Music’s Generational Effects

By SAM JOHNSON

Music extends far beyond just something to listen to when it is too quiet. When someone listens to music that they enjoy, the brain releases dopamine and endorphins, both of which create a feeling of energy, happiness and well-being. The amounts released vary depending on the person, but in some cases, people can even get high from listening to their favorite songs, as the sheer surge of dopamine replicates the emotional conditions of the brain when high. In several instances, individuals even reported experiencing out of body experiences, typically only achievable during a rare episode of sleep paralysis or under the influence of heavy hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD or Psilocybe mushrooms.

Music therapy, an increasing college study major, revolves around the evidence that the chemicals released during music sessions can help to alleviate depression by allowing depressed people to express themselves in a way that conveys emotion and message. By studying specific genres of music, scientists were able to find the types of music that cause the strongest brain response. These were found to electronic music (EDM), pop funk, and heavy metal. The most common elements between these genres is that they all rely heavily on the instrumental part of the song as opposed to lyrics, showing that the beat and instruments play the largest role in music enjoyment for most individuals.