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Think of the last time a song really moved you, or meant something to you. Listening to and playing music stimulates many different sections of the brain, affecting us physically as well. Why are we as humans so connected to music?

Making music is one of our most basic instincts. There's a reason we refer to music as the "universal language"; there has been no known human culture without music. Dancing and music came before agriculture, and possibly even before language. Bone flutes were found in Europe dating back 53,000 years ago. The head of the Biomusic program at the National Academy of the Sciences, Patricia Gray, and her colleagues comment, "The fact that whale and human music have so much in common even though our evolutionary paths have not intersected for 60 million years suggests that music may predate humans-that rather than being the inventors of music, we are latecomers to the musical scene." (Leutwyler)

如果认为有一首歌真的打动了你,或对你来说有某些寓意 ,听或者弹奏音乐会刺激大脑很多不同部位,同样影响我们身体,为什么人类同音乐有着如此紧密的联系呢?

音乐的创作是我们最基本的本能,其中一个原因是音乐是全世界的语言,其实大家都明白,人类文化离不开音乐 , 舞蹈和音乐产生在农业出现以前,甚至早在语言形成之前,追回到53,000年前骨制笛子被发现在欧洲,以生物音乐为首的节目在国际科学院上演, Patricia Gray和她的同伴评论说“ 鲸同人类的音乐事实上是如此相同,即是我们进化的里程没有分割为60百万年建议音乐可能居先人类-胜予音乐发明者,音乐先我们人类产生(Leutwyler)

Music and Childhood

We begin life being affected by music; babies first begin to respond to music while still in the womb. Whether or not it's true, everyone has heard that playing classical music for your baby supposedly helps him or her become smarter. A study done in the United Kingdom concluded that children are able to recognize and even prefer music that they had heard while in the womb up to three months before birth. Although the genera of music made no difference, the babies who were exposed to songs with a faster tempo showed a stronger preference for that song than those who had heard something slower. ("Babies Remember Music Heard in the Womb") Researchers have also found that the playing of soft background music or a mother's humming actually helps premature babies. Those who are subjected to the music tend to gain weight faster and are able to leave hospitals earlier than those who aren't. (Cromie, "Music on the Brain")

However, the study in the UK uncovered no links between babies listening to music and increased intelligence or brain development. Another experiment at the University of California at Irvine compared the puzzle-solving abilities of 3-year-olds who were given piano lessons with the ability of others who sang, used computers, or did nothing. The children studying piano were better at the puzzles. Also, high school students with a musical background seem to do better on their SATs. (Cromie, "How Your Brain Listens to Music") Whether it's natural intelligence that helps the children excel in both music and math, or the music that helps develop other areas, you can't deny the benefits of a musical background.

On the other end of the spectrum, it's possible that some music and/or lyrics could be bad for children and adolescents. The lyrics of today's popular music are increasingly explicit. A study on mass media and adolescents showed that a group of "14- to 16-year olds in 10 different southeastern cities showed that they listened to music an average of 40 hours per week." ("Impact of Music Lyrics...") Obviously, the music they are listening to plays a large part in their lives, especially influencing self-identity. So any bad influences in the music would have a very direct effect on the adolescent.

Several other experiments mentioned in the American Academy of Pediatrics' policy statement on the "Impact of Music Lyrics and Music Videos on Children and Youth" supported this idea. One study from Sweden found that children who developed a preference to rock music were more likely to be influenced by their peers than by their parents. Others showed links between a predilection for heavy metal and detrimental behaviors, including taking drugs, suicide risk, alienation, and other risk-taking habits. The AAP doesn't support the idea of censorship, but strongly encourages parents to monitor what their children are listening to. We have to ask, should we as a society look at the results of these effects on adolescents and call for regulation in the music industry?


音乐感染着我们的日常生活; 婴儿对音乐的反应是他们还在母体中. 无论这点是否正确, 每个人都听说过为你的婴儿弹奏古典音乐能使他或她变的更聪明,英国的一项调查结果显示婴儿能在他们未出生前的三个月里辨认出音乐甚至喜欢音乐,虽然音乐的种类没有不同,但比起慢节奏的音乐来快节奏的音乐更受婴儿们青睐,(婴儿们记得自己还在母体子宫中听过的音乐),调查还发现弹奏亲切悦耳的轻柔背境音乐或母亲的吟唱的摇蓝曲可以帮助早产婴儿,那些常听音乐的婴儿比起不常听的孩子的体重增张更快,同时身体素知更好 .( Cromie 音乐在脑海中)

然而,英国的另一项调查结果显示婴儿听音乐跟脑部的发育或增长智力没有联系,加利福尼亚大学的另一个调查结果显示在三岁孩子中比较解决疑惑问题的能力,那些上过钢琴课跟那些唱歌,玩电脑,或没接受任何教育的孩子相比要好些,那些有音乐背境的高年级学生做的要好些.(Cromie 你的大脑怎样听音乐)无论它是自然的一种智力帮助孩子善长音乐或数学,或者是音乐帮助发展他们的其它领域,你不能否认音乐背境所带的好处.

在其它范围里.一些音乐或歌词会给孩子或青少年带来坏处,今天的流行音乐歌词逐渐的明了化,一个研究显示在10个不同的东南部城市的大量媒体显示一组"14 到16岁的青少年平均每星期会花费40个小时听音乐" (受到歌词影响...)显然,音乐占用了他们大部分的时间 ,特别是影响他们的个性,所以说任何不健康的音乐都会直接影响青少年.


Music and the Mind

William J. Cromie, writer for the Harvard Gazette, explains how we our brain listens to music. "Your inner ear contains a spiral sheet that the sounds of music pluck like a guitar string. This plucking triggers the firing of brain cells that make up the hearing parts of your brain. At the highest station, the auditory cortex, just above your ears, these different firing cells create the conscious experience of music. Different patterns...excite other cells, and these associate the sound of music with feelings, thoughts, and past experiences." (Cromie, "How Your Brain Listens to Music") This is just a generalized statement; the actual processes that go on are very complicated, and we don't really know all that much about them.

No single portion of the brain seems completely dedicated to our perception of music. The right side of the brain is generally associated with music and the arts, but studies done on people who have suffered brain damage show that both the right and left side play a part in musical perception. While the right side is crucial for pitch, melody, timbre, and harmony, the left side takes care of changes in intensity and frequency. Both sides need to be working together in order to correctly understand rhythm. Also, sections of the brain relating to music affect other things. For example, the part of the brain having to do with perfect pitch additionally effects speech perception. (Cromie, "Music on the Brain") Interestingly, parts of your motor system react when you are simply thinking about a rhythm, even when you're not moving.

Damage to the temporal lobes, which are part of the cerebrum and lie at the sides of the brain, can cause a disorder referred to as Amusia. People may have trouble with rhythms, recognizing melodies, singing, or playing an instrument. Sometimes the damage can cause little or no problems with hearing speech or other sounds; just music.

Carol Krumhansl of Cornell University found that different types of music directly trigger different emotions. While happiness causes you to breathe faster, sadness causes a rise in blood pressure and temperature and a slower pulse. Faster music played in a major key caused the same physical reactions associated with happiness, and slower music played in a minor key resulted in those associated with sadness. (Leutwyler) This also evokes the question of whether or not minor keys naturally sound "bad" or undesirable to everyone, or if it's simply what we've been socialized to think through the music we're used to in our particular cultures.


William j 美国哈佛大学公报作者,解释说我们的大脑怎样听音乐,你的内耳包含一个螺旋型的薄片,音乐的声音弹拨像吉他的琴弦一样,这种弹拨能触发你的脑细胞开始工作并整理你大脑的听力部分,在最高的位置,耳的皮层就在你的耳朵上部,这些不同的活细胞增加属于音乐的有意识经历.(Cromie“ 你的大脑怎样听音乐”)这只是一般话的陈述,实际过程其实很复杂,我们真的不知道更多有关它们的细节. William J

大脑看起来没有单一的部分完全致力于我们对音乐的感知,右脑一般来说负责将音乐同美术联系起来,但研究显示出人们如果大脑受到损伤显示左脑和右脑都具备音乐的感知力,右边起决定性作用旋律,音色,协调,左脑的任务负责音乐的强度和频率的,左脑和右脑需要同时工作才能正确判断旋律和节奏,大脑的另一部分将音乐的感染力同其他事物联系起来 例如,大脑的另一部分负责将音高与语言的感知完美的结合在一起.( Cromie 音乐在大脑中)有趣的是,当你在脑海中反映一首旋律或节奏时你的大脑的部分发动系统会迅速作出反映,即使你不去刻意的去想它.


Cornell Carol Krumhansl of Cornell大学发现不同类型的音乐直接触发不同的感情,当兴奋或高兴时你的呼吸会加快,伤心时会引起血压升高,同时会引起体温降低及脉搏缓慢.快节奏音乐能能使人自然联想起高兴,愉快,同样,慢节奏的音乐能使人联想起悲哀,伤感,这种情况引起一个问题就是是否未成年人本身就喜欢听些不健康的内容或是有些内容压根就不受每个人的喜欢,或者仅仅因为我们已经将音乐与文化融为一体.

Music and Intelligence

Music is often used as a learning tool. If only we could memorize notes for a test as easily as we memorize popular songs on the radio! Music with a tempo of around 60 beats-per-minute can activates both the left and right sides of the brain, which assists in processing more information at once. Singing and playing an instrument also has this effect.

Listening to music that induces relaxation, such as "Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major," before taking a test has been proven to temporarily enhance IQ and improve scores. This has since been named "The Mozart Effect." However, the effects of the music seemed to last only 10 to 15 minutes. The original experiment, published in 1993, has been under scrutiny ever since. Other researchers have tried to repeat similar tests, but have not gotten such positive results. After attempting a complete re-do of the first Mozart Effect test, scientists at Appalachian State University stated, "...there is little evidence to support basing intellectual intervention on the existence of the Mozart effect." (qtd. in Chudler)

Dr. George Lozanov, a psychologist from Bulgaria, used classical music at about 60 beats per minute to devise a better way of learning a foreign language. Using this method, students "could learn up to one half of the vocabulary and phrases for the whole school term (which amounts to almost 1,000 words or phrases) in one day." (O'Donnell) The student's retention rate was an incredible 92%, and he managed to prove that entire languages could be learned fairly well within thirty days with this approach!

A separate study performed in Texas tested the effect of music on vocabulary memorization among graduate students. The students were divided into three groups; two groups studied with "Water Music" by Handel playing in the background, one being asked to imagine the words while studying, the other group not. The third group was a control and wasn't asked to do anything. Groups 1 and 2 had consistently better test scores than group 3, and group 1 did better than group 2. (O'Donnell)

Albert Einstein once spoke about his theory of relativity, "It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition." (qtd. in Green) As a child, Einstein did very badly in school, and the teachers recommended that his parents not even take the time to continue teaching him. His parents ignored the teachers and instead bought him a violin. Throughout his life, Einstein improvised on his violin in order to figure out his problems and equations, and music was a key factor helping him become the genius we now know him as. (O'Donnell)



听音乐能使人得到放松,例如‘莫扎特的D大调第二钢琴曲’.在开始测试前IQ已经得到暂时提高并提高了得分,这种情况被命名为“莫扎特效应”然而这种音乐的影响仅仅只能持续10--15分钟,最初的试验被发表在1993年,自从那时至现在没被关注,其他的一些研究人员已经做了相同的测试,但没有得到这样肯定的结果,在企图从新实验莫扎特音乐效应测试之后,科学家在Appalachoan State大学决定“有迹象表明存在着莫扎特音乐效应影响人的潜意识的作用”(qtd.in Chudler)

一个来自于保加利亚的 George Lozanov导师,用每分钟60拍的古典乐为学外语设计一种更好的学习方法,用这种方法,学生“在一天里能学习整个学期的一半单词和段语”(总数 1000个单词和短语)难以置信的是学生的单词保留率在92%,他还设法证明用这种方法学生能在30天内学好全部的语言!


阿尔伯特爱因斯坦曾阐述他的相对论,“它发生在我身上是凭直觉,音乐的驱使力在只觉得后边”(qtd. in Green ) 做为一个孩子,爱因斯坦在学校并不出色,老师甚至建议他的父母亲不要再继续花费时间去教他,他的父母并没听取老师的建议,反而给他买了一个小提琴,在他的一生中,爱因斯坦用他的小提琴即兴创作以便为了为了解决问题或寻找平衡,就像我们所知道的那样音乐使得他变得更富有天赋及天才.(O'Donnel)
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