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7 Different Effects of Music on the Brain, Backed by Scientific Studies

Ambient for creativity

Moderate noise cultivates creativity, too loud or fast music leaves you hyperstimulated, while complete silence makes your brain bored. 

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7 Different Effects of Music on the Brain, Backed by Scientific Studies

7 Different Effects of Music on the Brain, Backed by Scientific Studies

https://www.learning-mind.com/effects-of-music-on-the-brain/

learning-mind.com

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Key Ideas

Music helps creativity

One of the most remarkable effects of music on the brain is that it stimulates the release of dopamine, which is a brain mediator that lifts your spirit. We produce 9% more dopamine from the music we particularly like.

What does that have to do with creativity? There's evidence that dopamine helps the creative effort. 

Ambient for creativity

Moderate noise cultivates creativity, too loud or fast music leaves you hyperstimulated, while complete silence makes your brain bored. 

Music and exercise

Upbeat music makes you feel more energetic while you are exercising. It shifts your focus from the intensity of the exercise. Your body also needs less oxygen during the workout.

The best tempo for exercise is 145BPM. Faster music does not produce more stimulation.

Classical music for attention

A Stanford study found that listening to classical music increased scores on attention tests. It could be due to the lack of lyrics. 

Other studies show that any type of background music without words increases your concentration.

Classical music for memory

Participants from a study scored higher on a memory test while listening to classical music than those that listened to rap music.

Music builds long-term memory

Music builds powerful emotional connections in your brain. This is especially true in dementia patients, where studies suggested that music helps them stay more mentally alert.

Metal for anger issues

Studies found that metal music calms people with anger issues and makes them feel better.

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Happy/sad music

Our brains respond differently to happy or sad music.

One study revealed that participants interpreted a neutral expression as happy or sad to match the tone of the music they heard. 

Ambient noise can improve creativity

A moderate noise level is ideal to improve our creativity. It increases the processing difficulty which stimulates abstract processing, leading to higher creativity. 
High noise levels impair our creative thinking because we feel overwhelmed and struggle to process information properly.

Music and personality

Different genres correspond to our personality. For instance:

  • Blues and Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease

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The music you should listen to for improved productivity
The music you should listen to for improved productivity

....depends on a few factors:

  • How many lyrics the song has.
  • How familiar you are with the song.
  • How repetitive the task
Music between tasks could boost productivity

Although there may be detrimental effects of listening to music while working, listening to music in between tasks can boost your mental performance and the ability to concentrate on a task for long periods of time.

Music familiarity is best for focus

Certain regions in our brain—which evoke strong emotions and improve concentration—are more active when we listen to familiar rather than unfamiliar music.

Plus, when we listen to unfamiliar music we’re more likely to lose focus, while adjusting to the new sound.

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Music and memory

Music helps with making memories from long ago feel relevant again. When you hear a song that had specific meaning to you in the past, the memory of that moment will come back with unbelievable ...

Music improves your focus

This happens because music stimulates the entire brain and not just segments of it. Using this knowledge can help you in various ways.

  • Meditation. Some people use music to help them clear their minds.
  • Listening to music while studying or working can help you remember more of the information.
  • During exercise. It takes the mind’s focus off of fatigue.
  • Focus on sleep. Music calms the mind and causes you to focus on your rest.

Music increases your creativity

Ambient music at 70 decibels will increase specific creative tasks by activating the parts of the brain that think in abstract ways.

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Music for better productivity and focus
Music for better productivity and focus
  • Classical music: Songs with no lyrics are often considered the finest form of the craft, always a popular choice.
  • Electronic music is repetitive, ...
Familiar songs are best for focus

It’s best to listen to music you are familiar with if you need intense focus for a project

New music is surprising; since you don’t know what to expect, you are inclined to listen closely to see what comes next.

Lyrics can be distracting

For activities that don’t require concentration, music with lyrics has some benefits. But with immersive tasks, lyrics are especially destructive to our focus.

Trying to engage in language-related tasks ( e.g. writing ) while listening to lyrics would be akin to holding a conversation while another person talks over you… while also strumming a guitar.

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Exercises For Posture Correction
Exercises For Posture Correction
  • Plank: Hold the initial push-up position, legs straight. Don’t allow your lower back to sink, and make sure you are looking down at the floor. 
  • Wall Angels: Lean bac...
Posture Belt

Wearing a posture belt during the first few hours of morning is good practice. 

  • Place the strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.
  • Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.
  • Cross the strap in the back holding one end in each hand.
  • Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.
Reverse Plank Bridge
  • Keep your arms straight and pull your shoulders back.
  • Bring your shoulder blades together.
  • Tuck your chin.
  • Push your chest up and extend your spine.
  • Your fingers can be pointed forward or backward.

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Effects of music on productivity
Effects of music on productivity
  • Listening to music with lyrics is distracting for most people. It’s best to avoid it when working on tasks that require focus or the learning of new information.
  • Listening to
Music and the brain

Music has a real impact on human emotions and perception. Music activates different areas of the brain in different people, but there are general brain and mood patterns revealed by music research.

For the most part, research suggests that listening to music can improve your efficiency, creativity and happiness in terms of work-related tasks. 

Music and work
With so much of our time being spent at work, and so much of our work being done at computers, music has become inseparable from our day-to-day tasks — a way to “optimize the boring” while looking at ...
Music and repetitive tasks

When a task is clearly defined and repetitive in nature, music makes it more enjoyable.

It isn’t the music itself, but rather the improved mood your favorite music brings that will give a boost in productivity.

Ambient noise

Moderate noise level can get creative juices flowing, but the line is easily crossed; loud noises made it incredibly difficult to concentrate. 

Bellowing basses and screeching synths will do you more harm than good when engaging in deep work.

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Classical Music

Listening to classical music can help people perform tasks more efficiently. 

The absence of words in the music may be one factor, as songs that contain lyrics have been found to ...

“The Mozart Effect”

This theory suggests that listening to classical composers can enhance brain activity and act as a catalyst for improving health and well-being.

Nature Music

Listening to the sounds of nature (waves crashing or a babbling brook) has been shown to boost moods and focus. They also help mask harsher, more distracting noises, such as people talking or typing

Nature sounds work best when they’re soothing sounds (flowing water or rainfall, while more jarring noises (bird calls and animal noises) can be distracting.

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How the brain processes music

Music is processed in different ways:

  • one part of our brain decodes pitch and tempo
  • other parts tap into memory and emotion
  • if you are playing an instrument, the body is ...
Music, dementia, and rehabilitation

Some studies show that music can help improve movement in patients who have Parkinson’s disease, or people who have lost mobility or battle with language due to a stroke.

In one study, in particular, Alzheimer’s patients seem to maintain the ability to recognize music.

Music is good for you

Listening to music engages a huge network throughout the brain because music has so many components to it. It keeps your brain fit and healthy.

Music is also very therapeutic. It can lift your mood and help you to relax.

Background music is powerful
Background music is powerful

Even if you are hardly aware of it, music can be surprisingly powerful.

Researchers have found that it can affect:

  • how much time we think has passed while waiting
  • how co-op...
The background music industry

It is also known as music design, music consultancy, or as part of a broader package of experiential design or sensory marketing.

The work involves creating distinct,  compatible musical identities for brands.

Muzak and background music

Muzak, a brand of background music, set the template for background music. It played in retail stores and other commercial premises and sold itself on the basis that it could increase productivity in workplaces. 

Muzak's template for background music persisted for decades. The music was a balm to ease awkward silences and to encourage and brighten the mood.

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