What Exactly Is Music?

By Nur Qamarina Aqilah

What Exactly Is Music?

Every person in the world has a varying music taste, and there are hundreds of musical genres in the world to be explored. There are some that are widely known like Jazz, Dubstep and Pop, then there are some that’s explicitly regional like Manila Sound and Coupé-Décalé, but everyone seemed to enjoy them as it is. What exactly is music? It has been defined that music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. According to Shahram Heshmat, music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses such as chills and thrills in listeners (2019). It has been proven successful as therapies too- to calm the anger or soothe the sadness. (Elizabeth Scott, 2020) How can this happen?

There is a neurotransmitter strongly involved in emotional behaviour and mood regulation in the brain which is called the dopamine regulation. “Our results suggest that even a non-pharmacological intervention such as music might regulate mood and emotional responses at both the behavioural and neuronal level,” said Elvira Brattico, Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark. Dopamine in the brain is very important as our emotions and behaviors not only affect us psychologically, but also physically like the heart rate, control of nausea and vomiting and process of pain. (Smitha Bhandari, 2019)

It is common now that music is used in medical fields. It is called music therapy. Bruscia (1991) defined music therapy as ‘an interpersonal process in which the therapist uses music and all of its facets to help patients to improve, restore or maintain health’ (Maratos, Gold, Wang & Crawford, 2008). Since music has effectively been used for dopamine regulation, it is a smart method to be using music therapy- well, it’s music! What can go wrong? It is also painless and enjoyable.

What do you feel about music? How does it make you feel? What is your favourite musical genre? I would love to hear this from you! I hope this blog post have taught you something new! Thank you for reading.