But what is it about music that makes it so appealing to us? Music brings color to our lives. Listening to a good tune can awaken strong emotions within us – sometimes happy, sometimes sad. For many, music is the push that gets them through the day. If music has saved your day and has become a part of you, you will enjoy reading these wonderful facts about it. For instance, did you know that there’s a word for a song you can’t seem to get out of your head? Read on to find out more.
1. Unborn Babies Hear and React To Music
It’s been proven that music plays a role in our lives even before we are born! Studies have shown that listening to music during pregnancy won’t just lift the mood of the mother, but it can also have a positive effect on the baby. Unicef says that a baby's little ears start developing rapidly at 24 weeks old, and they “turn their heads in response to voices and noise in the last few months of pregnancy.”
Furthermore, the researchers of a 2013 study found that unborn babies who heard a particular song repeatedly while in the womb appeared to relax when the same song was played after they were born.
2. Some People Don't Feel Anything Toward Music
According to a study conducted at the University of Barcelona, some people lack the ability to get pleasure from music. The researchers were screening participants for a study by using their responses to music as a way to evaluate emotion. The results surprised them, as about 5 percent of the people did not feel any emotion whatsoever when they were listening to music.
Meaning, they didn’t feel like tapping their feet, bobbing their head, or getting emotional while hearing the tunes. There was nothing wrong with them. The researchers say that said participants did enjoy food and other joys in life; it’s just that music wasn’t one of them.
3. The Most Relaxing Tune Ever
We all have our favorite songs that help us unwind, but do you know that science has declared one particular tune to be the most calming of all time? A study conducted by a team of neuroscientists in the UK said that “Weightless” by Marconi Union and Lyz Cooper is the most relaxing tune in history. The scientists played the song to 40 women while they completed intricate puzzles and found that this particular tune helped them relax more effectively than several other songs, even Mozart!
The 8-minute, 8-second song induces a 65% reduction in anxiety and a 35% reduction in usual physiological resting rates. Additionally, Weightless even lowered the blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing speed of the listeners more than all other songs. The study also observed that the track was more relaxing than a massage, walk, or cup of tea. The song is said to be so soothing people are being advised against listening to it while driving.
Listen to Weightless in the YouTube video we have posted above.
4. Listening to Music Enhances Physical Performance
Research shows that listening to music while exercising can significantly improve your workout performance. In one study, it was found that participants who cycled in time to music required 7 percent less oxygen compared to cycling with background (asynchronous) music. So basically, music can sometimes provide us with temporal cues that help us make better use of physical energy. This is why you might have an overall more satisfying workout experience when you listen to music.
5. Listening to Music Decreases Anxiety and Boosts Immunity
We know music can lift our mood, but studies suggest that it can also decrease anxiety and even boost immunity! According to a 2019 study published in the journal Annual Research & Review in Biology, music does have a beneficial effect on our immune systems, as it induces relaxation which helps ease stress and anxiety.
Another 2013 study found that music influences biomarkers and hormone levels. In particular, Immunoglobulin A, an antibody blood protein that's a vital part of your immune system, responds particularly well to music. Some scientists have also found that music reduces cortisol levels and can lower anxiety in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
6. Music Boosts Heart Health
Music can have a positive impact on your heart health, according to a review of studies evaluating the relationship between music and changes in the body. Published in the European Heart Journal, this paper analyzed existing evidence related to music and cardiovascular health, and it discovered that music is linked with various markers of heart health. Apart from influencing our emotions and mood, music can also increase heart rate and speed up breathing. The team also said that music may improve the health of patients living with heart disease, as it can help lower blood pressure and heart rate.
7. Listening to Happy or Sad Music Can Affect Your Perception
As per a 2011 study conducted at the University of Groningen, music is not only able to affect your mood, but it can also change the way you perceive the world around you. The study, conducted by the Psychology Department of the University of Groningen, asked subjects to identify happy and sad smileys while listening to happy or sad music.
As it turned out, music had a great influence on what the subjects saw, as the smileys that matched the music were identified much more accurately. Furthermore, even when no smiley was shown, the participants thought they recognized a happy face when they were listening to happy music and a sad one when hearing sad music.
In conclusion, the researchers said the following: “our research results suggest that the brain builds up expectations not just on the basis of experience but on your mood as well.”
8. An Astronaut Released an Album Recorded in Space
Some people can go to any lengths for their love of music. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, for instance, released an album with all songs recorded in outer space! Hadfield, who is the first Canadian to walk in space, is also a talented musician. In October 2015, he released his first album that was entirely recorded in space.
He spent 144 days at the International Space Station, recording songs for his album titled “Space Sessions: Songs for a Tin Can,” which earned the distinction of being the first album ever to be recorded in space. The album also includes a cover version of “Space Oddity” by David Bowie.
9. Music Helps Plants Grow Faster
It’s long been claimed that playing music for plants helps them grow. But is there any truth to this claim? A group of South Korean scientists from the National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology decided to investigate the matter and found that plants indeed grow faster when music is played around them. The scientists played 14 different classical pieces, including Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, in rice fields and discovered that doing so helped the crops grow at a faster pace. They even noted that plants have genes that enable them to "hear."
10. An “Earworm” Is a Song You Can’t Seem To Get Out Of Your Head
You are going about your routine activity when you come across a catchy tune. You enjoy it and listen to it a couple of times. All good till now. But then, the song suddenly seems to get stuck in your head. Even when you want it to go away, the song keeps repeating in your head on a loop.
There’s a term for this annoying experience – an Earworm. Also referred to as a brainworm, sticky music, stuck song syndrome, earworms depend on brain networks that are involved in perception, emotion, memory, and spontaneous thought, according to Harvard Health. They are usually triggered when you actually listen to a song but can also happen when you are feeling good, or when you are in a particularly nostalgic state (maybe when you were recollecting a song you heard years back).
Share these wonderful facts with your loved ones!