There’s more to why we like music than just a catchy beat or an easy karaoke tune. Dozens of receptors in our brain respond to different musical aspects like tone, rhythm and lyrics, determining the qualities we personally like and dislike. Don’t let music just go in one ear and out the other – learn how to interpret your brain’s reponse to music, the benefits of listening to it and the importance of music education.
How does music enter our brain? Music originates as vibrations, which form sound waves as they propagate through the air. The outer ear ”catches” the sound waves and direct them into the ear canal where they meet the eardrum before passing into the middle ear. Three tiny bones in the middle ear then amplify the sound waves before they enter the middle ear. Well inside the inner ear, the sound waves enter the fluid-filled cochlea, where the movement of the fluid stimulates tiny nerve cells which convert sound waves into electrical impulses. The auditory nerve then transmits the electrical impulses to the brain, where they will be interpreted as sound.
Many parts of the brain are affected by music; music involves more parts of the brain than any other function that people perform:
- The tonality involves the prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum and the temporal lobe.
- The lyrics involve the Wernicke’s area, Broca’s area, the visual cortex, the motor cortex and create emotional responses.
- The rhythm involves the left frontal cortex, the left parietal cortex and the right cerebellum.
Specific brainwave rhythms are associated with specific smotional and cognitive outcomes. Matching music with brain waves to induce a particulare reponse or state or mind.