"The discovery of song and the creation of musical instruments both owed their origin to a human impulse which lies much deeper than conscious intention: the need for rhythm in life… the need is a deep one, transcending thought, and disregarded at our peril." ~Richard Baker
According to Wikipedia "The word music comes from the Greek mousikê (tekhnê) by way of the Latin musica. It is ultimately derived from mousa, the Greek word for muse.
In ancient Greece, the word mousike was used to mean any of the arts or sciences governed by the Muses. Later, in Rome, ars musica embraced poetry as well as instrument-oriented music.
While we may be happy to just think about music in terms of the latest song we just downloaded or singing along to the radio while driving, the truth is that music is able to do a lot more than just entertain us.
According to the eMed Expert web page music affects us in a variety of ways and can even promote health. Their list states that music is capable of doing six things:
1. Music heals
There are even organizations like Music that Heals and Music to Heal that provide musical entertainment to patients in hospitals and clinics. Dr. Fred J. Epstein, a world-renowned neurosurgeon states that "There is little question that music is therapeutic. I have become a 'believer' only through first-hand observation of what music has done for so many of my patients. I have seen children who were lethargic become wakeful, I have seen others who were suffering from enormous anxiety over impending surgery become upbeat. I support with pleasure efforts to raise funds to provide live performances to children afflicted with serious and life-threatening disease."
2. Music even makes you smarter
"The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this."
3. Music improves physical performance
4. Music helps to work more productively
"Listening to upbeat music can be a great way to find some extra energy" and "According to a report in the journal Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology, a person's ability to recognize visual images, including letters and numbers, is faster when either rock or classical music is playing in the background."
5. Music calms, relaxes and helps to sleep
6. Music improves mood and decreases depression
"Music's ability to "heal the soul" is the stuff of legend in every culture. Many people find that music lifts their spirits. Modern research tends to confirm music's psychotherapeutic benefits. Bright, cheerful music (e.g. Mozart, Vivaldi, bluegrass, Klezmer, Salsa, reggae) is the most obvious prescription for the blues."
What are some of your favorite songs?
Do you have favorites for exercising and others for relaxing?
Some people even have favorite songs to listen to when they're sad. How about you?