Music is known for conveying relatable emotions but it is also believed to have the ability to influence a listener’s mood or feelings.
Whether it is a search for the perfect breakup song or blasting a motivational workout playlist, music is known for its reliability in every mood.
Ramah Shirey, worship arts ministry and theater double major, said music can influence people’s moods by reminding them of memories they have associated with specific songs.
“For a lot of people, songs have a memory attached to them,” Shirey said. “Hearing a song that might have been played at a funeral might make (a person) cry, or if it was a song (someone’s) dad used to sing to them as a child, it could easily bring a smile to his or her face. Music like that has a comforting value.”
Robby Plavajka, marriage and family therapist at California Baptist University’s Counseling Center, said music’s influence can emphasize a current mood, but not absolutely transform or change a listener’s emotions.
“I have reason to believe that different types of music can affect people’s moods because music in itself is a mode of communication,” Plavjka said. “Although I don’t believe this means every three minutes a person’s mood turns based on whatever song is being played, music has the capability to resonate within someone, either knowingly or unknowingly.”
Music is now made accessible everywhere people go with most recorded songs easily available to stream.
Elise Winegarden, senior worship arts and ministry major, said music is intentionally made to convey specific emotions and make its listeners feel a certain way.
“Music was created with emotion. People have learned how to create sounds that produce emotion, whether through stringing together certain words or building a chord with a certain sound to it,” Winegarden said.
Music is also being utilized within modern medicine.
Studies in hospitals found people who listened to relaxing music while getting an IV or blood drawn reported less pain than others, according to the American Music Therapy Association.
Music therapy is also used in hospitals and treatment centers to help reduce symptoms of depression, Parkinson’s disease and other debilitating diseases.
Music continues to be something people around the world enjoy and relate to constantly. It has the ability to impact people’s emotions, help with mental illnesses and ease certain diseases, making it much more useful than just as background noise.