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Victor Monte

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How do sounds affect us?

Sounds are related with vibrations, but, how do those vibrations go into our minds modifying from our mod to even our perspective of life. Probably, while you were reading this, some kind of voice read this to yourself, making this text a sound. And the sound of this text is making you try to understand what I am talking about, or making you formulate answers to my question.

Sound, in form of music, can make us move between mod`s. For example, when I am angry or just upset, I put my cellphone to sing phantom of the opera and calm down. Or when I am calm and I hear some awkward music saying about sex or satanism in a explicit way, I become angry.

And with you, how music affect you?

Topics: mind music
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  • May 29 2013: I think it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how sound affects us in a tangible sense. This is because it acts subliminally, and we don't register the process by which a musical piece, as you allude to, acts to change our mood. For example, we can answer the question of what feelings a musical piece arouses, but struggle with the question of why this particular piece should (make us feel something) while another one doesn't (in other words, we don't fully understand the mechanism). On a more subtle level, the soundscape around us also affects our mood, though often without our conscious awareness of it.
    Your mention of 'the sound of this text' is insightful in that it suggests the relationship between music and language, which is believed to have evolved simultaneously and inextricably in humankind's evolution. The evolutionary significance of music, however, is yet to be satisfactorily explained. As Darwin wrote in The descent of Man "As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity for producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man in reference to his daily habits of life, they must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed"
    I think the 'intangibility' of sound's affect on us has, in the post enlightenment search for meaning, fostered a visually-oriented society which under appreciates the power of sound's affect on us. Yet this is something we all sense individually, explicitly in the listening or performance of music, and implicitly, in the soundscapes that accompany our daily lives.

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