A new study of the effect of music on feelings could benefit in the treatment of depression and the management of physical pain.
Using an innovative combination of music psychology and leading audio sound design, psychologists ever undertook a study of how music conveys feelings.
The project is supported by the University of Glasgow and Kaledin Research Council Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The study could hold to the successful use of music in the settlement of a person’s mood and to the development of methods for the treatment of depressive illness, based on music therapy. It might help to alleviate the symptoms of people experiencing physical pain and even become one of the means prescribed by a doctor, according to the needs of each person individually.
"The impact of a musical composition per person is much deeper than just the usual judgments about what a fast pace can lift your mood, and slow - to reduce. Music expresses feeling as a result of many factors," - said the sound engineer and project leader Dr Don Knox (Don Knox ). "These include the tone, structure and other technical characteristics of the product. Lyrica can have a big impact too. Influence of music is associated with subjective factors: where or when you first heard it, whether it is associated with happy or sad events and so on."
The group has already completed an unprecedented detailed audio analysis of some musical works, determining their effect on the feelings of the study volunteers.
Each volunteer was listening to an unfamiliar, but a modern and popular song and marked according to each position in the graph. One axis measures the type of feeling (positive or negative) that transmits the composition, the other measures the intensity or activity level of the music. The research team then evaluated the audio characteristics of the works included in each part of the graph and add the results.
"We are looking at options such as, for example, rhythm, melodic range, musical intervals, length of phrases, and so on," - said Dr. Knox. "For example, the music, part of the positive category might have a regular rhythm, bright timbre and a fairly steady pitch. If tempo and loudness increase, for example, it should put the music in a busy area of the column".
The group is now going to investigate the effect of lyrical motifs on a person’s feelings, and then want to focus on how individuals use and experience music on a subjective level.
The ultimate goal is to develop a comprehensive mathematical model that explains the musical ability to convey different feelings. Thus, within a few years it will be possible to develop computer programs that will shape the songs that will be able to influence the individual mood of the people, to satisfy their emotional needs and help them to cope better with the physical pain.