There have been many studies attempting to figure out just how music affects the human mind. For example, why do different people like different kinds of music, what parts of the brain are activated and if said parts are affected more or less by different kinds of music, and others.
Some of these questions have remained unanswered, and might stay that way for a while. One thing, however, is for certain: music does affect our daily lives.
Just look at the simple facts. Most people listen to music. If someone doesn’t, they’re sometimes viewed in a strange way. How could you not listen to music?
Music affects our emotions. When we listen to sad songs, we tend to feel a decline in mood. When we listen to happy songs, we feel happier. Upbeat songs with energetic riffs and fast-paced rhythms (such as those we hear at sporting events) tend to make us excited and pumped up.
With all this in mind, I sent out a survey to the students of Basehor-Linwood High School, asking some simple questions about their music taste and how music makes them feel. Studying these results show some interesting facts.
When asked about their listening habits, mixed results were found in accordance to the amount of time spent listening to music on a daily basis.
About 22.2 percent of people said that they listen to music between one to two hours everyday, where another 22.2 percent said they listen at least five hours a day.
The category of two to three hours a day sees about 18.4 percent of people in the school, and three to four hours meets a close second to that, at 16.5 percent.
Only 11 percent of people listen to less than an hour’s worth of music every day, and even less listen to four to five hours a day; about 9.5 percent.
It seems that there isn’t really a happy medium. Either people listen to music a little, or they listen to music all the time. Music takes different standpoints in different people’s lives, and it matters more or less to one person than it does another.
A majority of people listen to music in the car, as well as at home; about 90 percent of all those studied for each. Around 71 percent of people here in the school also listen in their classrooms. Both the hallway and the lunchroom receive substantially less; about 37 percent and 25 percent.
It seems that music helps us concentrate and study as well. Out of those studied, 88.5 percent of people said that they listen to music when they study, work on homework, and other activities such as that. That leaves on 11.5 percent of people who don’t.
It’s no surprise that most people (69 percent) listen to pop music. Pop literally stands for popular. 55.2 percent of all people attending BLHS listen to rock and rap. It’s also not surprising to hear that 46.6% of people listen to alternative and indie music. Over half of our students listen to country, at 52.3 percent.
Some genres that didn’t hit the chart with full force are funk, jazz, classic, punk, dubstep, and metal. Not one of these, with the exception of classical (at 28.7 percent), crossed the 25 percent line.
No matter what people listen to, there seems to be a common consensus as to why they listen. It seems that genres that have a fast paced, upbeat, and catchy rhythm (like pop, rap, etc.) are attractive to those who do sports, or at least, those who are looking to get pumped up. Rock also stands to achieve this goal. Most people agree that music just makes them happy. They can ‘get into a mood’ based of the style of the song they’re listening too. I must say that I agree.
Personally, I listen to rock and metal, pop punk, and acoustics, that is, if I must limit my choices. I always listen to rock and a whole lot of metalcore. To get pumped up, I listen to rock and metal, sometimes more ’80s metal than modern. To help when I’m feeling down, I listen to acoustic and pop punk. When angry, I listen to metalcore and sometimes stuff even heavier than that.
Overall, here’s the final conclusion I could come up with; music is simply a force that cannot be explained. It messes with our heads, it makes us feel different emotions, sometimes even physically changes us. Music unites us. Some of those surveyed said that they’ve had friendships established based off music, as have I. In the end, we know that music has a wide range of effects on us. Honestly, maybe we should leave it at that.