It is powerful! It has been shown to integrate so many parts of our brain and really sink deeply into our mind, heart and body (physically penetrating!).
Here are a bunch of random points about music that I find interesting...
- the sing-song language used by mothers to communicate with their infants, relies on a variety of musical features to communicate basic emotional information. Using exaggerated melodies and rhythmic repetitions, mothers can attempt to communicate positive and negative feelings to their infants, and appraise infants' internal states by the way they respond. (from here)
Here is a short article on the power of music... (about Elena Mannes' book, "The Power of Music")
- She says scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain than any other human function. That's why she sees so much potential in music's power to change the brain and affect the way it works.
- Mannes says the cries of babies just a few weeks old were found to contain some of the basic intervals common to Western music.
- Daniel Bernard Roumain, a young cross-genre violinist who is known as DBR, thinks one reason music is so powerful is that sound actually penetrates our bodies: "You know when someone says that a piece of music 'touched me' or 'moved me,' it's very literal. The sound of my voice enters your ear canal and it's moving your eardrum. That's a very intimate act. I am very literally touching you, and when you speak to me, you are literally touching me. And then we extend that principle to the sound of a violin."
- The conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim believes that our early connection to sound is another reason for its power — one that in today's world we sometimes forget. He thinks that because we live in a very visual society we're more aware of what we see than what we hear. But he reminds us that the latest scientific evidence reveals that the ear, which we now know is active in the womb, has an advantage over the eye. He also says: "The ear has a head start over the eye, which doesn't see anything until it comes out. The eye is also something that one can control more fully. If you don't like the way I look, and you don't want to see me, you close your eyes and I disappear. But if you don't like my voice and you're in the same room, then you cannot shut your ears in a natural way. Sound literally penetrates the human body."
- music has the potential to help people with neurological deficits. (example: "A stroke patient who has lost verbal function — those verbal functions may be stimulated by music")
- infants prefer "consonant intervals, the smooth-sounding ones that sound nice to our Western ears in a chord, as opposed to a jarring combination of notes."