Whether it is in the past or present time, music is practiced in any culture and varies between place and time (Farney & Machilis 120). Music has been in existence for approximately 50,000 years and studies have revealed that the first music to ever be invented was in Africa, which is now part of the human lifestyle. It can be divided into different categories for instance art music, popular music and traditional music (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 248). During the 15th Century, there was an increase in freedom of music where different composers still held on to choral writing. This gave rise to an explosion of what is currently known as Classical Music from the Middle Ages all through to the 20th Century (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 248). Classical Music can be defined as a form of Art music that is produced in traditions concerned with secular and western liturgical music (Farney & Machilis 121).
Common instruments that are used in this kind of music are those found in orchestras as well as other instruments such as the organ or piano.
Generally, music is considered as a good way of relaxing an individual especially after a long, hard day’s work or schedule. It is also considered one of numerous activities involving use of the whole brain (Farney & Machilis 122). Music creates a relaxing and positive atmosphere in any environment, be it at home, school or the workplace. There are numerous effects of Classical music and music in general, both positive and negative (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 249). A number of recent studies have been carried out involving plants in order to investigate the effects of classical music on human beings.
Plants are considered to be best respondents as far as human emotion is concerned in that good reaction or growth towards the source of music indicates that the particular music cannot have any negative effect on human beings (Farney & Machilis 123).
General Effects of Music and Classical Music
An experiment was conducted to compare the effects of Classical Music over Western rock music and the results observed. Plants were collected and divided into two groups. One group was placed in a room where Classical music was played and the other group was placed in a room where Rock music was played (Farney & Machilis 124). By the end of the experiment, it was observed that those plants which were subjected to rock music had withered and died while those that had been exposed to Classical music grew well (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 249).
Other experiments of similar kind have been carried out using animals such as lab rats and have yielded similar results. From these results, it is evident that Classical music has a positive effect on plants, animals and human beings as compared to rock or rap music (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 250). Music has had different effects on individuals’ minds as concerns the kind of music being listened to.
Music considered hard for instance rap or rock music has been observed to create feelings of anger or hatred in people, making them more prone to violence and illness (Farney & Machilis 125). On the other hand, those individuals who listen to Classical music have been observed to maintain a normal, relaxed state of mind as well as emotion. Classical music reduces stress and increases intelligence such as verbal ability of an individual (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 250). Those who listen to classical music while studying have been observed to be in a better position to recall what they have learned, be able to memorize as well as retain the knowledge they have gained from studying (Farney & Machilis 126). In addition, classical music improves a child’s brain development as well as enhancement of particular cognitive capabilities.
Mozart’s music which is part of Classical music has been tested and used in patients suffering from epilepsy and has yielded positive and promising results (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 251). This is because listening to this type of music decreases the brain activity related to epilepsy and in the process reduces occurrence of seizures in such patients (Farney & Machilis 127). Patients who suffer from anxiety, once exposed to classical music for about 30 minutes, have also been observed to relax more. Currently, majority of schools are employing use of classical music in their curriculum as such compositions greatly influence creativity amongst students, making them more intelligent and motivated towards their learning process (Farney & Machilis 138).
In general, music assists students in social skills, language development, motor coordination, speech development as well as rhythmic coordination (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 251). Parents are now being encouraged to incorporate Classical music in their homes. With the present society where globalization is rapidly bringing about changes such as technological advancement, children as well as young adults are being exposed to contemporary sounds from music videos, television and film music (Thompson, Schellenberg & Husain 250). In turn, music such as Classical music is being perceived as being old fashioned and traditional thus not much attention is paid to it. Parents should therefore expose their children to Classical music at an early age as they may tend to reject it in their teenage years (Farney & Machilis 139).
Music, especially classical music brings about innovation and creativity within an individual. It also provokes positive emotions which should be encouraged by the general society.
If the current generation of children is not exposed to classical music, the next generation will not be in a position to express their emotions and will end up leading less-creative and stressful lives.
Forney, Kristine and Machilis Joseph. “The Enjoyment of Music Shorter 10th Edition.” W.W. Norton & Company. 2007. Pp.
120 – 153. Thompson, William Forde., Schellenberg, E. Glenn., and Husain, Gabriela. Arousal, Mood, and the Mozart Effect. Psychological Science, 12(3).
2001. Pp. 248 – 251.