Music gives life to the mundaneness of our daily lives. It can be used to soothe and calm our nerves after an adrenaline-filled or busy work day. It can uplift the spirit and energize us to move and continue improving ourselves. It is the company we keep in extreme emotions whether we are happy or otherwise.
It makes us feel less alone when we are traveling and provides a desired backdrop of a happy, yet prosaic journey in fulfilling our goals in our life. Music is a part of our humanity that rejoices and shares our emotions towards the experiences and people we care for.
An Old Find
In 2009, Nicholas Conard with his team from the University of Tuebingen found and assembled what today could be called a flute made out of bones from a griffon vulture. It was found scattered in a small portion of land inside the Hohle Fels cave in the Swabian Alps of Baden Württemberg in Southern Germany.
When they have fully assembled it, they have found an 8.6-inch instrument that predates 35,000 years. This is the oldest proof of music in human history. That said, music creation has been with humanity for over 40,000 years. Although we may not be sure exactly when we have started listening to music, there is a lot of research done on why we do.
The Benefits of Music
On a personal note and on a social level, music has the power to improve us, physically, emotionally, mentally and for those learning languages, even intellectually. It connects us and builds social cohesion among units and groups of people.
Music improves the way we connect to people and unite us as a group. Think of national anthems that inspire patriotism, protest songs on shared values and beliefs, love songs to bond couples and aid courtship, lullabies that help children drift off to sleep and develop connections with parents, and hymns that strengthen faith and religious identity during worship. These are just a few of the circumstances and spaces where music has a distinct and important advantage to humanity as a social unit.
Listening to music can stimulate one’s brain for learning and a promise of music can motivate individuals to desire more learning. However, students with a lower threshold of working memory might want to stay a bit away from music, especially songs with lyrics while studying.
In a study published in 2017, it has been found that songs with lyrics have a negative effect on effective learning as it assumes the memory capacity which would otherwise be used for the things the student needs to learn. That said, the higher the working memory capacity of an individual, the better they learn with background music.
Aside from this, it has a positive effect on the brain’s ability to memorize in particular with classical music. Mayo Clinic found that there is a slow decline in cognition among Alzheimer’s patients even if it does not reverse the effects of the illness.
Caregivers who succeed to calm and build trusting connections with dementia patients also use music, as music memory is the part of the brain that is most resistant to the effects of this disease.
Neuroplasticity is the capacity of the brain to reorganize its own functions and structure. This is also how people benefit from music for their mental health. Even patients with schizophrenia have been found to improve connectedness with society and improve their quality of life through music. This is because music triggers the release of neurochemicals for good mental health: dopamine (rewards), cortisol (managing stress), serotonin (improved immunity), and oxytocin (ability to connect with people).
There is also financial gain in music, although the cost of starting out is cheap. The trick is to have the most skeletal equipment you need to make music, for some, this could be just a guitar and pen with paper, and others a good music software with loops and a good microphone.
The best ways to create financial gains through music is streaming royalties through digital distribution, playing gigs whether it be in a venue or online, selling merchandise online, and proposing a collaboration with brands which is rampant in Tiktok.
You can also try to make music for films or advertisements, or sell beats and samples to hip hop artists, and if you are patient enough, teach music classes individually or in the local college or just sell recorded lessons digitally.
You can make music too, even if you lack the budget for renting a music studio. If you have a computer, studio desk and chair, your gear, microphone and good music software. You can make do with less. You don’t even have to fully make your room soundproof. If you want to record a full-bodied-sounding quality music you can create a soundproof box using a large box and soundproofing foam then put your microphone there while recording.
You will hear the difference in quality in comparison to just a microphone on your desk. There are a lot of artists who started out this way and worked their way up. The quality of music is not primarily dependent on how much the gears used cost even though it affects the quality of the delivery. The creator and his passion, authenticity and his relatability has the power to decide the quality of his music and commercial success.
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