In all the known history of mankind, there were no cultures or peoples who had no songs or music. In fact, the most ancient musical instrument ever found is more than 35,000 years old. It’s a flute that was made out of a bird’s bone. The fact that it is a flute proves that our ancestors had deep and strong musical traditions. Sound production with the help of a wind instrument is a complex idea in itself. What’s more, the flute had holes for changing the sound pitch. It shows that people back then also had quite profound knowledge of melodics.
The researchers Are Brean and Geir Olve Skeie write in their book “Music and the Brain” that music is a fundamental activity and musicality is a fundamental quality for a human. And not only for a human. In some way, a lot of animals are also prone to musicality in communication. The howl of a wolf pack together or birds singing during their mating season are just a few examples. So why do we like singing so much and how does karaoke influence our mood?
Straight Into the Brain
Our brain is a fascinating organ. One of its main properties is neuroplasticity. That is its ability to change under the influence of everything we do and think about. Whenever we learn something new or experience emotions, new neural connections are formed and therefore the internal structure of our brain slightly changes. Thanks to this biological feature, we can learn, feel surprised and change during our whole life, including the moments of listening to our favourite music.
Music activates the reward system in our brain and thus can literally change it. We can notice that easily in people for whom music is far more than just a hobby. Dutch psychologists have come to the conclusion that professional musicians are better at understanding the emotions of other people by their image and the sound of their voice. Moreover, activity increases in certain regions of our brain: the ones responsible for auditory perception and complex audiovisual connections that we make, for example, when reading.
Karaoke Makes You Happier
How is normal singing different from singing karaoke? It’s not like we just sing something in the shower as we have a good mood. When singing, we use nearly every one of our main brain regions. As we read text from a monitor, we use our vision and visual associative regions in the occipital lobe to interpret impressions, and some regions in the parietal lobe to decode subtitles. The frontal lobes, the cerebellum and the motor parts of the cerebral cortex are active as well. Our ear, together with the auditory associative brain regions, monitor the performer’s actions every moment so that we could get the right notes. The effect of karaoke on the brain can be compared to an orchestral musician reading notes.
And don’t forget the emotional component of karaoke: surround stereo sound that gives you goosebumps, the entrancing concert-like sound of your voice, the friends singing along to you. It’s like we find ourselves in a mood-and-music flow that rouses our feelings and replenishes our energy. Karaoke can bring about a calm and romantic mood after a long working day or cheer you up before a meeting.
What’s more important is that when we are looking for a particular song in the catalogue, we are actually looking for an emotion or a special joyful reminiscence. There is a reason why we like singing the hits of our youth so much. It’s completely natural since this music is connected with our best memories and most vivid impressions. We relive that sheer happiness which we experienced when we were young. This is why retro parties will never go out of fashion: because they are always connected with happiness.
Karaoke significantly enhances our emotional activity. When performing, the reward system is activated in the brain, and that brings us joy and pleasure. Our passion for music makes us more empathetic, boosts our speaking skills and helps us to keep focused. There’s also a strong possibility that practising music as a child can impact your intellectual abilities.
Sing karaoke and be happy.
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