Advertisement

How Does Music Translate Itself Biologically in a Public Health Context?

  • Töres Theorell
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter illustrates how researchers reflect on links between music and public health. Music enters the brain in a different way than do conversations based on words, and since the brain tends to react more directly and rapidly to music, this may sometimes create a basis for surprise and unexpected reorientation in life.

Specific emotions induced by different types of music experiences correspond to various combinations of psychophysiological states (dilated or constricted arteries, increased or decreased variation in heart rate, accelerated or decelerated pulse, elevated or lowered blood pressure, increased or decreased sweating, etc.). In addition, the body adapts its hormones and its immune system to the musical experiences.

Experiments with school children have shown that musical collective experiences (having fun with music together and making pupils collaborate with one another) can contribute to an improved calmer social environment possibly favouring, for instance, learning at school.

Modern recording techniques have made it possible to record immediate online physiology during musical experiences, for instance, in the gastrointestinal system, in breathing patterns and in the arteries as well as physiological states during intense experiences such as flow and goose skin.

Music in the gym, during choir singing and in clinical applications such as choir singing for patients with chronic respiratory disease is discussed in the chapter. One conclusion is that there is extensive knowledge about immediate reactions during music experiences but that long-term biological consequences of repeated musical experiences (such as choir singing or instrument playing in groups once a week for years) have been understudied although such research is beginning to emerge.

Keywords

Psychophysiology Oxytocin Cortisol Testosterone Heart rate variability Emotion Flow Music 

References

  1. Atkinson, G., Wilson, D., & Eubank, M. (2004). Effects of music on work-rate distribution during a cycling time trial. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 25(8), 611–615.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Baughman, H. M., Schermer, J. A., Veselka, L., Harris, J., & Vernon, P. A. (2013). A behavior genetic analysis of trait emotional intelligence and alexithymia: A replication. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16(2), 554–559.  https://doi.org/10.1017/thg.2012.151.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Baumgartner, T., Lutz, K., Schmidt, C. F., & Jäncke, L. (2006). The emotional power of music: How music enhances the feeling of affective pictures. Brain Research, 1075, 151–164.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bernatzky, G., Presch, M., Anderson, M., Panksepp, J. (2011). Emotional foundations of music as a non-pharmacological pain management tool in modern medicine. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35, (9), 1989–1999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bittman, B., Bruhn, K. T., Stevens, C., Westengard, J., & Umbach, P. O. (2003). Recreational music-making: A cost-effective group interdisciplinary strategy for reducing burnout and improving mood states in long-term care workers. Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, 19(3–4), 4–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bojner Horwitz, E., Theorell, T., & Anderberg, U. (2003). Dance/movement therapy and changes in stress-related hormones: A study of fibromyalgia patients with video-interpretation. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 30, 255–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonde, L. O., & Ochsner Ridder, H. M. (2017). Erindringsdans og livets sange. Musik, sang og dans som oplevelse og oplivelse i demensomsorgen i Danmark. In A. Jensen (Ed.), Kultur og sundhed. København: Turbine.Google Scholar
  8. Chen, D. D., Xu, X., Zhao, Q., Yin, J., Sallam, H., & Chen, J. D. (2005). Alteration of gastric myoelectrical and autonomic activities with audio stimulation in healthy humans. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 40, 814–821.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Clift, S. M. (2012). Singing, wellbeing, and health. In R. Macdonald, G. Kreutz, & L. Mitchell (Eds.), Music, health & wellbeing (pp. 113–124). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Clift, S., Hancox, G., Morrison, I., Hess, B., Kreutz, G., & Stewart, D. (2010). Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 1(1), 19–34.  https://doi.org/10.1386/jaah.1.1.19/1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen, G. (2009). New theories and research findings on the positive influence of music and art on health with ageing. Arts & Health, 1, 48–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Copeland, B. L., & Franks, B. D. (1991). Effects of types and intensities of background music on treadmill endurance. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 31(1), 100–103.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Coulton, S., Clift, S., Skingley, A., & Rodriguez, J. (2015). Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of community singing on mental health-related quality of life of older people: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 207(3), 250–255.  https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.113.129908.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Nakamura, J. (2010). Effortless attention in everyday life: A systematic phenomenology. In B. Bruya (Ed.), Effortless attention: A new perspective in the cognitive science of attention and action (pp. 179–190). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Czikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  16. De Manzano, Ö., Harmat, L., Theorell, T., & Ullén, F. (2010). The psychophysiology of flow during piano playing. Emotion, 10(3), 301–311.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. DeNora, T. (2000). Music in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dissanayake, E. (2000). Antecedents of the temporal arts in early mother-infant interaction. In N. L. Wallin, B. Merker, & S. Brown (Eds.), The origins of music. Boston: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Duberg, A. (2016). Dance intervention for adolescent girls with internalizing problems. Effects and experiences. Doctoral thesis. Örebro Studies in Medicine nr 144, 2016.Google Scholar
  20. Gabrielsson, A. (2011). Strong experiences with music – Music is much more than just music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garrido, S., Eerola, T., & McFerran, K. (2017). Group rumination: Social interactions around music in people with depression. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 490.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00490. eCollection 2017.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Grabe, H. J., Schwahn, C., Barnow, S., Spitzer, C., John, U., Freyberger, H. J., et al. (2010). Alexithymia, hypertension, and subclinical atherosclerosis in the general population. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 68(2), 139–147.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Granier-Deferre, C., Ribeiro, A., Jacquet, A. Y., & Bassereau, S. (2011). Near-term fetuses process temporal features of speech. Developmental Science, 14(2), 336–352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Grape, C., Sandgren, M., Hansson, L.-O., Ericson, M., & Theorell, T. (2003). Does singing promote well-being? An empirical study of professional and amateur singers during a singing lesson. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science, 38, 65–74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Grape, C., Theorell, T., Wikström, B. M., & Ekman, R. (2009). Choir singing and fibrinogen, VEGF, cholecystokinin and motilin in IBS patients. Medical Hypotheses, 72, 223–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grape, C., Wikström, B. M., Hasson, D., Ekman, R., & Theorell, T. (2010). Saliva testosterone increases in choir singer beginners. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 79, 196–198.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hammar, L. M., Emami, A., Engström, G., & Götell, E. (2010). Reactions of persons with dementia to caregivers singing in morning care situations. The Open Nursing Journal, 4, 35–41.  https://doi.org/10.2174/1874434601004010035.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Hendriks, M. C., Croon, M. A., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2008). Social reactions to adult crying: The help-soliciting function of tears. The Journal of Social Psychology, 148(1), 22–41.  https://doi.org/10.3200/SOCP.148.1.22-42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Jensen, A., & Bonde, L.O. (2018). Deltagelse i kunst- og kulturaktiviteter og kunstbaserede interventioner have positiv effekt på somatiske sygdomme? Ugeskrift for Læger 2018;180 V06170481.Google Scholar
  30. Juslin, P. N., & Timmers, R. (2010). Expression and communication of emotion in music. In P. N. Juslin & J. Sloboda (Eds.), Handbook of music and emotion: Theory, research, applications. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Kattenstroth, J.-C., Kalisch, T., Holt, S., Tegenthoff, M., & Dinse, H. R. (2013). Six months of dance intervention enhances postural, sensorimotor and cognitive performance in elderly without affecting cardio-respiratory functions. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience. Feb 2013.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2013.00005.
  32. Krantz, G., Madison, G., Merker, B. (2006). Melodic intervals as reflected in body movement. Ninth International Conference on music perception and Cognition, Bologna Aug 22–26.Google Scholar
  33. Krantz, G., Kreutz, G., Ericson, M., & Theorell, T. (2010). Bodily movements influence heart rate variability (HRV) responses to isolated melodic intervals. Music and Medicine, 3(2), 108–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kreutz, G. (2014). Does singing facilitate social bonding? Music and Medicine, 6, 51–60.Google Scholar
  35. Kreutz, G., Bongard, S., Rohrmann, S., Hodapp, V., & Grebe, D. (2004). Effects of choir singing or listening on secretory immunoglobulin A, cortisol, and emotional state. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 27, 623–635.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Krumhansl, C. L. (1997). An exploratory study of musical emotions and psychophysiology. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 51, 336–352.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Le Doux, J. (1998). The emotional brain. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  38. Lewis, A., Cave, P., Stern, M., Welch, L., Taylor, K., Russell, J., et al. (2016). Singing for lung health-a systematic review of the literature and consensus statement. NPJ Primary Care Respiratory Medicine, 26, 16080.  https://doi.org/10.1038/npjpcrm.2016.80.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Lindblad, F., Hogmark, Å., & Theorell, T. (2007). Music intervention for 5th and 6th graders – Effects on development and cortisol secretion. Stress and Health, 23(1), 9–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lingham, J., & Theorell, T. (2009). Self-selected “favourite” stimulative and sedative music listening – how does familiar and preferred music listening affect the body? Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 18, 150–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Merriam, A. P. (1964). The anthropology of music. Evanston: Northwestern Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  42. Miller, M., Mangano, C., Beach, V., Kop, W., & Vogel, R. A. (2010). Divergent effects of joyful and anxiety-provoking music on endothelial vasoreactivity. Psychosomatic Medicine, 72(4), 354–356.  https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181da7968. Epub 2010 Apr 5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Moon, C., Lagercrantz, H., & Kuhl, P. K. (2013). Language experienced in utero affects vowel perception after birth: A two-country study. Acta Paediatrica, 102, 156–160.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Morris, J. S., Öhman, A., & Dolan, R. J. (1998). Conscious and unconscious emotional learning in the human amygdala. Nature., 4, 393(6684), 467–470.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Olsson, E. M. G., von Schéele, B., & Theorell, T. (2013). Heart rate variability during choral singing. Music and Medicine, 5, 52–59.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1943862112471399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pallesen, K. J., Brattico, E., Bailey, C., Korvenoja, A., Koivisto, J., Gjedde, A., et al. (2005). Emotion processing of major, minor, and dissonant chords: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1060, 450–453.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Porges, S. W. (2007). The polyvagal perspective. Biological Psychology, 74, 116–143.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Quiroga, M. C., Bongard, S., & Kreutz, G. (2009). Emotional and neurohumoral responses to dancing tango Argentino: The effects of music and partner. Music and Medicine, 1, 14–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sifneos, P. E. (1996). Alexithymia: Past and present. American Journal of Psychiatry, 153(suppl), 137–142.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Spychiger, M. (2002). Music education is important – why? In G. Matell & T. Theorell (Eds.), Barn och Musik. Stockholm: Stressforskningsrapporter, Stressforskningsinstitutet, Stockholms Universitet.Google Scholar
  51. Szmedra, L., & Bacharach, D. W. (1998). Effect of music on perceived exertion, plasma lactate, norepinephrine and cardiovascular hemodynamics during treadmill running. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 19, 32–37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Theorell, T. (2014). Psychological health effects of musical experiences. Theories, studies and reflections in music health science. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Theorell, T., Konarski, K., Westerlund, H., Burell, A. M., Engström, R., Lagercrantz, A. M., et al. (1998). Treatment of patients with chronic somatic symptoms by means of art psychotherapy: A process description. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 67, 50–56.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Ullén, F., de Manzano, Ö., Harmat, L., & Theorell, T. (2010). The physiology of effortless attention: Correlates of state flow and flow proneness. In B. Bruya (Ed.), Effortless attention. A new perspective in the cognitive science of attention and action (pp. 205–217). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Vickhoff, B., Åström, R., Theorell, T., & von Scheele, B. (2012). Musical piloerection. Music and Medicine, 4(2), 82–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vickhoff, B., Malmgren, H., Åström, R., Nyberg, G., Engvall, M., Snygg, J., et al. (2013). Music determines heart rate variability of singers. Frontiers in cognitive neuroscience.  https://doi.org/10.3389/psyg.2013.00334.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stress Research InstituteStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations