Have you ever noticed how, when you hear a particular song or piece of music, your mood alters? It maybe that you have memories associated with it and hearing the song triggers those memories or it may just be that your mind and body respond to something in the rhythm or in the way that the music is arranged. Occasionally we will hear a piece of music that will bring tears to our eyes even though it’s the first time that we’ve heard it, sometimes we will hear something new and want to play it over and over again, sometimes we just want to get up and dance and sometimes we think ‘what a bloody racket’ and look for the off switch. So there is no doubt that music can have a powerful effect on us. If we acknowledge that then we can use it to our advantage; we can consciously alter our mood and our mental state.
For instance, the music played here is designed to relax the mind and heal the body; it has been tuned to the 432hz frequency which, according to some, puts us in touch with the world around us in a most fundamental way. If you listen with your eyes closed and with a beautiful mental picture you will find yourself relaxing in no time! When our bodies are relaxed, tension is released and, with it, muscle pain and discomfort.
Conversely, some music can boost our energy and this is especially useful when we exercise. Have a listen to the underlying beat on these two songs and see which one works better for you as a song to accompany you on a brisk walk.
‘Mony Mony’ by the incomparable Billy Idol plays at 135bpm (beats per minute) whilst the sublime ‘High Hopes’ by Pink Floyd plays at 77bpm. You will chose one over the other depending on your natural walking pace but music with more beats per minute may push you to up your pace.
If you want to change the mood again, have a look at these two videos. The first is the exquisite ‘Nothing Compares 2U’ performed by Sinead O’Connor; how many of you found you were welling up when you first heard it?
The second is the heart achingly beautiful theme from Schindler’s List written by John Williams. Many of us who watched this shocking and intensely moving film will be reminded of our emotions after hearing just a few bars.
This is the power of music!