Your Brain on Music

Check out this table below which describes the various ways our brains process music. It’s a common misconception that music is strictly a right-brained activity, as we can see, almost all areas of the brain are involved in processing music. Additionally, musicians and nonmusicians process music differently. Which means playing music creates synapses that cannot be accessed by other means. WIth the advent of brain imaging technology we are able to determine which parts of the brain get the most blood flow when processing the various musical elements. Its apparently a complex process. As we continue to explore sound healing, we understand its ability to reduce stress, improve memory and even boost the immune system. All of these things are highly dependent on blood flow. This is an important factor to keep in mind moving forward, because music has the ability to light up so many areas of the brain, we know that playing music uses more of the brain than other communicative activities. When you stop and really reflect on all of this, you can not help but be astounding at why more researchers are not investigating the healing power of sound. This is your brain on music:

Musical ElementPrimary Brain Areas
Music Background
Composite ListeningLeft Hemisphere/
Auditory cortex
Composite ListeningRight Hemisphere/
Auditory Cortex
PitchLeft Hemisphere/
TimbreRight HemisphereBoth musician and
RhythmBroca’s area/
MelodyRight Temporal LobeBoth
Familiar MusicBroca’s area
Recalling a song titleLeft Temporal LobeBoth
Lyric comprehensionWernicke’s AreaBoth
Playing Familiar MusicCerebellum/Temporal/Parietal LobesBoth
Playing unfamiliar musicCerebellum/Temporal/Frontal LobeMusicians
Melodic contourR Hemisphere-
Auditory cortex

Source: Music with the brain in mind, by Eric Jensen

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