Music Offers Solace in Sadness

As we wrote in an earlier post, if scent has a hotline to memory, music has a hotline to emotions. Owing to this power that music has on influencing our emotions, music is routinely used to alter people’s feelings (something called musical mood induction) in scientific experiments that wish to look at the effects of different feelings on, for example, behavior. This tight link between music and emotion, and emotion and cognition in general, may in part even account for the effects on performance that people experience after listening to music, such as improved focus, or even better sports performance.


People are Tuned to Listen for Emotions

Music seems to carry emotional information within its structure: according to research, acoustic features of music universally evoke the same emotions, for example, upward moving melodies and increasing pitch are typically related to happiness instead of sadness. Recently, a study found that in addition to music, environmental sounds also carry emotional information that can be perceived by humans, and that influences perception. Astonishingly, the same sound features that evoke emotions in music also stir up emotions if they are present in everyday, environmental sounds such as the sound of the wind and the calls of animals.

Can Music Make Your Child Grow Up Smart?

Music is an easy way to enrich the home environment, and many parents seem to intuitively think that music listening is beneficial for cognitive development. However, links between music listening and enhanced overall cognition have not been convincingly demonstrated. In this article, we review research into the cognitive benefits of music on early childhood development.

Extreme Music as a Tool for Anger Processing

Heavy metal music and punk are genres that typically divide opinions. It is very common that parents worry about the influence of this aggressive sounding music on their children’s behavior, mood and even development. There is a fear that constant exposure to high-energy, “aggressive” music might induce feelings of anger, aggression and alter mood towards negative states, not to mention disrupt concentration. A recent study which has been abundantly cited on social media claims that this fear may be unfounded.