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It is known that music has the power to send different messages and express many human emotions but it’s uncommon to really go deep into which emotions, how and why these emotions are carried by the sounds of music, in this case it’s interesting to think about one of the strongest feelings of people, hope.

The Line

If we think of music as a line, there are various tipes of lines, if you think of a straight line, it’s a music with very few or slight crescendos, and it tends to keep the same pace, this usually conveys more sadness, melancholy or it can be a minimalistic approach. However if you think of a line that goes up and down throughout the coposition, it means there are moments in which sounds express strong emotions, there is the climb where you feel tension, there is a release at the top and then it relaxes. Usually hope can be found on it’s way up of this line.

This climb can be anxious, exciting or just a fast explosion to get to a higher state. If a song is to convey hope, the climb has to show it’s going to a good place, to an explosion of sounds that will move your body and soul, but how is this achieved?

The Climb (Towards a feeling of hope)

For example in classical music there is “The Marriage of Figaro” from Mozart which is one his most loved and known compositions. This piece of music starts on a climb and then shines a little, it keeps climbing, it explodes and then relaxes, just to continue climbing, there is no negative tension, the only tension is waiting for that great thing that is about to happen.

The Rock band Queen was able to do this climb in an incredible way, with songs such as “Somebody to love”. This song is on an endless climb the same way as “The Marriage of Figaro”.

The rock band Muse is also able to make compositions that allow this feeling to naturally appear in the person who listens.

“Here I go again” is another great example, which follows the line of ballads that work between melancholy and hope, but the climb is still present.

The reason why there are many examples in rock about hopeful music is because rock has very intense highs, and this is not something you can find for example in jazz or hip hop.

Science of Hope

Despite music having such a strong impact on people, music doesn’t affect everyone the same way, in other words, if a person who is not hopeful at all in life, he or she may not receive the same impact of music than a slightly hopeful person.

Within the field of positive psychology, hope has been shown to be related to individuals’ ways of coping with success and failure. The present study examined the effect of music and dispositional hope on state hope, after experiencing failure. Sixty participants filled out a dispositional hope questionnaire, and completed a computer task for which they received false failure feedback. Thirty participants listened to positive music following the task, while 30 participants did not receive the music stimulus.

The effect of positive music and dispositional hope on state hope and affect.
Naomi Ziv, Anat Ben Chaim, Oren Itamar

But science isn’t everything, even more so in art.

A Sense of Breakthrough

There is a sense of action and passion in these compositions that convey hope, it’s as if it inspired the will to act despite the odds, and this is a very powerful feeling since many things in life are about failing and trying again, or how they say, falling and getting back up. This is very true and hopeful music helps with this “getting up” part in a way that it’s hard to explain, but it just gets under your skin.

Hope

Of course hope, in this case, came from a hopeful musician, but not everyone is hopeful all the time, that’s why art it’s so important for people, it leaves a trace, it allows for that hope to be timeless and in some cases touch many people, so even if people are not hopeful all the time, we know that there is music out there that exist as proof that there is hope.

      

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There has been lots of research surrounding music’s healing capabilities, some spiritual and some medical and cientific, due to its effects on the human mind and body, but this is an ongoing dialogue that never ceases to amaze, because there are indeed some uses of music that can help with our health.

The human brain and nervous system are hard-wired to distinguish music from noise and to respond to rhythm and repetition, tones and tunes. Is this a biologic accident, or does it serve a purpose? It’s not possible to say. Still, a varied group of studies suggests that music may enhance human health and performance.

Harvard Health Publishing

The Brain and The Mind

Mind

This is the area where research has been more extensive and profound, there is a focus on this area because it’s where music has it’s most direct consecuences.

The neurobiology of music is a highly specialized field. But music also has major effects on many aspects of health, ranging from memory and mood to cardiovascular function and athletic performance.

Harvard Health Publishing

If it affects the mind it will affect the body but more on that later. There has been an increase of interest towards the importance of music in the area of psychology since the mid XX century, however studies of music and their consecuences in human behaviour dates back to the studies of ancient greeks,

Meditation

There are many exercises such as Yoga and Tai chi that uses music as a method of relaxation and helping the mind be free to embrace the activity

Music and meditation has its origin in religious music, due to the general alignment and meaning of the compositions.

Body

There are also many phisical reactions to music involving the heart, blood pressure and of course the most common “goose bumps”

Research has shown that music may influence central physiological variables like blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, EEG measurements, body temperature and galvanic skin response. Music influences immune and endocrine function. The existing research literature shows growing knowledge of how music can ameliorate pain, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and depression. There is less research done on how music, and what type of music, is utilized and administered specifically for optimum effect in specific clinical situations.

PubMed.gov

Concerning what type of music and how it does what it does, many believe it might be different for each person, depending on what type of lives they have and how they think and live as an individual. The fact that there are phisical effects is universal, but how, it depends.

Music Genres: Mind and Body

Music is healthy in many ways, and it has been like that for centuries. Each person finds its way into different types of music that fits their needs or rather, the lack of something in their lives, for example. Someone that listens to heavy metal, may not be a violent person, actually, it’s a way to counter negative feelings.

A thesis based on case studies shows that listening to music (heavy metal included) helps people who have been traumatized. It helps them regulate their emotions, overcome suicidal thoughts, and occupy their sensory environment.

Cognitiontoday.com

For example techno music has another set of common effects related to energy.

Further, due to the techno-music induced biological effects and its proven ability to increase endurance and buffer the immediate negative effects of exercise, it is easy to understand the strong link between techno and all-night dancing.

djbroadcast.net

The effects music has on our bodies is much greater than people would think, and it can be dismissed as just being entertained, but it goes beyond that, and even more, there is still some mistery surrounding this, and only time and experience might will say if it’s something that can be fully understood.

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There are many ways to share music to the world, and while there are now digital connections that makes this a lot easier, there are still artists and musicians who enjoy the most simple experience of all, just go to the street and play.

While most of street performers receive some money for their talents, it’s clear that their main goal is not to make money, is to share their art freely, in this case, music. There is something nearly magical about the urban music surrounding a fast and very busy world that these musicians make possible and it’s bee like this for quite a while.

The term used for these performers was busking, which was first used around 1860. It comes from the Spanish word “buscar” this means “to seek”.

However there have been many forms of performers such as troubadours in medieval times and Japanese Chindonya.

Today street musicians are still very much active, but in a very different world.

A Loud Stage: The Street

Street

In an interview with Roselinde from Globonaut, street musician Stefano Rossa talks about his experience playing in a difficult stage.

Urban sounds obviously make it a bit harder for me to play. Silence or quietness are essential to the good result of the performance. The only sound that doesn’t annoy me at all is the laughter or clapping of a kid.

He also talks about things he has learned during his time playing on the streets.

I’ve always been very shy and even if music helped me a lot throughout all these years, I still feel that little feeling of awkwardness while I’m playing in front of someone else. Actually, I think it’s pretty much the same for every musician on Earth, but everyone lives this in his own way. Being a street musician taught me to be tougher but, on the other hand, also calmer. I simply think that I’m doing what I love the most and in my own way. What people think doesn’t have to affect me too much, especially if somebody thinks or acts negatively. I give a lot of respect to the people who chose to do what they love no matter what people say or who society doesn’t want you to be.
Stefano Rosa

In other words it can be a transformative experience in the sense that it’s a very easy and straightforward way to engage with an audience and it helps deal with external sound, focus and all sorts of opinions.

Freedom and Music

On the other side of things there is also Estas Tonne, who is another street/traveler musician but has gained a wider audience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gphiFVVtUI

In an interview for Turkish journalist Ilgaz Yalçin Fakio?lu he said:

For many years, I’ve traveled without agenda or a schedule exploring different countries and cultures, visiting those places I’ve been receiving an inner calling to go. Now it has changed for the organized concerts firstly and festivals. When an invitation comes, our team reviews it from all kinds of perspectives, though it is impossible to answer all of the calls. Besides, no matter how much I love to share this music, I cherish my solitude times and so-called creative madness when I can just be…observing each coming day…

There is a sort of freedom that these musicians share and it shows through their compositions and even through the instruments they choose, like Damat Drummer who says:

I play drums since i was 9 and i still do, but as i previously stated i believe that each object can produce its own sound and that’s why, from my point of view, every object is a musical instrument.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7fUVmfyFQ8

For some, it may be seen as if they are wasting their potential but the truth is that these are just different approaches to music and every single one of them is as valuable and artistic. Music Teacher’s Helper Tip: Did you know you can edit system email templates? Yes, the only restriction are the variables. Those cannot be changed in any way

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