POP and the Effect Of Music on the Human Brain

The experience of a sound technician and his study on frequencies and the effect of music on human behavior.

You hear it nearly everywhere. That’s if you’re not already plugged in to your own headphones. Music is the most popular thing in the world. 

Integrated deep within all cultures on the planet to the point that literally everyone on earth have heard some sort of music in their lifetime, one born in a Amazon forest tribe, practicing ancestral music, the other born in a modern society with a Spotify subscription and AirPods in the ear. As time goes by many of these cultural sounds, instruments, chords and drum patterns have crossed one another and the result has structured different genres with each having their own “mood” to it.

Classic, Rock, Rap, Jazz, R&B, Hip hop, and Country are some of the most popular genres – and interestingly since a few decades ago these genres have all come together to create a sound experience that humans all over the planet seem to have adopted no matter the language or cultural difference – the Pop genre. Pop includes all the sounds, from electronic computer generated sounds to classic instruments and chords. Even the specific genres like Hip hop, R&B, etc., now have a big portion of Pop in their structure. 

Since the introduction of the iPod all the way to today’s streaming age everyone has access to millions of song with just a tab. In a country like the U.S. an average person spends 32 hour a week listening to music. That’s many hours being exposed to someone singing about a topic that works to manipulate you to consciously remote view your thought to the situation that’s being sung about. 

Based on my experience as a mid level skilled sound technician and my study on frequencies & human behavior on this matter, I have the conclusion that there are 3 ways of listening to music:

Group 1. They relate to the lyrics of the song because they have been through a similar situation.

Group 2. They *want* to relate to those lyrics. They simply have the desire to experience the situation that’s being song about. 

Group 3. This one describes most humans: They’re simply just bored, driving on the road, at home, while staying etc., they want the amusement which is mostly cause by the rhythm effect, catchy rhymes and the drum patterns in the song.

This third group unknowingly adopts to Group 1. or Group 2, causing the brain to pick up the words and automatically reminds you, or gets you flashbacks of similar situations that the words in the song are describing. 

In other words if you are in the Group 3, you are pushed to the other two groups without having control over it. Whatever you can train to control the transition, can be argued.

In the second half of 2017, I was at the climax of my studies on the whole sound topic. As a human experience, I completely deleted my huge iTunes library to just stop the “Music Drug”. Since then I haven’t listen to music, well.. technically even though I don’t listen to music I can’t go around a day without somehow being exposed to music (I bet you can’t either). After all It is the most popular thing and by taking part in the outside world you will get exposed to it.

With all this being said, when you get into the fundamental & the technical root of sound suddenly things get unworldly. Studying the history of music, “the word” is that in the stone age people made music trying to imitate sounds and rhythms that occurred naturally.

Nearly all cultures have ancient stories of sound and vocals in special patterns being used to heal people. There are talks of manifesting possibilities, all the way to moving objects only by producing vocal and sound in a special pattern. Those go along with the later adoption of music in the church, the gospel.

That was a bit of it’s history but I like to have some facts on the table too! So let’s get into the simulation…

Think of a piano, there is a space between the notes. When you hit one note there’s a very definite place and sound, where the next tone has a completely different place and sound. There are seven musical notes called do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do (Latina) or A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A. The last “do” or “A” produces the exact same sound as the first “do” or “A”, but one scale higher or double the pitch. So there are technically seven notes.

Color & Sound Frequency

A chromatic scale consists of all the 8 tones in the do-re-mi scale plus all the additional half-tones or the black keys in the piano that are left out when you sing do-re-mi. The word “chromatic” comes from the Greek word chroma meaning “color”, and consists of 12 notes each a half step or semi-tone apart. It is from the chromatic scale that every other scale or chord in most Western music is derived.  

Shape of piano notes

The visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see. Each color has a different wavelength. We have come to discover that the universal language of sound, shape, and color make up the building blocks to our very existence.

So what does it all mean?

Sound affects body parts

Frequency has a color, a form and a sound. Our body reacts when exposed to those colors. The power of frequency through music, word and video can be used to broadcast deception. Our brain loves rhymes, patterns of the rhythm which based on the tempo of the song affects our mood and vibration. At the other side we also observe movies and videos which affects us in the same way only in the form of color. So, yes we are addicts to music and it’s making us change behavior, raise or lower the bar as we go forward.

It happens to be Hollywood and a closed group of mainstream labels who are giving you your fix. Nothing wrong about that, they are just broadcasting their reality which you absolutely don’t need to tune into, yet you are tuned into it and you don’t know how it is to be without it.

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Damon Imani

Creator - Sound & Visual