Just a Spoonful of Music Helps the Medicine Go Down

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Teenager listening on headphones

For listeners a particular composition, lyric, genre or tone has the power to revive emotive memories.

Scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University have developed a study of “musical prescriptions” for patients. Using variables of psychology and audio engineering, the research investigates how music can prompt certain responses. Those behind the study believe that offering patients a musical alternative to prescribed medication may have a significant impact mental and physical suffering, particularly for those struggling with depression.

Dr. Don Knox, who is leading the study, said, “Music expresses emotion as a result of many factors…where or when you heard first heard it, whether you associate it with happy or sad events and so on.”

So far the team has carried out detailed audio analysis of certain music, identified as expressing a range of emotions by a panel of volunteers. The ultimate aim of the research is to establish a mathematical model that explains music’s ability to alter human emotion.

“By making it possible to search for music and organize collections according to emotional content, such programs could fundamentally change the way we interact with music”, said Dr. Knox.

Further research hopes to affirm that waking up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy could be a plus for one’s health. (via BBC)

-Claire McCormack