistic and dissonant music. Dissonance (as interpreted by the brain) craves resolution and creates (physiological) tension (this is in the context of western music, by the way) and minimalism - large amounts of silence between notes, for example - can be used to stretch out and intensify that tension. The end physiological response to that music might be very similar to the one caused by the actual suspense or fear coming from the movie scene. If it is similar enough, the music by itself can elicit that same emotion, independent of any associated movie scene or experience. This is the point I was trying to get at. I hope that it's a bit more clear.

    I assuming this is going on how you interpreted my previous post. Again, I didn't mean to imply that the response bypasses interpretation. Just that the evocation of an emotional response is linked to the music through the physiological response that the brain generates as an initial response to the music. Ok - I can see why people misunderstand me :cry:

    I'll try harder to be succinct. :biggrin:
  26. Jul 14, 2005 #25
    But, both bodily responses are the same thing: emotions. I think you are operating under an erroneous dichotomy between the emotions evoked in everyday life and those evoked by music. The ones evoked by music are every bit as first hand shall we say, as the ones that come from all non-musical situations. The particular flavor of emotion you get from a piece of music is created then and there for the first time in direct response to the sound progressions, and don't have to be referenced to any previous experience.
    The music is usually doing all the emotional heavy lifting. If you subtract the scary shrieking sort of sounds from the psycho shower scene it is easily only 1/4 as disturbing. If you subtract John Williams from Star Wars you've cut the whole experience by at least half. Music is as important to film as glaze is to pottery. It can vastly change the whole emotional content. It is really much less a matter of matching the emotion in the scene as it is isolating and greatly heightening an aspect of the scene the composer and director want the audience to be steered to focus on. It's like Homer Simpson said while watching TV: "I know he's evil! Can't you hear the music?"

    Jelfish? Did you mean to write Jellyfish?
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