miércoles, 4 de mayo de 2011

Positive and negative effects of music on people, animals and plants.

by Viviana Garay

For centuries, music has accompanied the development of human beings. But recently, it has been proven that music has positive and negative effects not only on people, but also on animals and plants. Some details will be described below.

To begin with, people know that music can arouse different emotions: happiness, sadness, fear, etc. For example, when we are watching a film, we can predict what is going on only by listening to the background music.
Moreover, music has the power to relax people or induce them in a deeper state. In other words, music can alter the state of consciousness (ASC´s). For instance, some people say that “The memories of home” can provoke that on people.

Furthermore, it is said that certain kinds of music can make conscious, unconscious parts of people; such as “the source of our dreams, visions, hunches, intuition and emotions”.

In addition, our mind, body, and spirit can be cured by the power of sounds and music. Some doctors say that music is a "mega-vitamin for the brain," with the capacity of influencing and improving: communication, motor function and cognition. For instance, scientists have verified that those people who are in rehabilitation and listen to music some hours per day, or are taught to play the drums or the piano can recover faster than others.
Music can also alter our mood in a heartbeat. For example, if we are happy, and we begin to listen to sad music, we start to feel sad because of the music we are listening to, and vice versa.

However, since the 70´s scientists have been researching “the effects of the beat of the music”. They have found out that slow music can diminish blood pressure, the breathing rate and the heartbeat. Conversely, faster music can accelerate the breathing rate, the heartbeat and increase blood pressure.
Besides, it has been proven that if we listen more than once to the same rhythm, the music can turn out to be disagreeable for us, conduct us to a state of sub-conscious thinking state or to a state of irritation.

Apart from this, some investigations have demonstrated that special kinds of music can affect animals and plants. For instance, when hens are exposed to “The Blue Danube" they lay more eggs; and when wheat plants are exposed to special ultrasonic and music sounds they grow faster.

What is more, an experiment carried out with rats –they were put in two different boxes connected with a tube, some listening to Bach´s music and the others listening to rock- showed that they “prefer” Bach´s music rather than rock.

Also, researches made on plants showed that Jazz, Classical music, and Ravi Shankar help to accelerate their growth. Nonetheless, rock and acid rock are harmful for them –they can die.
Taking everything into account, music is a mysterious force that exists on Earth, which has amazing effects on human beings, animals and plants. For this reason, we had better pay more attention to the kind of music we listen to.

To what extent singers participate in this money raising song for free?

For decades, important artists from all times have been gathered in order to raise money to help people. But, to what extent do singers participate in this money raising song for free?

To begin with, in 1984 well known Irish and British singers -such as Bono, Phil Collins, Steve Norman, etc. - gathered and formed a group called Band Aid and created the song “Do they know that it’s Christmas?” in order to raise money “for relief of the 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia”. It turned out to be the highest selling single in UK chart history until 1997.
Similarly, in 1985 the activist Harry Belafonte along with the fundraiser Ken Kragen contacted the most significant American singers of that time to save money “for African famine relief”. Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie were the ones in charge of writing the song “We Are the World” which sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
Likewise, in 2010 the most important singers of this era –such as Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Enrique Iglesias, etc.- re-recorded the song “We are the world 25 for Haiti” in order to raise money to help the people from Haiti that had suffered a strong earthquake. This had some adaptations such as the addition of rap.

Also, an adaptation and translation of the song into Spanish was created “We Are the World” by Emilio and Gloria Stefan in order to help the people from Haiti, too.!!!!!! It was recorded by the most important Latin music figures such as: Juanes, Ricky Martin, Belinda, Shakira, Tito el Bambino, Pitbull, Wisin &Yandel, etc. It has the same adaptations of the song “We Are the World 25 for Haiti”.
So, in all the cases mentioned above the most important artists of each era were “recruited” in order to record a song to raise money to help those people that were victims of famines and earthquakes. The organizers planned this because they wanted to touch everybody, both the old and new generations. For this reason, they chose (for instance in the Latin version) singers of all styles and ages.
by Viviana Garay

Moreover, we have to consider that for those singers it was an honour to be chosen to record these songs, but also a way to broadcast their music and themselves. In this way, by watching the video those people who do not know them or their music, start to know and buy their music. For instance, I did not know who the young boy that was singing in the video was. For this reason, I looked for information about him and his music in Wikipedia, and I discovered that he was David Archuleta.

Furthermore, these singers do not have to make a big effort, because as they already have the talent, the only thing that they have to do is to sing. For example, as Belinda could not travel to Miami, she recorded her part in a studio in Mexico and sent it to Miami.
However, some artists have their own foundations to help people. For example, in 1997 Shakira created “Pies descalzos” which is an association that raises money/ or which is a fund- raising organization. This money goes to “the foundations that help the poor, unprotected children of my country, Places that help children with heart conditions, with aids, leukaemia, and the homeless children and, also children whose children died in combat.” Shakira said.

All things considered, I think that these kinds of money raising songs are great because through them big amounts of money are raised and used to help people. But, I also think that singers participate in these kinds of events to broadcast/publicise their music.