Sometimes it takes science a while to catch up with the real world. Anecdotal evidence, the stuff us little people know because it has happened to us or ours, doesn’t count as science. At least, not until someone gets money to formulate a study, carry it out and then publish results. Then it becomes real, becomes science.
A paper by Logeswaran and Bhattacharya published this year found that music primes our perceptions. They had people listen to happy music, then look at various faces. When they were asked what emotions were expressed by those faces, they saw more happiness in them than if they hadn’t listened to the happy music. They did the same thing with sad music with the result that people saw more sadness in the faces.
I suspect none of the little people will use this revelation to start a music library designed for mood modulation. Because we already have it all in our iPods and use it every day. But it does make me think about how music can help us see the world. Not only to get a sense of a culture, but also to help us see how big the world is and how we are connected to it all.
For an example of this, visit Playing for Change. Playing for Change is about bringing positive change to the world by connecting disparate parts of humanity through music. My favorite is Grandpa Elliot singing along on Stand by Me. Of course, Bono singing on War/No More Trouble is another. And the Love Rescue Me sung by Omagh Community Youth Choir. Well, you get the idea.
Go hear for yourself. Be inspired. And sing along to the radio, the iPod or just the little tune in your head.