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The effects of music on the mind

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posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 09:27 AM
Whislt pondering the subject of mind control and the general dumbing down of society I have often wondered whether music may or may not play a part.
I try to look at MSM objectively and very critically, I avoid trashy tv and generally try to keep myself on the outside of the rat-race, looking in.
My natural feelings towards music are that it is inspirational, evokes a multitude of emmotions and the creative process in making it is, if not mind expanding definitely mind excercising.
People also use music to aid meditation using it as a stepping stone to a higher consciousness or a way to let their subconscious take control.

I wonder though, is music really this good? To what extent is it more of a distraction than an aid?
I ask this because I often find myself 'zoning' out on music, either from the radio or on cd's, losing many minutes of time to nothingness. I am almost certain that neither my conscious mind nor subconscious 'mind' are benefiting from this period of nothingness.
In the UK we have many popular music stations which play the same few songs over and over again. Once you hear a song a few times you know how it goes and it generally loses its emmotional effect, unless ofcourse it is one of your favourites.
Many work places have radios in them, I'm wondering how much the repetetive playlists numb our minds and turn us into unthinking, working drones?

Having said this, there are many types of music and many individual pieces of music that have a profound effect on my conscious/subconscious mind, they are however, rarely played on the radio.
Does music have a dumbing down effect? Do different genres have more of an effect than others? Are some people more effected than others? Which types of music might you think are mind expanding and which mind numbing? Am I making any sense at all?

Dissociated tones, beats and music may accompany hypnotic induction drugs. Pulsing beating sounds in the ears can change the brain’s waves. It is no secret that music will put someone into an altered state. Music will change moods, heart rate, and even one’s state of consciousness. In a home church setting that Fritz participated in, the question was asked of a group what they do to overcome depression. Everyone present listed “listen to music” as one of the things they do to overcome depression. Sound will change body chemistry, blood pressure, breathing and digestion.

[edit on 14-2-2009 by and14263]

posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 10:04 AM
Music most definitely has neurological effects on the human mind. I remember in the late 80's, the cops and local council/politicians were trying to crack down on Acid House, in fact I think a few people wanted the music movement banned all together.. and not just because of the ecstasy tabs floating about that made people love one another.

I think music is there for us to use. Not the other way around. Music is essentially neutral but the experiential aspects are the responsibility of the listener/user. Just ask any Shaman.

This subject matter reminds me of Terrence McKenna... (RIP bud).


posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 10:13 AM
I keep myself well and truly "dosed" with ambient music.

The best I've found is FREE to download here:

Ambient Nights

The ambient nights project was started nearly 5 years ago and is still going strong. We offer a large collection of ambient mixes (60+ Minutes Each) in a continous stream for your enjoyment. Browse around the site and enjoy what Alex has been able to create!

I cannot stress hard enough how much ambient music can be in calming the spirit...I like rock too and it has it's time and place but this stuff is coooool!

posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 10:26 AM
reply to post by and14263

try pink floyd....prep up with the dark side of the moon and top it up with the wall...ive been with this music since the late 70s and believe me you'll find yourself on the always give me a fresh perspective or whatever or call it mystical...their music, its like echoes it keeps resonating and everytime it bounces back theres something new in it. im no limey brit but really their music is a soothing blend of rock and soul.

posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 11:04 AM
reply to post by enkira

entirely agree with you here but id recommend the Ummagumma album, or even better, find a video of Live in Pompeii. Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun will trance you out anytime.
The OP says his time is lost to nothingness when he zones out to music.. but its not like the nothingness from staring at a TV show, its a nothingness where your mind is exploring the subconscious which in my opinion is never a bad thing.. its an exercise, not necessarily an apathetic thing like staring at a TV.. or at least thats my interpretation of the OPs words.

posted on Feb, 14 2009 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by nerbot

Great link, nerbot! I've just recently gotten heavily into ambient and find it very stimulating for creativity and relaxation.

As to the OP, I don't think music can singularly control the mind. In the quote it does specifically state that music accompanies the use of hypnotic induction drugs. Certainly music can induce an extremely relaxed state, but this is far off from hypnosis on a level where hypnotic suggestion would be effective. It's more emotion control than mind control.

To the point, pop radio as an example. Songs are played repetitively to sell albums. But those albums won't be sold no matter how many times the song is played unless people like the song. They like the song because it makes them feel a certain way. But the effect is always transient as evidenced by the short careers of most pop stars.

On the opposite side something that is not music, but which supposedly can produce effects on the mind are binaural beats. I've experimented with them myself and found that they can produce a state of deep relaxation and mind stimulation. But even these constructed aural hypnotics don't last forever. Inevitably the mind becomes used to the sound and begins to block the effects, just like a drippy faucet or barking dog.

It's part of the mind's natural process that repetitive sound will eventually be disregarded in favor of something different. This is a survival response. The brain knows that if it focuses too long that it might miss something important. Though you asked if the effects are different for different people and they are. Just like with standard hypnosis, some are more susceptible and the effects can be longer lasting, but I'm not aware of anything 'permanent' ever being achieved through sound alone.

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