5 Things You Didn’t Know About Music

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Written by: Arwena Padme Parameswaran

Many of you are either musicians, or enjoy listening to music (I mean, obviously, what kind of psychopath doesn’t like music?). However, here are a few crazy things you may or may not have known about music. Prepare to be BAMBOOZLED!

Music has formulas!

Ever wondered about how certain songs are just extremely catchy or how we keep hearing the same mainstream songs on radios? Among the more famous musical formulas are the Golden Ratio, also known as ‘The Divine Proportion’ and the Fibonacci Spiral. The use of these formulas can make music sound very pleasing to the ears by dividing the music into two parts; the exposition and the development and recapitulation.

Another formula used in music is the scientific knowledge of using the right scales. Have you ever wondered why some songs sound heart-wrenchingly sad? It is mainly because the composers of these songs have simply chosen the right scales to base their songs off. For example, if I were to compose a song that creates a quirky mood, I’d base the verse and chorus of this song off the Lydian scale, and if I wanted to compose a melancholy song that tells the tale of two long-lost lovers, I’d probably use a harmonic scale .

Music impacts our emotions

Many people are aware that after they’ve had a particularly rough day, their first music choices would either be sad songs that help them wallow in self pity or happy songs that help them get back up on their feet. Music can release the same feel-good chemicals (dopamine) in our brain that we can get from hearing very funny jokes or spending time around our favourite people. Music can also influence our emotions through tone and rhythm.

Music can also let us perceive emotion while not feeling the emotion. That is why some people find sad music rather enjoyable instead of bleak and depressing. It can also hype us up for a big event or even make it easier for us to relax and fall asleep.

Plants can grow better with the right kind of music

Did you know that our leafy companions enjoy listening to music? According to Sciencing.com, plants may decipher music as the same types of vibration used by other plants to indicate that it is safe to grow.

Various studies have also proven that plants that grow surrounded by music grow bigger than plants that grow in silence. Hmm, maybe you should let your potted plants listen to the beautiful music produced by our very own Kolej Yayasan Saad Orchestra so that they can grow better!

Being a musician can physically alter your brain structure

According to a research by the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, Clinical Research Imaging Centre, and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, playing a musical instrument can alter the way your brain works. For example, your fine motor skills will improve. They’ve also tried running an experiment with patients who have less control over their movement, such as those who’ve just experienced a stroke.

The volunteers of that experiment were divided into two groups, where one group was given musical cues to relearn movements while the other group did not receive any musical cues. Using MRI scans, it was found that the music group showed a significant increase in structural connectivity in the white matter tract that links auditory and motor regions on the right side of the brain. The non-music group showed no change. Interesting, isn’t it?

You can get emotionally attached to a song the same way you can get emotionally attached to a person!

Have you ever had a favourite song? For some people, the emotions they feel for their favourite song is almost equivalent to how they may feel for their parents, sibling or best friend! Well, that is because we probably heard that song while we were going through a significant time in our lives.

Due to that, we attach ourselves emotionally to that song and it can cheer us up as much as someone we love with our whole hearts just by listening to it. The next time you’re having a great day, try listening to certain songs and see if they cheer you up on a bad day.

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