Thursday, May 16, 2013

Believe in Music

Believe it or not, I owned this record album! That's right. No lie. I really did! The album is Believe in Music from the fine folks at K-Tel. And contrary to what I had heard on television warning me that this album would not be available in stores, I did, indeed, purchase it at a record shop in the local mall.

The title track on this excellent 1973 compilation -- and I'm using the term "excellent" fairly loosely here! -- was I Believe in Music by Mac Davis. The album also included classics like Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) by the Looking Glass, Climax's Precious and Few, and Robert John's version of  The Lion Sleeps Tonight. And come on, you have to admit: it doesn't get much better than that! (Click the link above for a YouTube sampler of the album.)

Mac Davis's song, I Believe in Music, contains the following lyrics:
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.
People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.
So clap your hands and stomp your feet and shake your tambourine,
And lift your voices to the sky; tell me what you see.
And okay, so it's not the greatest song ever written (or even close for that matter!), but it does capture well the idea that music can make us feel happy and good -- good enough, in fact, that we want to to clap, and stomp, and shake a tambourine. I can work with that!

A recent article in Science Daily entitled, Trying to Be Happier Works When Listening to Upbeat Music, cites research by Yuna Ferguson, who says, "Our work provides support for what many people already do -- listen to music to improve their moods," In two studies by Ferguson, who performed the study while she was an doctoral student in psychological science, participants who listened to music successfully improved their moods in the short term and boosted their overall happiness over a two week period.

In other words, music can lift our moods. And while I've known that for pretty much all of my life, it's nice to have science back it up, as this study, and countless studies before it, does.

Is music a cure-all for folks who suffer from serious depression? Absolutely not. But for many of us, who find ourselves feeling a little bit down from time to time, a strong dose of some feel-good, up-tempo music is often just what the doctor ordered.

What do you think? Say more about that...

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