Plinky asked me what music cheers me up when I'm feeling down.
Well….I love music.. All kind music… All genre… From blues, rock, pop, jazz, to traditional music such as keroncong and even dangdut (well not really a fan of this genre, but I listen some of them). When you peek on my playlist, you will find different genre, though most of them are classical and pop.
Well, first of all, what is music? Wikipedia said that music is an art form whose medium is sound. Common elements of music are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture.
In his book, What is Music?: Solving a Scientific Mystery, Philip Dorrell explain a new scientific theory about music: the super-stimulus theory. The main idea of the theory is that music is a super-stimulus for the perception of musicality, where "musicality" is actually a perceived property of speech. "Musicality" refers to the property of music that determines how "good" it is, how strong an emotional effect it has, and how much we enjoy listening to it.
Music surrounds us, everywhere, anywhere. An exhilarating orchestral crescendo can bring tears to our eyes and send shivers down our spines. Background swells add emotive punch to movies and TV shows. Organists at ballgames bring us together, cheering, to our feet. Parents croon soothingly to infants (quoting from Weinberger).
Music is like chocolate, it gives delicious chills, light up the pleasure center of the brain (well, no offense to chocolate hater). Music is universally beloved and uniquely powerful in its ability to wring emotions. Steven Pinker, said that music is like "auditory cheesecake"–a happy accident of evolution that happens to tickle the brain's fancy.
Music could be used by therapist to improve patient health. Music therapy existed in USA since 1944, in England since 60's, and even in India, music has frequently been used as a therapeutic agent from the ancient times. In India, music is a kind of yoga system through the medium of sonorous sound, which acts upon the human organism and awakens and develops their proper functions to the extent of self-realization, which is the ultimate goal of Hindu Philosophy and religion. Melody is the keynote of Indian Music.
Research by Nayak et al (2000), Effect of music therapy on mood and social interaction among individuals with acute traumatic brain injury and stroke – published in Rehabilitation Psychology, showed that music therapy is associated with a decrease in depression, improved mood, and a reduction in state anxiety. Both descriptive and experimental studies have documented effects of music on quality of life, involvement with the environment, expression of feelings, awareness and responsiveness, positive associations, and socialization. Additionally, Nayak et al. found that music therapy had a positive effect on social and behavioral outcomes and showed some encouraging trends with respect to mood.
However, subjectivity is part of music. People had different emotional reaction when they heard music, depends on the person's individual experiences and musical training. One person may cheers up when he/she heard heavy metal, while depressed when heard classic, and vice versa. For me, music could wring thousand emotion, – back again – depend on the situation. Classical music for example, when I was feeling blue, cause teary eyes. While when I was in good mood, will bring smile to my shiny face. But when I was angry, I could angrier than before, because when I was angry I liked to hear rock or even heavy metal music. Classical music wasn't good catalyst for my anger. The rhythm, tempo, and harmony feels like mocking me and annoyed me more.
So, the question is, why the reason I'm feeling down? Broken-hearted? Grieve? or even pms? For a broken-hearted, I listen Hello by Lionel Richie, Depapepe, D'cinnamons, Yovie and The Nuno, Jim Brickman, David Foster, Travis, Barbara Streisand, and Patrizio. But the list not always the same, well my mood like a flashing lights. Okay, move on, when I was pms I listen Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, Scorpion, and all the music with fast tempo-hard rhytme which made me shout out loud. For grieving, I put Coldplay, Classical music, Enya, The Cranberries, and some of Celine songs in my playlist. For unreasonable sadness, I'll listen some jazz music. Lately, whenever I'm feeling down (whatever the cause are) Lady Ant and Step Up 3D soundtracks is my fave companion.