“There is a great need in the field [of neural correlates of musical behaviors] for research that involves (a) controlled experiments with random assignment, (b) well-matched stimuli and control conditions in order to uncover the mechanisms by which music works, (c) a better understanding of the neurochemical systems involved, and (d) the optimal role of the music therapist in such interventions.” (American Music Therapy Association Perspectives, Vol 31 (1), 2013)
“The emerging picture is that music can play an important role in bolstering the physical and psychological health of already healthy individuals, and the in the treatment of patients across a wide range of presentations. The advantage of music-based treatments is that they are non-invasive, don’t have side effects, are cost-effective, and completely ‘natural.'” (op cit)
You’ve always known that workout music needs to pump you up — now you discover how there’s more to it than a just high number of powerful beats per minute. You learn how you can modulate your breath to the pulse of music, whatever speed that pulse may be. You begin to notice the paradox between music that feels one way and lyrics that feel the opposite. You begin to sense that there is a lot more going on than a plainly obvious and simple physical, emotional or mental effect. You begin to engage with music in a different way. Even high-energy music has new meaning for you now that you are beginning to parse the polyrhythms and balance of each voice and instrument in the mix. You start to reverse-engineer what the producer had in mind in the various pop songs you love; begin to play around with equalization to hear interior sounds that aren’t obvious in the airplay mix. You decide to listen less to sampled music — most digitized music compressed to make it more portable but winds up missing quite a bit of information that our brains “fill in” for us — and you haul your CD collection out of storage to see if you can really hear everything in a given song. As your ears become accustomed to wanting more depth in the music, you start to change all your compression settings from “normal” to “high” or “studio quality”…and you quickly run out of space on your mobile device…. You come across the old flute you used to play in the high school marching band and try some tunes you still remember….