Music Helps Treat Emotional, Physical Pain

GLASGOW, Scotland, Sept. 11 (UPI) — Music helps regulate a person’s mood and may help alleviate symptoms for people dealing with physical pain, researchers in Scotland say.

Study leader Dr. Don Knox, an audio engineering specialist at Glasgow Caledonian University, says the development of music-based therapies to help address depressive illnesses may lead doctors to prescribe a type of music on a prescription — tailored to suit the needs of an individual.


“The impact of a piece of music on a person goes so much further than thinking that a fast tempo can lift a mood and a slow one can bring it down. Music expresses emotion as a result of many factors,” Knox says in a statement. “These include the tone, structure and other technical characteristics of a piece. Lyrics can have a big impact too.”

Knox and Raymond MacDonald of Glasgow Caledonian University carried out an unprecedentedly detailed audio analysis of pieces of music, identified as expressing a range of emotions by a panel of volunteers.

“We look at parameters such as rhythm patterns, melodic range, musical intervals, length of phrases, musical pitch and so on,” Knox says. “For example, music falling into a positive category might have a regular rhythm, bright timbre and a fairly steady pitch contour over time.”

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Categorized | Engineering, Music, Other
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