Music plays a nurturing role in almost every human’s upbringing. Whether it’s the sounds of a mother singing a lullaby or a baby pacifier jingling off some tunes, the sound of music pervades our formative years and plays a part in who we become.
During childhood, the influence of our parent’s music is what plays an important part. We listen to the lyrics, beat and mood of the song and develop different emotional correlations to the music we hear. As we grow, we begin to develop our own music biases and gravitate towards certain genres and artists and these play a huge role in what sort of character and personality we develop into our adulthood.
Lyrics are perhaps the most influential part of any music. For music such as classical music and instrumental jazz, the other factors weigh in because these lack lyrics. The type of lyrics in the music you listen to often are constantly sending signals to the decision making part of your brain (which also happens to be the emotional part as well) and this informs your subconscious into making certain decisions.
For instance, if you are constantly listening to music that promotes violence, you may find yourself becoming slowly desensitized towards violence. This effect is similar for the various diverse messages musical lyrics send out. Choosing to listen to music that has positive messages and lyrics that can have a beneficial effect on you makes better sense than listening to negative message music.
Music is all about icons and imagery. Every musician knows that to truly succeed, they must create an image or icon behind their music. For instance, when you listen to the Rolling Stones or Elvis, the icons behind the music are so profound that the music stops being just music and becomes an image. Whether positive or negative, various genres of music have a certain stereotype behind them and in many ways; these stereotypes are informed by prevalent trends associated with that genre.
For instance, reggae music is associated with smoking marijuana while metal or hard rock is associated with extremist behaviors. These stereotypes are not always true but generally speaking have some accuracy. Listening to certain types of music therefore expose you to these stereotypes and open you up to these positive or negative influences as each case follows. There is rarely any room to be passionate about a certain type of music without getting mixed up with the stereotypes associated with it.
Songs have various moods regardless of the lyrics. There are some songs that are upbeat and others low key. Some have positive vibes or moods while others have a brooding somber mood. Depending on what you personality trait is, whether melancholic, choleric, sanguine or phlegmatic, the mood of the music may be having a bigger effect on you than you may think. Psychologists suggest that melancholic personalities avoid somber music because it triggers feelings of melancholy and depression.
On the other hand, if they do listen to uplifting and lively music, it helps lift heir moods and make them more congenial. Similarly, sanguine personalities are advised to listen to music that helps them slow down and concentrate such as classical or operatic music. Because sanguine personalities tend to be all over the place, in a manner of speaking, you don’t want them listening to music that exacerbates the situation. Other personality traits also augur better with certain types of music and so on. Picking the right kind of music to complement your personality type may mean the difference between productivity and wasted moments.
Guest post by Scott Ryan, who gets his musical fix from Morris Brothers Music, a store that sells music for all moods and personalities.