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Does music work on the mind or the body - Essay Example

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The essay "Does music work on the mind or the body? " proposes to examine it from three disciplinary perspectives in turn, first in terms of the natural sciences, i.e. physics and human biology; secondly in terms of sociology and thirdly in terms of ethnography…
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Does music work on the mind or the body
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Does music work on the mind or the body

The most obvious property of music is its sound and this, in turn, is caused by actual occurrences in the physical world. Rodeway sums it up neatly when he writes: “The auditory sense is primarily physical rather than chemical. The sound is concerned with motion or activity, that is with vibration and resonance of substances (air, water, solids). (Rodoway: 1994, p. 90) The human ear is the main receiver of sound and is able to detect the movement of air and distinguish variations in the sounds that are produced. There are, however, other parts of the body that are involved in listening to music, because the ear is part of a perceptual system, involving the whole human organism and elements of the environment which the listener and the music share. Anyone who has attended a rock concert is very aware of the physical sensation of vibration which occurs when base sounds are emitted from huge speakers with great intensity: the whole upper body feels the vibrations. Some high pitched sounds are painful, causing the eyes to tighten up and the body to cringe. Observation of humans and animals as they react to music and other sounds reveals that movement of the head and shoulders towards the source of a sound often occurs so that both ears can be used to help locate the distance and direction accurately. Some animals like foxes and dogs have ears that face forward and can be swiveled left and right to focus more closely. The physical properties of the space in which music occurs are also important in determining how sound is received. ... Read More
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