Effects of Music

G K GRAY gord at homostudy.win-uk.net
Fri Jan 17 18:15:40 EST 1997

In article <>, engelking at earthlink.net (engelking at earthlink.net) writes:
>Have researchers identified how music and the brain work? Why is it that
>music just makes us immediately feel some kind of emotional response, and
>isn't like a book or movie in which we have to see and understand
>something to make us feel something?
>Also, do scientists understand how basic units of information are stored
>in the brain yet? I guess this cognitive science (?).
>engelking at earthlink.net

These questions raise matters of fundamental pertinence to studies
of both animal communication and consciousness. It is a benefit
to their survival that some animals, including ourselves, are able
to gauge the emotional condition of others that they meet. This is
also a primitive means of communication - what might with some
justice be termed a "Saint Francis Effect".
        Leaving aside any debate about telepathy, there is an
abundance of signals which inform us of the emotional states of
those we encounter. Through these signals we get "whiffs" of the
*subjective* moods of others, even across species boundaries.
Pheromones comprise only one of these generic channels carrying
emotion-triggering signals. At this level of communication
consciousness itself is in harmony with our Uniformitarian (q.v.)
concepts of Nature, otherwise this form of communication would be
        Music, which was originally only vocal, is an elaboration,
supported by artifacts, of voice patterns holding information about
moods. I talk to my neighbour's dog and she responds with soft
vocalisations expressing her pleasured mood. 

Cheers! Gord 

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