Since the beginning of recorded history, sound has been used as a therapeutic method to aid individuals by relieving stress and potentially help cure depression. However, according to MASSAGE magazine we “exist and live in a sea of sound” which easily makes us forget how much it affects us/ how important it truly is for we are consumed within sound whether from other people's voices, car sirens, construction work, bells, music etc. But if we look back on our history, we find references that indicate that an immense amount of temples and sanctuaries were built specifically to “harness the three most powerful universal forces”; light, magnetics, and-- sound. So let's put it to the test, is all this sound truly affecting our mood today and can we use it to cure us, or is there just too much sound pollution now that it's lost those sacred medicinal skills?
The math used to show how music affects your mood is correlations. Correlations shows and identifies the mutual relationship and connection between two things through collected data, scatter plot graphs and trend lines. The method I am going to use in this project is secondary data and personal collected data through surveys and examinations. For the secondary data I will be researching information and past studies on this topic from official science websites along with books and even a few documentaries. For the survey, I will be asking 20-30 people to record the genre of their general music taste and then to choose their current mood out of a selection of (happy, sad, calm, anxious, angry, content, other). I will also be asking a group of 10-20 people to participate in an experiment that will last 20 minutes. The experiment will have them record down how anxious and stressed they feel and then shortly after I will ask them to close their eyes and listen. I will then play the song Weightless, scientifically proven to be the most “relaxing song in the world”, by Marconi Union with a duration of 8:00. After the song is over, I will ask the participators to record their stress levels again in hopes to see a significant decline in the levels initially recorded. The only variables used in this experiment will be music, and emotion of participators.
Many studies for thousands of years have correlated music to human health including mood. Music supposedly also has an immense impact on the physiology of the human body such as the immune system, heart rate/blood pressure and even galvanic skin response. Because of this, the inclusion of music during surgeries and dental procedures has been used in hopes to relieve stress of the patient. However, the reason why these techniques recognized as nothing more than a spell for the spiritually inclined is due to the abundance of sound today that people tend to forget its meaning.
On the bright side, sound therapy and sound healing, a form of healing used for thousands of years in many different cultures, has become much more popular lately. Within sound therapy, just like any therapy session, it uses aids to help reduce anxieties and sadness within individuals. The difference with sound therapy however to normal therapy is that sound therapy uses vibrations of musical instruments and the human voice instead of conversing through back and forth communication. The types of sound used within therapy is Hindu mantras, the Icaros, and Pythagoras' use of interval and frequency.
On July 1st in 2015 a study was done to investigate if sound still affects humans as much as it is believed to have in the past. Rollin McCraty, director of research; Mike Atkinson, laboratory project manager; and Dana Tomasino, biologist, joined together to study 144 volunteers on their psychological states before and after listening to multiple diverse genres of music such as; grunge rock, classical, New Age, and designer music (music designed to have specific effects on the listener). They found that when grunge rock music was played, emotions of viewers drastically changed to emotions of “hostility, sadness, tension, and fatigue” along with immense decreases of “caring, relaxation, mental clarity, and vigor.” They also found that when designer music was played, the volunteers mood dramatically shifted into a more “caring, relaxation, mental clarity, and vigor” and decreases of “hostility, fatigue, sadness, and tension.” were concluded. The end results said a lot about the effect of sound and proved that sound still does affect people today even if we don't realize it. Their end results suggested that “designer music may be useful in the treatment of tension, mental distraction, and negative moods.”, even today.
Another article from Journal of Consumer Marketing called, Effects of Store Music on Shopping Behavior, by Richard Yalch, suggests that music can even affect shopping behaviors within stores. This idea rids the image of sound being only used as a spiritual giddy tool to relaxation and suggests that it can be incorporated into the real world and even improve the marketing of businesses. This concept, not yet entirely confirmed as accurate, did work in multiple stores to Yauch's theories advantage. These new understandings of the importance of sound is unprecedented to our generation.
In my own expiriment, I recieved survey results from 22 individuals. 15 of them were seniors in high school which may make the results bias due to the amount of stress senior are currently expieriencing. The other 7 results were from adults where the results seem more consistant. My raw data is show below:
Below is the scatterplot and trend line to show this data:
My research and personally collected data shows that sound is still crutial and effective even today. By using the correlations trend line it became easy to see how even though one point did not correlate, most likely because the majority of high school students surveyed are anxious due to many other factors despite music, overall, the corellations entirely made sense. There was a positive correlation in my findisings because it showed that when we listen to positive music, our moods are uplifted as well and vice-versa. This expiriment could be better if it was extended to a wider range of people apart from mostly high school students. If it was more realisitc, as seen in the other researchers expiriments, the data wouldve been more accurate to the hypothesis that sound does in fact still effect us despite the sound pollution and constant interaction with noise.
From this experience I have learned the vast effect of sound on individuals even today. Despite the sound pollution and the sea of sound that we live in, all along, temples and sacred buildings had a tactic to capture this sound for a solidified reason that still applies today and is much stronger than a spiritual belief. Sound has been proven to not only affect moood but also people's tendencies such as shopping rates. By using math to figure out this expiriment, we also realize how crutial math is in this world. Math is as if a language for it can show us facts and prove theories that we otherwise would not have been able to understand/grasp. This process showed me how incredibly useful and strategic math is and proves that math goes far beyond the class room. Math is a problem solver, and it is with us everywhere.
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