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Content Any Way U Want It!

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Content Any Way U Want It!

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September 29, 2023

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People find meaning, memories through media

While many people may listen to music out of pure interest and entertainment, they might be unaware of a deeper feeling within the rhythms and melodies.

Affect Theory deals with people organizing the affects of something like a scene in a film or an album by a musical artist and making a connection to it with a response such as smiling or getting the chills after listening to a certain part of a song they had an appeal to.

Associate Professor in the department of Popular Culture Jeremy Wallach said music in its entirety was actually something not well understood, and served only a small purpose as entertainment for people. He said it wasn’t until neurologists started doing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri), which measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow, that they began realizing how much of an effect music plays on a person, as the imaging shows “all areas of the brain lighting up like a Christmas tree.”

“The entire brain gets stimulated when a person is exposed to music,” Wallach said. “The memory center, sexual urges, instinctual desires, higher cognitive functions, emotions, everything lights up when we hear music. There seems to be something about human nature that is musical.”

Since music has the ability to enhance a person’s feelings and emotions, many of today’s media such as films and television stories have songs specifically designed for certain scenes. Other places such as restaurants, funeral homes and grocery stores play certain types of songs to set an atmospheric tone.

People listen to certain types of music for a reason, said Robert Sloane, instructor in the department of American Culture Studies. He said many times people will listen to jazz or classical music while studying and aggressive rock or heavy metal while working out. It can also become a culturally depicted reasoning as to the way people from different cultures interpret and feel music.

“We learn to associate certain types of music with certain times in our lives,” Sloane said. “Culturally we teach people how to react in a specific way and we associate aggressive rock with men and folk and gentle things with feminine. We make these associations because of cultural values that are taught to us not because they are necessarily ‘correct’ or ‘rigid.’”

Music consumes us and affects our day-to-day routines, said Radhika Gajjala, a professor in the department of Communication who in the past studied online communication as well as the exchange of music videos.

“We surround ourselves with things like music that affects us in a particular way and we have a particular response to it from whatever we’re doing at the time,” Gajjala said. “Why do you think we buy cars that specifically have a radio or walk down the street listening to an iPod? Music is all around us and shapes the way we go on with our day.”

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