We are all familiar with the ultimate mood influencer – music! Upbeat days can be traced directly to upbeat music and so can sad days be traced to sad music! Music has the ability to drastically change our moods and this change is often instantaneous. We can switch from a sad mood to a happy one by literarily switching the music. People who do not listen to music at all also have the tendency to hang on to their bad moods.
We have been unable to explain this relationship between music and our moods for a long time. However, the situation has changed and researchers have come up with explanations on how exactly music affects our moods! But it is not only the music itself that ignites the new moods we want. It is often the musical instruments used in making the music.
Here is an explanation of how music affects our moods and of how musical instruments could be affecting your daily mood.
Music Alters Our Moods from The Place of Our Brains
Neuroscientists have found that music triggers the release of mood-altering chemicals by reaching into our minds which in turn tells our body to produce those chemicals. It is when these chemicals are released that our moods change. In fact, the findings of these scientists go to show that music lights up almost every part of our brains.
Although different kinds of music ignite different parts of our brains which is why some music can make you sad while others can make you really bright. Classical music has even been found to be capable of helping you focus. In spite of these findings, however, the mood switching effect of music is said not to be automatic. It can only work to change a person’s mood when the person desires the change. The effect also lingers long after the music has diminished.
Musical Instruments and Our Mood
Teun Lucassen, a researcher on the topic, pointed out in his research work how different musical instruments can impact the emotions of a listener. He found that different musical instruments can trigger different moods. Thus, while a cello can be associated with sad, slow music, a marimba is often used in happy music. Let’s take a look at the musical instruments that were involved in his study.The Piano
In his findings, the piano was as capable of evoking the emotions of joy as it was of evoking sadness. It could make our moods pleasant or gloomy and was basically a neutral instrument. Thus, the piano was hard to classify into a strict set of emotions.The Marimba
The marimba was found to evoke only positive emotions in the participants. As a result, Teun found that when the marimba was used in a song, it made the song cheerful.The Cello
This musical instrument invoked feelings of sadness, anger, and fear in the participants.The Alt Saxophone
This instrument triggered emotions of sadness although it did this at a lower ratio when compared to the cello.
The Chromatic Harmonica and Our Everyday Mood
The chromatic harmonica is a part saxophone, part oboe, part trumpet, and part trombone, and has been described as being capable of producing a sound that appeared to be an extension of the player’s voice. The manufacturer, Hohner Harmonica describes it as having an endless potential for expression. It can play in any key and have been used to produce classical music, and jazz although it can be used for rock, pop, and other musical genres too.
Considering the predominant genres that the chromatic harmonica is used in playing and in which its effect is more pronounced, it is safe to say that this musical instrument mostly evokes feelings of pleasantness and joy. It can also be used to direct our attention to our important tasks when it is played in classical music.
How Can Musical Instruments Affect Your Mood Each Day?
If the piano is neutral, the marimba triggers happy feelings, the chromatic harmonica triggers joy and focus and the cello invoke feelings of being sad, then it is quite clear that the musical instruments we choose to listen to every day can affect our mood. This is the same as saying the music we listen to each day can affect us. If you are a lover of music, therefore, you can begin to carefully choose what you listen to and by so doing choose how you feel throughout your day.
We know that our feelings have a lot of say when it comes to our productivity. So, if we want to stay productive and happy, we must choose the music we listen to carefully.
Choosing Your Daily Mood
By this, I mean that you can choose how you want to experience your whole day. You can dig into the power of music to make your day vibrant and positive.
Here are some practical ways you can do that:1. Learn an instrument
Choose an instrument that you would like to learn and that you want to give the power of organizing your moods too. You wouldn’t want to choose to learn the cello for example unless you want to stay sad.
Learning to play an instrument can do a lot to boost your everyday mood although now we know that the energy level we experience depends on which instrument we choose.2. Start singing
Singing is a powerful way to influence your mood. It has even been found to have wide ranged positive effects on our general well-being.3. Listen to music
Plug in those earphones and enjoy good music! While you listen, pay close attention to the instruments playing in the background and what moods they trigger for you.
The musical piece which is an end product has been superimposed on the instruments used in producing it. Although music has the capacity to greatly affect how we feel every day, it is most likely the instruments playing in the music that causes these changes. People who do music know this too well. Taking time to listen or to learn can have great impacts on how our moods roll out each day.
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