When in Doubt, Listen to Music

“The inexplicable depth of music, so easy to understand yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain… Music expresses only the quintessence of life and of its events, never these themselves…” – Oliver Sacks, author Musicophilia.

Music is one universal language that brings like minds together. Takes you on a journey. Bridges the gaps created unknowingly or knowingly. Being an avid music lover and a musician myself *no I am not famous* I can assure you that music of all kinds is therapeutic. You just need to look closer into it. I say so not because I understand what goes through into making a 4 minute song or even a 30 second jingle but because I have felt the power of music change me as a human being. Taught me how and who I should be. That can happen to you too! And I am going to show you how!

music therapy

No I am not asking you to go to a professional music therapist and enroll yourself into one of their expensive 30 day programs but by simply following where your heart takes you. I pride myself on tasting a bit of everything since I am adventurous by nature but listening to different genres from a very young age has helped me distinguish better to what I want to listen to. Over the years my music palette has tasted pop, hip-hop, Sufi music, R&B, grunge to what it is today metal. Finding your genre is like going through all your birthday presents and suddenly finding that one thing you always wanted! Hence finding your genre/genres is the 1st step to self prescribed music therapy.

Find something that makes your day brighter, that gives you goose bumps on the back of your neck or your hands that makes you want to dance/mosh/sing/scream. Once you know you have found your love, stick to it. They say variety is the spice of life. Listening to different kinds of music has different effects on your thought process. It could range from pop/rock and classical to new age to folk songs.

Ever wonder why some songs give you the goose bumps? Make you smile or angry or maybe even make you cry? Music therapists prescribe different genres of music based on the client’s needs. People with various disorders, suffering from schizophrenia or even to cure mathematical or motoring skills use the method music therapy. The sensations created while listening to a particular type of music is based on the term ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response). It is a self diagnosed condition in which the tingles radiate downward from the top of the head through the neck, spine and limbs accompanied by feelings of euphoria, in response various sensory triggers causing the individual to feel relaxed and elated. Different kinds of music give you different feelings finding which suits your preferences. After all you know yourself better than anyone who claims they know you the best.  That’s why you hear a lot of people maybe after a concert/gig say “oh that song gave me goose bumps! “, “that song makes me cry, I hate it!” and so on. For me sometimes it’s an awesome guitar solo or maybe just a few notes or chords or even words that eases my senses or maybe someone just singing to me. Feeling the music is the 2nd step in this self prescribed therapy.

Having a keen interest in literature I feel the way a song is written also plays an important role on what feelings are being felt. Be it sonnet, epic, ballads, or simply just an instrumental piece. A songwriter bases the composition of the song based on feel that the written song emits. He wants his/her story to be heard. For example, Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven” a popular ballad. The song was written by Clapton after the death of his son. This immediately makes you say “awww poor guy”. A father trying to pay tribute to his son through music using the perfect balance of words and chords in perfect harmony. See what I just did there, by not listening to the song or even reading the lyrics but just by telling you the name of the song or even the background behind already gave you a certain feeling. It’s all about the word play! Okay now how do you feel when I say, “Terror and Hubris in the house of Frank Pollard” by Lamb of God? Makes you think what kind of people listen to such kind of negative/Satanic music?  And what kind of people name a band like that? Or are you plain scared? I remember when I was scared of the band name “Bhayanak Maut” I now love the band! Somewhere judging somebody because of the music choice made by them is wrong and just shows how narrow minded you are. Being like the wide open ocean only helps you be a better person and digest more knowledge. How can we leave Bollywood out of this topic? Being an Indian and not loving Bollywood music? Yes I don’t but that doesn’t mean I don’t have an idea of what it is. Songs like “Choo kar mere Mann ko” by Kishore Kumar, “Tere Liye Hum Hain Jiyen” by Madan Mohan and the new songs “Sunn raha hai na Tu” to “Lungi Dance” the lyrics and the composition play key role what emotions and thoughts arise.

Music has shaped the life of human being. It is the core part of an individual’s life and daily activity. Music will never die. It is you who will keep it alive and keep you alive. If you ask me a daily dosage of music is good for yourself!

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