Are our feelings conditioned by the genre of music we listen to?

Music affects different areas of the brain. We usually choose which song or melody is, in our judgment, happy or sad. However, the reactions of our brain are not the same when we listen to a cheerful tune and when we listen to a sad one.

Although it has been thought that faster rhythms combined with fierce notes encourage aggression in listeners, this is not true. The exact opposite is happening. A group of scientists from Australia proved this.

Scientists have analyzed the connection between anger and hard sound and concluded that hard rock, hardcore, heavy metal, punk, and other similar musical directions could have a calming effect on people who like these music genres. People who participated in the research not only felt calm, but the music served as inspiration.

Our brain reacts to music similarly to food. When we eat our favorite food, we are happy; when we listen to our favorite music, the same thing happens. The brain releases dopamine which is responsible for the feeling of happiness. In addition to that, certain music also raises the adrenaline level.

Japanese scientists from the University of Arts and the Ricken Scientific Institute have examined why many people enjoy listening to sad music.

In their research, 44 participants listened to two sad  (Glinkin Nocturne in F minor and Blumenfeld etude in G minor) and one cheerful composition (Concert allegro in G major by Enrique Granados).

Ai Kawakami and his colleagues then asked respondents to describe how they experienced the music they listened to and how they felt. The scientists explained that sad music evoked contradictory feelings because the participants in the study described sad music as more tragic, less romantic, and less busy than they felt while listening to it.

“In general, sad music causes sadness in listeners, and sadness is an unpleasant emotion. If sad music only causes negative feelings, we would not listen to it,” the researchers said.

The conclusion is that sad music does not have to make us miserable, or rock music will make us angry if we love that particular genre.

If you like to read about these and other influences of music, you can find a lot of information in magazines, for which you can subscribe toAmerican magazines.