Thursday, August 1, 2019
Capabilities and Effects of Background Music Essay
Abstract Nonverbal communication speaks louder than verbal communication; therefore, nonverbal communication, such as background music, needs to be sensibly evaluated. As a form of nonverbal communication, background music is capable of influencing a target audience. In advertising, emotions can be shifted depending on the music being played in the background and the same feelings are then transferred to the product, providing a tremendous advantage in business (Dillman Carpentier, 2010). Music can change oneÃ¢â¬â¢s mood; in the workplace, an improved mood allows employees to be more content and, overall, more productive. In addition, with the right musical selection, the music is able to increase the amount of information an individual is able to retain (Balch & Lewis, 1996). Various aspects from several studies have been examined, demonstrating the power of background music and music in general. The Capabilities and Effects of Background Music Nonverbal communication may be unintentional and speakers may not be aware of their behaviors or it may be just the opposite (Troester & Mester, 2007). However, background music is often carefully selected in order to aid in the desired goal, particularly in advertising (Dillman Carpentier, 2010; Kellaris, Cox, & Cox, 1993). The goals of every businessperson may not be the same; yet, the capabilities and effects of music are rather consistent (Dillman Carpentier, 2010). Whether via television, radio, or in person, music is able to affect the moods of those in the audience (Knobloch, 2003). Music also has the ability to improve the performance of the task at hand of an individual (Fassbender, Richards, Bilgin, Thompson, & Heiden, 2012). According to Balch and Lewis (1996), an increase in memory is also induced by music. In any aspect of business, the effects of music can be utilized and even increase efficiency and productivity. Mood Alteration OneÃ¢â¬â¢s mood determines the way one thinks and acts and what is said (Knobloch, 2003; Hunter, Schellenberg, & Schimmack, 2010). According to Hunter et al., Ã¢â¬Å"music is the language of emotionsÃ¢â¬ (p. 47). The perception of music determines the emotion felt. The perception of happiness is more often transferred to feeling happy than the perception of sadness and feeling sad (Hunter, Schellenberg, & Schimmack, 2010). Davies (2011) refers to the emotions of music as being contagious. When one is around people who are depressed, that personÃ¢â¬â¢s mood adjusts closer to those who are in the depressed state. Similarly, although a person may not actually be sad, a sad part in a movie can make that person feel sad; the same applies to music. Hearing music that sounds happy can make one feel happy and to the contrary. Davies models this as a cause and effect relationship. The music being heard is the cause and the effect is oneÃ¢â¬â¢s reaction to the music. Whether the reaction is happy or sad is dependent upon the perception of the music to the listener. Sounds that reflect happiness include little amplitude variation, a vast pitch variety, and fast tempo (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1993). Therefore, when one hears these sounds of happy music, emotional contagion is invoked on the subject and causes that person to feel happy. In advertisements, music is selected as an enhancement but also to affect mood. It is a companyÃ¢â¬â¢s goal to influence potential buyers by creating a positive attitude and feeling towards that companyÃ¢â¬â¢s product. With a positive image in mind of a particular product, there is a greater likelihood that the consumer will purchase the product (Dillman Carpentier, 2010). An average of more than 9.5 hours of media is taken in by the average American on a daily basis; of those hours, 38% is dedicated to music Ã¢â¬â all of which affects mood in some way (Knobloch, 2003). In addition, according to Dillman Carpentier, 90% of commercials include music of some sort (2010). The preceding statistics show the value of music to consumers and therefore, reflect the importance music-induced moods have in marketing. Enhanced Performance Not only is music able to affect oneÃ¢â¬â¢s mood but it is also capable of increasing the performance of an individual (North & Hargreaves, 1999). According to Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky, the IQ scores of the participants of their study were highest when the participants were under the influence of music (1993). In the other two trials, the participants went through a relaxation process and sat in silence for 10 minutes; the scores were 2.95 and 3.56 points respectively lower (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993). Some teachers have started using music to increase the focus and efficiency of students. Relaxing music is played to keep the studentsÃ¢â¬â¢ minds from wandering and, instead, concentrated on the lesson. The relaxing music causes oneÃ¢â¬â¢s brainwave frequencies to alter, entering the alpha state. The alpha state has been found to be the state where the best connection to oneÃ¢â¬â¢s subconscious is made (Fassbender, Richards, Bilgin, Thompson, & Heiden, 2012). KoenenÃ¢â¬â¢s and RestakÃ¢â¬â¢s (as cited in Fassbender et al., 2012) findings have both supported that music inhibits thought. RestakÃ¢â¬â¢s claim is based on a study conducted with surgeons as the participants. Due to differing parts of the brain being used for music and for physical tasks, the music doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t inhibit the task but keeps the other part of the brain occupied and, therefore, from becoming distracted (Fassbender et al., 2012). In another study, surgeons were asked to count backwards by various numbers under three different conditions and were monitored throughout their tasks. The different conditions were no music, music of personal preference, and experimenter-selected music. Each surgeon was individually tested and each surgeonÃ¢â¬â¢s blood pressure, pulse, timing, and accuracy were recorded. The results showed a significant difference among the three conditions and the areas being monitored. The surgeonsÃ¢â¬â¢ blood pressures and pulses were at much higher levels when performing the tasks without music. The results of the tasks with the presence of music showed lower blood pressures and pulses but an increase in the speeds and accuracies of the surgeons. Of the two music conditions, the overall results of the surgeons were better when listening to music of their choice rather than the experimenter-selected music. The participants of the study are of a profession that undergoes much stress in the operating room; by listening to music of their choice, the effects of stress decrease and the quality of performances increase (Allen & Blascovich, 1994). The studies of Dr. Adrian C. North provide several benefits of music for employers and employees. As previously mentioned, music can affect oneÃ¢â¬â¢s mood. In the workplace, putting the employees in a better mood will increase their productivity by improving how well they interact with their fellow employees. It has been proven that oneÃ¢â¬â¢s mood and helpfulness are directly related (North & Hargreaves, 1999). Music has also been found to raise the employee morale, leading to a decrease in the number of absences (Furnham & Bradley, 1997; North & Hargreaves, 1999). The output per employee can also be increased in a work field involving repetitiveness. According to Johnson (2004), participants of his study (whose work was repetitive) matched the tempo of the music being played while working. Therefore, with the addition of music Ã¢â¬â causing a better mood, cooperation, and increased pace Ã¢â¬â the overall productivity and efficiency of the workforce can increase and, in turn, boost the company revenue. Music is a friend of labour for it lightens the task by refreshing the nerves and spirit of the worker Ã¢â¬â William Green ( quoted in Furnham & Bradley, 1997) Increased Memory Although music and its relationship to human memory are still being researched, scientists do know that music affects several parts of the brain (Weir & Nevins, 2010). Cognitive neuroscientist, Petr Janata, says, Ã¢â¬Å" It [music] calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that personÃ¢â¬â¢s face in your mindÃ¢â¬â¢s eyeÃ¢â¬ (Weir & Nevins, 2010, p. 12). According to John Sweller, one must relate what is being learned to something that is already known (2003). Studies have proven the word-for-word is much higher when heard with music than when heard without music (Wallace, 1994). Wallace also suggests the musical accompaniment is used as a retrieval device or as an aid in the way the words are stored. The belief is that the music accents the words being spoken by acting as a cue when determining the number of syllables in a word and words in a verse (Wallace, 1994). It has also been shown that some memories are solely dependent on music being the trigger to recall them (Balch & Lewis, 1996). In marketing and advertising, music plays a significant role on oneÃ¢â¬â¢s memory. Most can probably identify the brand image, along with the melody, by simply reading, Ã¢â¬Å"five, five-dollar foot longÃ¢â¬ (Weir & Nevins, 2010) due to the capability of music that allows one to recall melody and image from the text read (and the contrary) (Wallace, 1994). Pertaining to memory, music can also serve as an aid in health services (Simmons-Stern, Budson, & Ally, 2010). According to a study by Simmons-Stern et al., patients with AlzheimerÃ¢â¬â¢s disease were able to recall more of the information they were given when it was sung rather than spoken. It is thought to be possible that these findings may aid in discovering a treatment for AlzheimerÃ¢â¬â¢s disease patients (Simmons-Stern et al., 2010). Conclusion There is no doubt music plays a role in everyoneÃ¢â¬â¢s life in some way. The effects of music are nearly unavoidable due to the fact that music is incorporated into such a variety of activities and places and can cause differentiating feelings and results. Sad music can spread sadness (through emotional contagion) and infect the listener with that sadness, causing the listenerÃ¢â¬â¢s mood to worsen. On the contrary, music is also able to make one feel happy (Davies, 2011). In the workplace, music is able to improve the mood of employees, motivate employees, and quicken the pace of the work being done (Furnham & Bradley, 1997). By playing upbeat music where the work to be done is monotonous, the workers are less irritated and fall in rhythm with the beat of the music. A workforce that has a higher rate of productivity can ultimately benefit the company by increasing the profits (North & Hargreaves, 1999). Music also accentuates words and increases the memorabilia of those words; this can be quite beneficial in advertisements (Weir & Nevins, 2010). Another benefit music offers, with regards to memory, is as a possible treatment for patients with AlzheimerÃ¢â¬â¢s disease (Simmons-Stern, Budson, & Ally, 2010). Regardless of being a form of nonverbal communication or where it may appear, music strongly affects human beings with its ample array of capabilities. References Allen, K. P., & Blascovich, J. P. (1994). Effects of Music on Cardiovascular Reactivity Among Surgeons. Journal of The American Medical Association, 272(11), 882-884. Balch, W. R., & Lewis, B. S. (1996). Music-Dependent Memory: The Roles of Tempo Change and Mood Mediation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22(6), 1354-1363. Davies, S. (2011). 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