Ever wonder why certain songs or pieces of music can suddenly make you feel better?
Since the dawn of mankind, there have been stories, which came as the most rudimentary form of expression. Right on the heels of expression, came music. Music has always been the art of evocation - putting into sound the feelings deep within out into the world in a way that is (often) beautiful.
Music has been the rallying behind social revolutions, shifts in culture, and changes in the collective consciousness. It is the easiest, and possibly most basic form of soul magic that we can tap into. Even modern day science, full of empiricism and data, has proven that music has the ability to heal, and music therapy is becoming increasingly more common in psychological and therapeutic fields. For instance, if the right side of the brain is affected by a stroke, rehabilitation specialists can use “Induced Melodic Therapy” in order to communicate with the patient and activate the damaged language centers.
Delving further into the brain and consciousness, we’ve found that music can easily move us towards activating more parts of our brain, tapping into our subconscious and our souls. Attaining full consciousness, meaning that one utilizes both sides of the brain equally has been shown to manifest in musicians and those who are exposed to music for a good portion of their life. Psychologists have found that professionally trained musicians more effectively use a creative technique called divergent thinking, and also use both the left and the right sides of their frontal cortex more heavily than the average person.
Music helps us remember. A recent study said that “what seems to happen is that a piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head. It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye.” Scientists suspect the medial pre-frontal cortex as a music-processing and music-memories region when he saw that part of the brain actively tracking chord and key changes in music.
He had also seen studies which showed the same region lighting up in response to self-reflection and recall of autobiographical details. Tunes linked to the strongest self-reported memories triggered the most vivid and emotion-filled responses – findings corroborated by the brain scan showing spikes in mental activity within the medial prefrontal cortex.
The brain region responded quickly to music signature and timescale, but also reacted overall when a tune was autobiographically relevant. Furthermore, music tracking activity in the brain was stronger during more powerful autobiographical memories. This latest research could explain why even Alzheimer’s patients who endure increasing memory loss can still recall songs from their distant past.
Lastly, musical training enhances an individual’s ability to recognize emotion in sound, which is quite a useful skill in any facet of life. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, found that the more years of musical experience musicians possessed and the earlier the age they began their music studies also increased their nervous systems’ abilities to process emotion in sound. Previous research has indicated that musicians demonstrate greater sensitivity to the nuances of emotion in speech.
Sages, Mystics, and practitioners of the occult have always known these things - the ability of music to connect with our deeper selves. Fortunately, studies have aligned to show the equivalence of the magic of music and its actual effects on our beings. Music possesses the ability to evoke, and through careful evocation and application, we can heal our wounded spirits.