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  • Writer's pictureTerence Im

Why Does Music Heal Us?

Music, like all of humanity's various artistic mediums, can grant us a sense of awe-inspired fascination with what the universe has gifted us with. Just as we were gifted with the ability to appreciate the sound of a river or the beauty of a tree, we are also able to appreciate the sound of beats and instrumental melodies for all their complex and simple qualities. How lucky we are to have music to guide us through this difficult world!

Music has the ability to temporarily numb us from our individual pains such as our troubled relationship with time. A hundred concerns may burden us and cause us to lose sight of the present moment: What if I don't overcome this challenge tomorrow? Where am I going to end up with this plan?Are things going to end up the way I want them to? Such is the human struggle. And yet, music can help us stay grounded in the present moment.

An individual thinks in different ways: images, words, perhaps even music itself. No matter the type of thinking and perception one has, to put on a pair of earphones and listen to a dreamy synth violin track can get one outside of the chamber of their thoughts and be here now. What is it about the sound of upbeat house music or the soothing serenity of slow-tempo mandolin arpeggios that almost always give us an immediate feeling of joy? I could research a thousand research papers on the neuroscience or psychology behind this, but the answer lies in the listening itself.

Stock photo by Sergio Capuzzimati at Unsplash

One might say that music is simply pleasurable. This is true to a point. And yet, if one is suffering through a long-term angst, then an activity like playing video games or taking a pleasurable walk in the park may not help ease one of their pains instantaneously. Perhaps it can be said that there is a divine quality to music and that there is something that goes beyond pleasure within the realm of chords, melodies, rhythms and the unique tones and frequencies of an instrument. Isn't it miraculous that you can listen to certain frequencies and binaural beats and experience heightened focus? Perhaps even artistic inspiration?

This article isn't necessarily trying to come across some discovery about why music can help us feel grounded in the present moment and be healed (for the moment) from our pains. If there is to be any profound discovery, it will be unraveled over time with patience and consistent reflection. This is more of a public journal entry in which I marvel at what music is. As a songwriter myself who's worked with different genres such as in my album, Soul Fluctuations, I want to investigate this more through writing in the coming years for one can write music and feel immense joy from it, but one might not even understand why such joy is experienced even after years of reading music theory.

Why is it that music heals us?

Thank you for reading my article!

If you'd like to check out my music, you can check out a music video I edited for my song, "Cryptic Ocean," using AI art I experimented with at NightCafe Studio.

Feel free to share your thoughts on music's role in your life in the comments section!

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