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If Music Be The Food Of Love, Play On

Sep 12, 2008
This famous quote from Shakespeare shows us that people have long been pre-occupied with music. It is an integral part of life from the womb to the grave. The fact that it goes so deep within a soul is shown by the fact that it is not only humans but also animals that enjoy music. Different types of music can provoke different reactions in humans and animals and is further proof that there is something about it that can reach far deeper than we can understand. Even whale speak is sold to humans as music for soothing and relaxing.

It will come as no surprise then that the music download business is one of the fastest growing in the technology arena. Some people complain about everyone wearing earphones these days, particularly the younger generation, yet there is barely a person on earth who does not have some sort of favourite music they like to listen to and I'm quite sure if everyone had access to an mp3 player, that there would be some point in every week, if not every day, where they chose to listen to their favourite music downloads.

Babies in the womb are capable of hearing music played through the abdomen and any pregnant woman will tell you that heavy rock music will make her baby lively and soft, gentle music will calm it. Music that the mother personally hears also has a bearing on her unborn baby as it will affect the mother's moods and this, in turn, affects the baby's mood.

Throughout life, people will develop a taste for music. Some types will stay forever and others will change throughout our lives. This often depends on what is going on in our lives at the time and we associate different songs with different events, times, ages and emotions. Immediately we hear those tunes again we will be transported in our minds eye back to whatever was going on at the time and we will also relive the same feelings. These may fade slightly over time but they will still be there.

My daughter and I are great music fans and some music is simply our favourite because it's just a great, catchy, tune but listening back to these we can still remember where we were when we heard them, where we lived and what was going on in our lives at the time.
Given that personal music players hold so much music these days, there is room for sentimental stuff as well as upbeat music, old and new, and you will often see people frantically clicking through their players to find something that conjures up the right mood.

As well as music being such a huge reminder of events and people and feelings we can also use it to deliberately alter a mood. For those who want to create a romantic atmosphere then some mellow love songs will go a lot further than some heavy metal rock tunes.

Favourite music is often played to those in comas because it is understood that even though unconscious, memories can still be stirred. The patient may look asleep but their brain needs the extra stimulation of forgotten thoughts, feelings, memories and even smells that can all be invoked by music. This has often been enough to wake a person from their unconscious state and the sooner they awake, the less severe the damage is likely to be.

So we can see that music is a very powerful force, it can cause new feelings, revisit old feelings, awaken people, send them to sleep and even stir them to great actions. The power of music should never be underestimated.
About the Author
Musical expert Catherine Harvey looks at how everybody's choice in music downloads is used for various effects.
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