Round 3 Research- What is the impact percussion instruments have in music

     Hi everyone! This week for my round 3 of research I am looking at the way music effects the brain and if theirs a different out come to the music depending on things like beat and where you hit the instrument in the piece as a part of how to answer my question "What is the impact percussion instruments have on music". this will also be the last round of research for my project since its an in class project. 

   I first looked at how music works in the brain.(1)  when you listen to music it has been proven that it can change your mood. If you listen to a more upbeat you might be happier and more productive. There was a test done in a office where they had upbeat music playing and they found that the employees where more productive to getting their work done they also found the office to be happier then usual. When scientist look at the brains of musicians compared to other peoples brains they did find a few differences. The musicians brains where found to be more symmetrical and they had bigger corpus callosums (nerve fibers in the brain that allow the 2 hemispheres to communicate with each other). The parts responsible for auditory processing, motor control and spatial coordination  where also found to be bigger. Another thing music does is boosts brain chemicals. It primarily effects the neurotransmitter dopamine (aka the "motivation molecule". This is the part of the brain also responsible for the happy feeling you get from things like eating chocolate or things like runners high) it also boosts the brain hormone Oxytocin(aka the "trust molecule" or "moral molecule" helping you create a better trust with others and be more generous). (2) music can also help you with your education. With music you can have things like a small increase in IQs, increased brain connectivity,  improvement in languages, increased spatial intelligence and higher test scores. (3) part of the reason why music can effect your brain and studying is because it can calm you down, make you less stressed and it helps you concentrate. Music can help increase your memory because if your listening to a song while something is happening if you play the song some other later time you might remember that event because its attached to that song. 

  For my round three I decided to ask the band and choir conductor at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School Brent Hughes a few questions because music has been apart of his life for a long time and he has been conducting the band for 21 years. My first question was "does/how the volume you hit the hit the instrument affect the rest of the piece of music" and he responded "yes it can change it including things like the amount of energy in that certain area of music. Because if you play the loudest at any area you wont be able hear the melody of the rest of the music and say if you add a crescendo(increase in the amount of sound used over a role or notes) at a certain part of the piece it can let the audience know that something really big and cool is about to happen. Also with volume when you change the volume at different parts of the music it can make the audience pay more attention because if you make the tone piano(quiet) the audience will need to listen closer my next question was "can the tone you use affect a person emotionally?" And the response was " yes depending on the different tone you use it can have a different outcome like if you have a minor tone it can make the part seem sadder. Mr. Hughes used the example of the 3rd toy story movie at the end when Andy gives away his toys, it’s the same song you’ve heard throughout the rest of the other movies but when you put the song in the minor key it made it more emotional and sad because you know its kind of over. Its also the same as if you where to listen to that part without the music you might just think like 'Ooh its not a big deal he is just giving away his toys' but with the music it triggers a part in your brain making it more emotional." My last Question I decided to ask him my inquiry question to see what he thought the impact percussion has on music and he responded with "percussion adds another part to the piece since it’s an instrument that can only make one sound. It can create an added melody because it’s a different tone. It can add more action, excitement and energy to areas of the music. It can also create a base note for the rest of the band to build off of and it helps hold the rest of the band together with the rhythm and with instruments like the timpani it can help with things like the harmony with the different sounding drums and being able to create a beat" 

I hope you guys enjoyed my last round of research,




Original Post

Hi Gabby,

This is super interesting research and I've learned so much from this one post. You mention the neurological effects of music, studies around mood improvement, and even included a little interview which I thought was brilliant! You mention how music can increase IQs and brain connectivity (as the corpus callosum develops and grows in size). Is there a certain period of time where this can be optimized? I read that those who practice music in childhood have overall better linguistic skills. Could this also be true for adults and seniors? Also, does musicianship create a musician's brain, such as the symmetry and the large corpus callosum? Or are there brains pre-determined to do better musically than others? I'm extremely curious about this; I hope you'll cover it in your next post.

Keep up the great work!
Erica Won.

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