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Is such a statement justified? Certainly, in view of the numerous studies showing that the links that unite the members of a society and the construction of each individual’s personality could not have developed without the essential contribution of music.
In this relationship between individuals and music, it is not a question of privileging one type of music rather than another, all are on the same footing in the benefit that each one will draw from music, from hard rock to classical or from rap to country music. We all enjoy listening to the music we like and this music appeals to our 5 essential emotions which are happiness, serenity, anger, sadness and fear as explained by Emmanuel Bigand, researcher in neuroscience and co-author of La Symphonie neuronale.
For example, soft music lowers the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, as demonstrated in a 2009 study in Sweden at the University Hospital of Orebro, and this is also the reason why music is used to treat anxiety in Alzheimer’s patients.
Similarly, according to Emmanuel Bigand, research has shown the synchronization between body movements and the music listened to, whether in terms of seduction with languorous sounds or violence with harsh sounds, or to see one’s psychological or sexual orientation being oriented according to whether a person is listening to a misogynistic song or one calling for murder, for example.
In terms of personal development, music improves our ability to concentrate and coordinate and calms down our fears, hence the encouragement to practice a musical instrument for children or to listen to music during pregnancy. A recently published study by Dr. Pilar Dies-Suarez, head of radiology at the Federico Gómez Children’s Hospital in Mexico City, shows that music can shape a child’s brain to facilitate learning and language acquisition, for example, and that it creates new neural networks and enhances existing ones, which could facilitate the management of certain pathologies such as autism spectrum disorders and attention deficit or hyperactivity disorders.
Music can be an asset for the development of young people in their adult life because the younger a child starts music, the more he can develop communication between the two hemispheres of the brain and according to a study conducted by Hill Strategies, school dropout is less important among students who have practiced a cultural activity such as music at a young age (4% compared to 22% for those who have not practiced). Individually, music helps build us and we need to be careful about the type of music we listen to or that our children listen to because it can have both positive and negative repercussions in real life.
Collectively, since music activates the same networks in the brain as those activated for primary activities, such as finding food or a partner, it helps create harmony and cohesion within a group or community. Since music is made by one human for other humans, it is obvious that each group will bond or create its identity around the music that represents it the most. Regularly, the identity of a group is characterized by a fashion of clothing associated with a type of music: rap, rock, heavy-metal, reggae,…