Music and Emotion

Written by Bill Reddie

Music and Emotion

The Age-old Puzzle of Human Response

By Bill Reddie

If you've listened to more than a little music, you've most likely received an emotional reaction from some of it. You've probably noticed that whenever that happens,repparttar effect is initially unexpected and varies in its intensity. Its also a safe bet that you cannot truly explain or define why it affected you. You might be listening to a Symphonic work, a Jazz combo, something Country or a Folk song. Whateverrepparttar 144227 style, it becomes obvious that certain musical creations are able to communicate in a way that transcendsrepparttar 144228 moment.

Those with a broad and varied interest in music soon discover that not all music is equal. Some of it may simply be functional, contrived, uninspiring and produce little or no emotional reaction. Other music may call forth a few emotional moments here and there but you find yourself wishing for more. Then, there are those truly inspiring musical creations that lift one out of oneself, somehow transportingrepparttar 144229 listener in a way that defies explanation.

Inspiring music appears to contain an abundance of emotional peaks and valleys that may evoke pleasure, sadness and other diverse manifestations of emotion. Forrepparttar 144230 listener, this often becomes a very unique and moving personal experience - andrepparttar 144231 oddity is that neitherrepparttar 144232 composer norrepparttar 144233 performers ofrepparttar 144234 music will be able to explain exactly how or why it creates that effect.

This seeming inability has nothing to do withrepparttar 144235 extensive technical abilities ofrepparttar 144236 composer or members ofrepparttar 144237 orchestra. Rather, it concernsrepparttar 144238 difficulty anyone encounters when attempting to define or describerepparttar 144239 ethereal nature of inspiration. For example, how does one go about describingrepparttar 144240 Source?

Apparently, it matters notrepparttar 144241 musical style - a simple folk song might trigger an emotional reaction as powerful as that created by a complex symphonic work. Why this happens has been debated for ages but most musicologists will agree that trying to findrepparttar 144242 answer to this and other human response questions becomes a gigantic task due torepparttar 144243 plethora of human, technical, psycho-biological and other variables that permeate an inspiring composition and its performance.

Another unusual aspect is that no two people will react to any given piece of music in exactlyrepparttar 144244 same way. What might be a moving experience for one person might be somewhat different for another.

Back torepparttar 144245 future 

In order to gain a better understanding of why this disparity occurs, look torepparttar 144246 subject of human conditioning - for it contains insightful information regarding how and why people react inrepparttar 144247 manner that they do.

The concept of human conditioning is based uponrepparttar 144248 premise that human perspective is influenced from birth onward by parental, societal, religious and other forces. Consequently, all future human experience is filtered through and measured by past experience. Therefore, it does not require too great a stretch to understand why individual responsiveness to music may vary from person to person. Simply stated, each life experience is different for each person and though experiential similarities may exist, responsiveness remains uniquely individualistic.

A mysterious something

What is it in music that gives it that remarkable ability to reach and so strongly affectrepparttar 144249 human psyche? How is it able to calm, soothe, heal and minimize pain? And what about its darker side - wherein it is capable (as some researchers suggest) of actually creating pathological conditions in humans, animals and plants?

Mental and Physical Stress

Written by Bill Reddie

Mental and Physical Stress

By Bill Reddie

All people experience stress and anxiety in one form or another. Sometimes it can be helpful but if allowed to become chronic, it produces a physically debilitating, unhealthy and destructive mind-set that actually increases stress levels and lowers immune system efficiency.

Generally speaking, helpful stress is similar to a wakeup call that motivates one to (a) do something that needs to be done or (b) accomplish something that is beneficial and constructive. It is goal-oriented and usually contains a promise of material reward or personal attainment.

Another source of stress is that created asrepparttar result of unfortunate natural events such as floods, quakes, hurricanes, andrepparttar 144226 like. 

However, in today's fast moving and competitive worldrepparttar 144227 most commonly mentioned stressful situations are usually those created asrepparttar 144228 result of day-to-day human interaction. 

Since all humans are conditioned since birth by familial, social, religious and other forces, human interaction takes place withinrepparttar 144229 confines of that conditioning. Because of this,repparttar 144230 resolution or prolongation of stressful, anxiety filled situations will, more often than not, depend upon how we respond.

Some people become a bit uneasy when told that their stress problems are basically a mental condition. To them, that diagnosis suggests they are flirting withrepparttar 144231 looney bin and in some manner, displaying deficiency and lack of control. 

In their view, stress is something created by someone or something outside of themselves such as a boss, co-worker, dead-end job, traffic, competition, not enough time or money, a dysfunctional family, marital issues, et al. In some cases this viewpoint may be true.

But asrepparttar 144232 saying goes, "it takes two to tango" which is a rather old-fashioned but still valid way of saying that when stress begins to negatively affect our health andrepparttar 144233 manner in which we function, we need to take a good hard look at our own participation in what is happening around us.

Granted, we all live in an over-stimulated, stressful world and inrepparttar 144234 midst of all that, it's often difficult to maintain a sense of equilibrium. Why?

Well, much ofrepparttar 144235 time, our own perspective gets inrepparttar 144236 way of corrective action. When trouble brews, we tend to stoke fires rather than put them out by allowing our emotions to inflame issues and influence how we think and act. In other words, we allow ourselves to react in a manner that actually produces more stress rather than minimizing it.

Don't think so? Here's a hypothetical example:

Bob works for a company that is going through some corporate downsizing and he has just discovered that a co-worker has been spreading rumors about him that are intended to discredit him inrepparttar 144237 eyes of management. 

He doesn't want to appeal to management for support because most likely, they will not be pleased with being dragged into what would appear to be a petty employee situation. 

He decides to ignorerepparttar 144238 problem hoping it will go away but soon, word gets back to him thatrepparttar 144239 co-worker is now informing others that Bob is unhappy in his present job and will soon be leaving his current employer for a better position with a competing company. Bob becomes increasingly alarmed and emotional overrepparttar 144240 unfairness of it all. 

Added to that, his anxiety has led him to imagine thatrepparttar 144241 co-worker and a member of management have become a bit chummy of late. That convinces him that management is now actually observing every move he makes and his job must surely be in jeopardy. 

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