The Economic Importance of Music

Music refers to any combination of vocal or instrumental sounds created through musical composition, according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody and, in the case of Western music, harmony. From simple folk songs to complex electronic compositions – they all fall under this general category of Music.

Plato recognized both the emotional and functional dimensions of music, yet was concerned it not overshadow words. Later philosophers such as Kant and Hegel placed music low in their hierarchy of art forms.

Emotional Response

Researchers have demonstrated that music evokes a wide variety of emotional responses and bodily sensations in listeners, including pleasure, excitement, fear and sadness. These feelings were similar across Western and Asian listeners, suggesting they are independent of culture or learning but rather dependent on biological mechanisms inherited at birth.

Scientists conducted an online poll with over 2,50 participants about their emotional responses to various musical sounds and then compared these responses with frontal lobe brain imaging data to identify specific musical features which elicit specific emotions.

These researchers discovered that central markers of emotion such as frontal asymmetry (FA) are more responsive to changes in basic musical features than higher level musical events. Peak FA responses in frontal electrode pair FC3-FC4 frequently occurred during periods of musical change such as motif changes or instrument swapping, often coincident with changes in low level acoustic factors like sharpness or texture.

They also discovered that chills – an intense and pleasurable emotion often associated with an autonomic response – are highly linked with changes in basic musical features, suggesting they could trigger anticipation- and emotional-based responses that lead to feelings of pleasure and reward.

Physiological Response

Strong emotional responses to music have been associated with increased subjective arousal and electrodermal activity. Furthermore, numerous studies have demonstrated that central markers of physiological functioning such as frontal alpha asymmetry respond more strongly than peripheral markers such as skin conductance changes and heart rate increases to basic psychoacoustic events involving arousal.

One study using frontal fMRI data from electrode pair FC3-FC4 demonstrated that peak FA responses for songs selected by both experimenter and subject varied according to whether they induced chills or tears. However, this difference was not supported by between-subjects t-tests of real-time responses for 30 s around peak onset including real-time valence, heart rate, respiration rate and skin conductance responses. To investigate further the nature of these responses, two-step cluster analysis was used to identify natural groupings of peak FA events that coincided with specific combinations of musical features. Motif changes and instrument changes were particularly frequent events associated with FA peaks; suggesting certain elements such as texture or sharpness changes might more effectively trigger responses in central markers of physiological functioning than others such as pitch or dynamics.

Cultural Influence

Music has long been an expression of culture and an integral component of society. Music can be used to express political and social opinions and can even serve as a catalyst for change; music was even used as an effective form of protest during major historical events like the Civil Rights movement or fight against AIDS; however, some forms of music can promote negative behaviors like violence and substance abuse.

Music’s influence on culture is evident through the way its various genres continue to change and reflect societal trends. Rock and roll was widely blamed in the 1950s for undermining moral values due to its sexually suggestive lyrics; Elvis Presley’s onstage antics were blamed as contributing to moral values being diminished further.

Cultural influences also have a substantial effect on a person’s musical preferences, emotion recognition and memory. Studies have revealed that people tend to favor traditions they are familiar with while their ability to identify emotions within music can depend on its structure as well as culturally specific characteristics.

Economic Impact

Music has an immense economic benefit to communities that it connects to, such as creating jobs and tourism promotion. Music generates over $170 billion each year and supports over 2.5 million jobs nationwide in core activities like recording, streaming and live performance as well as related industries like marketing merchandising travel. Furthermore, its export value exceeds $9.1 billion!

Studies show that people who study music tend to perform better in school. This is especially true for kids and teenagers who take music lessons; their IQ levels tend to increase while they become more engaged with their studies; ultimately leading them to becoming leaders and well-rounded young adults.

Municipalities across the nation have recognized the value of music to their communities and have worked tirelessly to foster it. Companies such as Save The Music have provided services that help schools enroll their students in music education – which has shown to have positive effects on students, helping improve academic performances while making college applications simpler.