Crazy Facts About Musical Styles that May Surprise You
Can you speak Music?
We’ve all heard them before. Classical music will make you smarter. Rock music is bad for kids.
There are a million preconceptions out there about which kinds of music will do what to your brain. So, time for a little investigation.
Classical music really has been shown to be good for your health – especially when it comes to managing stress. In an experiment, researchers subjected participants to a stressful environment and then measured their blood pressure as they recovered in either in complete silence or while listening to pop, jazz, or classical music. The people who sat in silence or listened to pop or jazz music all had their blood pressure return to normal at about the same rate. But the people who listened to classical music had their blood pressure go back to normal much quicker.
Read more about it here.
Remember all the fuss about how rock was supposed to be corrupting the youth? Well, it’s true that music has the ability to affect your mood, but most people use music to reinforce moods they’re already in! Working out? A killer high-energy guitar solo can boost your performance! Studies have shown that for people who were affected negatively by rock music, “thoughts of… self-harm precede an interest in rock, so that the latter can’t have caused the former.” In fact, it’s country music that has an established link to depression and worse!
Speaking of mental oddities, jazz musicians are well known for improvisation. How does this work?
Making up music on the fly is a skill, but researchers have found that it involves turning off – not on – a certain area of the brain. What gets really weird is that turning off this part of the brain (a portion of the prefrontal cortex) mirrors what happens with some patients who have brain damage and are no longer able to distinguish between memory and imagination. Jazz musicians skilled at improvisation are able to ignore the part of the brain that usually governs planning and self-control. Basically, they’re able to lose themselves in the music! Just think about that next time you watch a pianists fingers dance across the keys faster than you thought humanly possible.
Music – the Universal Language
And lastly, a bit of silly fun. You’ve probably heard someone say something like, “Music is a language we all speak.” Or, “Music crosses cultures.” But did you ever wonder what foreigners think American pop music sounds like? This may be a little dated, but here’s a clue:
And if you still want to sing in English, we can help with that, too!