What Does Music do to the Brain?

What Does Music do to the Brain?

To the question “What is the role of music in human life?” there are many answers. Today we invite you to familiarize yourself with a number of new scientific studies that have shed light on another little-known aspect – the effect of music on the work of the brain.

What Does Music do to the Brain?

Can music make us happier?


According to the American music theorist Jerrold Levinson, the musical language is a no less expressive system of communication than ordinary human language as a subject of linguistic study.

Since music carries a much more powerful emotional charge than real-life events, modern psychologists are increasingly resorting to the use of music therapy. Its positive effect on the human condition can be explained at least by the fact that the reactions of our nervous system to cheerful and sentimental musical works are completely different. For example, participants in a recent experiment, after listening to a short song, interpreted a neutral facial expression as happy or sad, depending on which melody they heard.

The emotions that arose under the influence of music can be roughly divided into two types – perceived and felt. This means that a person is able to understand the mood of a piece of music, even if he never had to experience such sensations in real life. So, with psychological disorders of a depressive nature, cheerful music only aggravates a person’s condition, while sad motives, on the contrary, return bright colors to life.

How does background noise affect creativity?


In order not to go crazy with boredom while working on some painfully familiar task – for which you, quite possibly, get a solid material reward – you put on headphones, set the desired volume, select the required playlist and press the “play” button, it is so? Be that as it may, when it comes to work that requires activation of the right hemisphere, loud music is unlikely to help.

As it turns out, the average noise level is a kind of creative catalyst. By complicating the process of processing information, background noise stimulates abstract thinking and attunes the human brain to a creative work mode. That is why public places – cafes, summer grounds, embankments, parks, etc. – so attract creative people.

With a high level of noise, the human brain is too overloaded, as it tries not only to abstract from all the distractions, but also to process information as efficiently as possible.

Is it possible to determine the character of a person, knowing his musical preferences?


The results of this study, conducted by scientists at Heriot-Watt University (HWU), proved for the first time that there is a definite relationship between a person’s preferred musical genres and his character.

In the first part of the experiment, 36,518 young people from around the world were asked to rank 104 music genres based on their personal preferences. The next stage of the study was somewhat more difficult: the participants had to pair up and try to determine the character traits of their partners, based on their list of 10 most listened to songs. Five qualities were chosen for the analysis: openness to new experience, extraversion, politeness, conscientiousness, and emotional balance.

Scientists have come to the following conclusions:

  • blues fans are creative, outgoing, polite, and arrogant;
  • among jazz lovers, the most common are creative, friendly people with high self-esteem;
  • fans of classical music are of an introverted type of personality, but despite this, they have a high sense of dignity and outstanding creativity;
  • rap fans are sociable and slightly selfish;
  • opera lovers include polite, open, creative personalities;
  • fans of country and western are distinguished by their hard work and ability to easily find a common language with others;
  • reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative and sociable, but hard work is definitely not about them;
  • lovers of rhythmic dance music belong to the extroverted type of personality, have certain creative abilities, but do not differ in good manners;
  • indie fans have low self-esteem, are not hardworking, and are often poorly educated;
  • Bollywood fans (music from Indian films) are very helpful and friendly;
  • very often the lovers of heavy music – heavy metal, hardcore, etc. – have low self-esteem, but they have great creative potential.

The results obtained allowed scientists to develop a unique model that reflects the relationship between musical preferences and a person’s character:

What Does Music do to the Brain?

Should you listen to music while driving?


There are countless hypotheses about the amazing power of music on driving, but unfortunately, none of them provide an answer to the question of whether it is safe. The results of a recent study conducted by scientists from Ben-Gurion University (Beersheba, Israel) raised doubts about the correctness of generally accepted assumptions about the positive effect of music on driving behavior while driving a car.

Scientists have tested how drivers are influenced by their own music, the “safe” compositions proposed by the researchers, and the complete absence of any musical accompaniment. As a result, the assumptions made by the scientists before the start of the experiment were fully confirmed: the drivers made the greatest number of mistakes while driving accompanied by their chosen compositions, a little less dangerous situations arose in the absence of musical accompaniment, but the music proposed by the researchers had the most favorable effect on the drivers.

Is there a connection between music and logic?


As you know, learning to play musical instruments at an early age has a beneficial effect on the further development of the child. In 2008, Mary Forgeard, Ellen Winner, and Andrea Norton, faculty members at the University of St. Andrews, found that children who practice music for about three years outperform their peers on four indicators at once: perception of information by ear, motor skills, vocabulary, and logical thinking. Thus, the scientists came to the conclusion that long-term intensive musical practice has a positive effect not only on the interhemispheric organization of auditory and motor functions but also on the process of redistribution of mental functions between the left and right hemispheres of the brain (lateralization).

How does classical music affect stroke victims?


A small study, the results of which were published on the website of the American Association for Occupational Therapy, showed that classical music has some rehabilitative properties.

The experiment was carried out with the participation of 16 patients who had suffered a stroke in the right hemisphere of the brain. For one week, the researchers monitored how classical music, white noise, and silence affected the attentiveness and visual perception of each patient. The results were recorded by scientists using specially developed visual analog scales (VAS, usually used to determine the degree of pain intensity). As with creativity and driving, the silence did not live up to scientists ‘expectations, but classical music significantly increased patients’ attention span and improved their visual memory.

Why is eavesdropping on telephone conversations harmful?


There is a sign on the Tokyo subway warning that telephone conversations are disturbing the rest of the passengers. As it turned out, there is a scientific explanation for this.

According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, if a person unwittingly witnesses such a “semi-dialogue”, then his attention is scattered more than if he heard a full-fledged conversation.

“According to the results of a social survey, 82% of people find telephone conversations downright annoying. We were curious to know what kind of mental influence passive listeners give in, because today each of us has to try on this role several times a day, ”says research leader Veronica Galvan, assistant professor of psychology.

During the experiment, 164 volunteers were asked to decipher several anagrams. During this time, the researchers themselves were actively communicating with each other or talking on the phone, while the participants did not even suspect that the inappropriate behavior of psychologists was also part of the experiment.

After finishing the assignment, those students for whom the telephone conversation served as the background admitted that this significantly reduced their speed of work and concentration of attention, while the other half of the participants with grief remembered in half what the scientists were talking about and whether they talked at all.

How can you make your workouts more productive?


Scientists have been researching the effects of music on exercise for years. For example, in 1911 the American scientist Leonard Ayres discovered that cyclists pedal much faster when listening to rhythmic music than when they ride in silence.

This is because music simply drowns out the signals of fatigue. The body, feeling physically exhausted, sends to the brain the appropriate impulses that the muscles need time to recover. Music, in turn, predetermines such signals and motivates a person to exercise longer. It should be noted that musical accompaniment is especially useful during training with low to moderate intensity since the pain that occurs during heavy exertion is almost impossible to ignore.

Musical accompaniment also helps a person manage their energy reserves in the most efficient way. A 2012 study found that cyclists listening to music while exercising consumed 7% less oxygen, even though the load remained the same.

Some psychologists have argued that humans have an innate preference for a 2-hertz rhythm, which is equivalent to 120 beats per minute (bpm is the number of quarter notes per minute that determines the speed of a song), although, for cardiovascular equipment – treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, and etc. – more rhythmic music is suitable. According to the researchers, the so-called “motivational ceiling” that ensures the peak of human productivity are compositions with a frequency of 145 bpm.

Don’t forget that the SoundAudio site provides a library of background music to download and use. The site has Royalty Free Music and No Copyright Music. You can always find the right music for your project.

Have a good mood!

Ed Solovey

SoundAudio Music Creator

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How is Music Used in Advertising?

How is Music Used in Advertising?

In this article, you will learn about the use of music in advertising, who uses and creates it, and how. And also where to get advertising music.

How is Music Used in Advertising?

Functions of music in advertising


In advertising, “music can serve the overall promotional goals in one or more of several capacities.” David Huron proposes six primary categories, which include: entertainment, structure and continuity, memorability, lyrical language, targeting, and authority establishment. Also, music in advertising can be used to appeal to a person’s emotions and senses. The targeting of one’s emotions is done so that the audience is swayed toward what is being advertised. Using music to influence a person’s emotional state is effective, since “music has a significant influence on the consumer’s emotional state and mood, which is an important concept in the establishment of attitudes since mood states seem to bias judgments and opinions in the same direction as the mood state”. Being able to use music in advertising has made advertisements more enticing and attention-getting for the audience. Fifteen seconds is currently the standard duration of a television commercial so advertisers need to be able to successfully grab their audience’s attention, which music does.

Read more about the categories offered by David Huron here.

Audio branding: what it is and how it works


Audio branding is the creation of musical works designed to evoke associations with a particular brand in listeners. This is a fairly broad concept, which includes both the music played in commercials and, for example, the jingles of several notes that you can hear at train stations and in the subway.

When a brand is looking for music in their video, they usually turn to a music agency, label, or creative agency. If a customer turns to a creative agency, they often turn to the label or other experts themselves, and sometimes they choose the music themselves. Where to get the music, the agency decides together with the client or with a musical subcontractor – for example, one of the companies mentioned above.

Music for a brand can be written from scratch or licensed from artists – as it is or with modifications and additions. It can also be taken from libraries and stocks (about them – below), it all depends on the specific advertising campaign.

Where does advertising music come from?


Music agencies use production libraries, they all work the same way. This is a musical fund, written on the basis of some stereotyped situations, typical scenes from films. Music from libraries is somewhat similar to each other. Therefore, the tags and descriptions of the “library” indicate compositions, styles, genres, moods, tempos – attributes by which scouts from film and advertising companies can search for this music. Music usually ends up in production libraries after manual moderation.

Production libraries usually exist in every major record company. For example – Warner Chappell, Universal Production Music. Other notable companies from this industry are Megatrax, Extreme Music.

You need to read about each of these resources separately, study their instructions, understand in detail the contracts and legal forms of interaction.

Who and how orders music for advertising


Much has changed in the history of advertising and background music, both in the ways of interaction between the customer and the performer, and in the music itself, but some basic things have remained the same.

The main idea of ​​advertising music is to be in trend, that is, the sounding music should be associated with something already stereotyped and well-known. 25 years ago it was fashionable to remake pop hits or songs from movies, today each product category has its own trendy sound. There are not many such categories – maybe a couple dozen. There is, say, a corporate sound that is associated with business, offices, promotion of services; cinematic sound associated with something global, such as sports, cars, movie trailers.

Today only big brands usually have big advertising budgets that imply writing exclusive music. Small companies prefer to buy ready-made music in non-exclusive. They have a goal to do “for inexpensive” almost the same as the largest companies because much of what is already on the advertising market is very similar to each other.

What is a ‘reference track’ and how sound engineers work with it


A reference track is a music track that often represents the mood, style, set of instruments, and character of the composition, which the music creator aligns with his work to satisfy the client’s request. This is a fulcrum, not something to be copied and plagiarized.
You can create a similar but not identical sound design, change tempo, rhythm, shuffle, swing, key, instrumental composition, change vocals from female to male or vice versa, and much more. For example, you can ‘edit’ the genre.
Sometimes three or four reference tracks are taken and the new track turns out to be their twin. Then such music can be placed next to the reference, listened to in the context of similar compositions, and it will not fall out of this playlist.

To find out how to choose the most suitable mood and style for your project, advertising, business, read this article.

What an advertising composer should know and be able to do


First of all – to be able to work on the reference track. You need to understand that the customer has in his head a certain already known melody, or at least an image, a sound. The closer the composer comes to him, the faster the result will be achieved.

You also need to be able to work with a wide variety of musical styles. An ordinary composer, as a rule, writes in his own genre, delves into details, brings the work to perfection – and this is very correct. But the specificity of the advertising market is that it needs to be done exactly as the customer requires, and often in a short time, therefore, an advertising composer is such an omnivorous music producer who knows many genres and knows how to work quickly in them.

Working with a reference track is a broad question; here you can write a small book, too many nuances. Pay attention, first of all, to the mood and harmony of the music: they should be as simple, organic, transparent-understandable, recognizable, on the verge of plagiarism, but not overstep it. The second important aspect is the choice of sounds, mixing. It is recommended to listen carefully to the reference track, copy the characteristics in parts, and mix the music with the same volume and effects.

Stock music. What is it?


Stock music is sold on special sites (stocks) and is used for scoring films, YouTube videos, sites, audiobooks, and more. Collaborating with these services is another way to purchase ad music.
The largest stock site for many years has been Audiojungle, a division of Envato Corporation that also sells videos, website templates, graphics, that is, almost everything related to content production.

There are other stocks (Jamendo, Premium Beat, Pond5), but so far they are far from the stability, quality, and scale of Audiojungle.

The advantage of stocks is a fairly wide selection of music. However, such music is rather formulaic, and if you need more non-standard music, you will have to order it individually. You need to understand the essence of the compositions that are sold on audio stocks: this as background music, which is often added to the voice of the announcer, thematic video, or audio series.

There are also more and less popular composers in this market. The prices for licenses are different, and it is worth noting that the types of music licenses themselves also differ from each other.

There are quite a lot of Royal Free Music on social media networks and on YoTube. A very important nuance today is the presence of a Content ID on YouTube. Many resources offer to issue a Content ID through them for a certain percentage or, on the contrary, put forward the presence of a Content ID as a prerequisite for cooperation. This suggests that the market for YouTube monetization and social networks for artists and their music is growing. This prevents theft and illegal use of music. To understand licenses and where to get copyright-free music read this article.

Don’t forget that the SoundAudio site provides a library of background music to download and use. The site has Royalty Free Music and No Copyright Music. You can always find the right music for your project.

Have a good mood!

Ed Solovey

SoundAudio Music Creator

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