How does music effect us psychologically, and why do some producers get more recognition than others?
Since we are currently still in 2019, what we need to get out of the way is what music genre our peers listen to. Using a recent chart, we’ll address the current statistics. By the looks of the chart, the top three musics genres would be: HipHop/Rap, Pop and Rock. To keep this from being too complex, we’ll stick with the top three choices, rather than all of them. I’d like to put a bit more insight into the rap genre, especially with this uprising “mumble rap”. Ironically, my English class actually helped me get some of this information. We were told to split into groups, depending on the genre of music we listen to. To put it simply, majority of the classroom were in a pop and rap side. (1) https://www.statista.com/statistics/310746/share-music-album-sales-us-genre/
So going off of that, how do these genres effect us? Well, let’s start with pop and rock music. Music is interesting. Our brain releases dopamine when listening to music. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a neurotransmitter that activates our sense of happiness. It can also be considered a rewarding feeling, which is experienced in different ways as well. Depending on the genre, different feelings are given off. Pop and Rock music is considered as distracting. From my own personal experience in classrooms, I can actually agree on this statement. Many students have their earphones in, even when they’re not supposed to, and I can sometimes tell what they’re listening to, if I’m sitting close enough. Usually it’s some form of Pop/Rock music by the generic artists most of us may have heard of at least once. This quite literally speaks for itself as being a distraction. (2 ) https://www.mic.com/articles/98310/scientists-prove-that-pop-music-is-literally-ruining-our-brains (3) https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/124/5/1488
Let’s move onto rap music now. There’s several different opinions on the rap community, and they’ve been divided into different categories by media. Mumble Rappers vs Lyrical Rappers/No Talent vs Talented. If you’re unaware as to what mumble rap even is, it’s basically a rapper who speaks in a way that is unclear to the audience; however, this term has been expanded. The term is now also towards rappers who don’t put emphasis into their lyrics, and talk about drugs, inappropriate content, money bragging (or bragging in general), etc. Lyrical rap is basically the opposite, mainly artists who have put more thought and care into their lyrics. Rap music is said to be very influential towards people, being able to spark feelings like violence, calming and excitement. Now if you were to think about those three feelings that were stated, then you look back at the mumble rap explanation…it starts to get a bit more clear. How are they even successful is the question? Well, I won’t quite address certain artists in this research round, but I will breakdown the music. (4) https://universe.byu.edu/2005/05/13/experts-debate-hiphops-influence-on-american-culture-youth-for-better-or-for-worse/
Artists lean towards repetition in their music, yet even though some people complain about this, we still go along with it. Why is that the case? Well, simply it’s because we prefer it that way. If a song has a flow and beat that’s easy to remember, it makes it catchy. Have you ever had part of a song stuck in your head before? Well, that’s a good example of a song that managed to make itself catchy towards their target audience. (4) https://www.quora.com/Why-is-popular-music-so-repetitive
Lyrics on the other hand, aren’t paid attention to as often. Since mumble rappers mumble, this is also just another excuse to not put effort into thinking about the lyrics at hand. It’s a bit annoying, but the whole point of music is to either get you in the mood, dance, or express feelings. If people want simple beats and repetition, then they’ll direct to what is put in front of them, rather than looking more into it.
Trends can be broken though, and there is a ton of examples for them. Eminem became massively successful, despite his background, while NF is slowly but surely climbing up the charts. Other artists had less of a challenge, because their upbringing was wealthy. Ariana Grande being a debatable example, especially with the topics of her songs. It’s not impossible for someone from a poor upbringing to become famous, it just requires more work, pure chance and is challenging. With the current music industry, it’ll be difficult for artists like Alec Benjamin to gain recognition when their music has more meaning within their lyrics and isn’t aimed towards current trends (lighter Pop approach).
Hi Giulia! I really enjoyed reading your research and I find your question quite intriguing. Even though we might not realize it, whenever we listen to music, it puts us in a mood, or, at the very least, shifts it a little. Most people also think that specific music genres will affect all listeners in the same way, which just isn’t true. While some people might get energized when listening to metal, some other people might become sad or vice versa. But all in all, your topic is very interesting; keep up the good work!
Great round of research! I really like your topic, in fact, I did research on how music affects us a while back too. Your approach to the topic is slightly different from mine however, and I felt like I learned a lot from your post. I don’t know very much about rap and the different types of rap, so that was interesting to learn about as well.
Perhaps in a future round of research, you could compare the effects of listening to music via headphones or speakers to physically going to a concert and experiencing the music live.
Here are some websites that you might find useful: