The Power of Music on Our Emotion and Memory

            For centuries, music has been a marker of culture, and has evolved alongside with humanity through our ever-changing times. The purpose of music, as well as its influence on our society, has shifted from an effective method of courtship (when men would write songs for women to “woo” them), into a medium of entertainment that are important for social gatherings, such as parties. Nowadays, music has been assimilated into our daily lives, as it has the power to instill a specific mood in us, based on the beat or tone of its sounds. It’s quite interesting to ponder the idea of how and why music affects our emotions so much.  Personally, I believe that music a very key component in my life, and find myself relying on it as a coping mechanism during times of sadness, anger, nervousness, or generally when I need a good “pick-me-up.” Every morning, I usually play music from the “Colbie Calliat” Pandora radio station as I get ready for school in order to lift my mood up and mentally prepare myself for the day. Music is intricate, thus, so are our preferences.  The type of music someone likes can actually be a window into their personality. It’s as if our iPods or music playlists are our personal “About Me” pages with specified personality traits spelled out in the moods or lyrics of each song.

Hm…they listen to a lot of Colbie Calliat, so they’re probably chill, carefree, and have that beach vibe going on.

             Music also has the capability to deeply engrain memories in our minds by stimulating another sense besides sight, resulting in a heightened retention of that time.  For many people, floods of recollections accompanied with emotions usually follow after hearing a song that is significant to that particular experience.  So when outdated “hits” are played, you’ll often notice people expressing some sort of emotion, whether it’s positive or negative, as they recollect the memories associated with those songs. For example, I’ll never forget the memories I made while performing songs as a guest singer with the Japanese Konan Boys’ Jazz Band at various malls. Whenever “Just Friends,” “Fly Me To The Moon,” and “When I Fall In Love” play through my headphones, I get this exhilarating rush of nervousness, adrenaline, and happiness all over again as I’m transported back to the very stages where I performed in front of hundreds of people, with the sound of jazz instruments behind me and my heart beating in my ears. Music has allowed me to relive the moment over and over again in my mind, which is a true blessing to be able to do such an extraordinary thing. With its ability to evoke strong feelings in our hearts and change our emotional state completely, it’s no wonder it’s stuck with us for all these years.


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