My mind’s say, the musical way!
Whether it is to dance, to exercise, to read, to work, to relax, to sleep, to think or to remember, to cope with emotions, to concentrate, to create an atmosphere, or/& to be inspired… music is ubiquitous, is listened to for various reasons & has a different meaning for each & every single one of us.
Play by ear
Play by ear refers to the art of improvisation. “It is the act of inventing all or part of a process as it is performed. Play by ear may also refer to an attempt in re-playing a song using a specific instrument without using any guidelines but the original song itself” Wikipedia.
Since a very young age, I would enjoy asking people around me to name a song & within few seconds, I would be playing the exact same song on the piano. The expression “playing by ear” applies perfectly to my music composition. I have never taken any piano lessons or any music classes except all the way back to elementary school. It is not until few years ago that I have purchased a keyboard & have taken this talent which today has become a passion! With time, I have realized that I cannot go a day without listening to music & that composing music has become a weekly experience. Today, I am determined to make it lifetime affair, a talent that I will forever continue experimenting & further discovering. Thus, I seek to challenge my hearing & playing limits by going above & beyond the possible. It is only post this self-discovery, when & if my progress begins to slow that I will revert to music lessons… With motivation, determination & continuous practice, I will make this self-learning experience reach its full potential.
It is not until fairly recently that I have decided to test my creativity on the piano. This experience was so amusing, relaxing & exciting that until today, I have not ceased. Nearly everyday, I am constantly practicing & seeking to progress
Here is a compilation of fairly recent songs that I have composed:
& Family portrait: dedicated to my family, here is the 1st song to which I have created a videoclip in which my family & I are not only reunited but each one of them is involved in playing a part of my song! What a feeling to hear & watch them play my notes!
Here are some interesting questions in regards to Music: How is music defined? What are the roles of musical experience in the human brain? Is there a link between attitude, personality, social class & music preferences? To what extent does music impact our perceptions, beliefs, memories & the self in general? Is music in our genes? Is there such a thing as a universally liked song? Do people prefer music with or without lyrics, a male or female voice? Do individuals seek out music that is consistent with their current mood or select music in order to change their present mood?
Scientific research findings
Evidence suggests that “long-term musical involvement reaps cognitive rewards in language skills, reasoning and creativity–and boosts social adjustment. Music exercises the brain”1. Shaw and colleagues found that college students who listened to Mozart for 10 minutes performed better on spatial-temporal tests, such as on a task consisting of matching patterns (evidence for the Mozart effect).
Music, personality & physiological response
People who are particularly open to new experiences were found to be more likely to have chills in response to music. In other words, “people high in openness are creative, curious about many things, have active imaginations and like to play with ideas, and they much more frequently feel chills in response to music” 2. Additionally, it was found that such open people were more likely to play a musical instrument. They also rated music as more important in their lives than their less open counterparts. Therefore, it is not surprising to find out that people who physiologically react to music are also those who spend more time listening to music.
A large scale research conducted in 2008 asked more than 36,000 people from all over the world to rate 104 musical styles & also questioned them about their personality. North found music to have high significance on people’s identity. People use music as a “badge”. Music represents a way for us to communicate our beliefs, attitudes & self-values.
Findings surprisingly show that ”one of the most surprising things is the similarities between fans of classical music and heavy metal. They’re both creative and at ease but not outgoing”. Both are seeking to hear dramatic and theatrical music.
Also, based on many studies, people tend to select a tempo of music consistent with the desired or present heart rate. For example, a person who seeks to be in a happier mood is more likely to play energetic music. The person who is already in a happy mod tends to also play this type of music. This raises an interesting question. What if a person is in a sad or angry mood? If such results are accurate then this would mean that they would prefer listening to depressive songs.
Music & Consumers
“Findings show that when ambient scent and music are congruent with each other in terms of their arousing qualities. Consumers rate the environment significantly more positive, exhibit higher levels of approach and impulse buying behaviors, and experience enhanced satisfaction than when these environmental cues were less congruent with each other.”
Music & Brain
Scientists have found that the pleasurable experience of listening to music releases Dopamine. Dopamine or DA is a neurotransmitter in the brain which is linked to pleasures stimulated by rewards such as food, drugs and sex. This shows that music can have strong positive influences on the mind even if music is not necessarily considered a need like food & sex.
*References at the end of the page
Mattila, A & Wirt, J. (2001). Congruency of scent and music as a driver of in-store evaluations and behavior Journal of Retailing, 77(2). 273-289
North, A. C. and Hargreaves, D. J. (2008). The social and applied psychology of music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
North, A. C., Desborough, L., and Skarstein, L. (2005). Musical preference, deviance, and attitudes towards celebrities. Personality and Individual Differences, 38, 1903-1914.
Rentfrow.P.J & Gosling. S. D.The Do Re Mi’s of Everyday Life: The Structure and Personality Correlates of Music Preferences. 84(6), 1236-1256