Music & The Brain

By: Kyla Fangman

Areas in the brain that music affects

The brain has two hemispheres. The right hemisphere and the left hemisphere. The right hemisphere is normally known for music. Although, they haven't found exactly where music affects your brain. Studies show that rhythm takes place when both hemispheres of the brain work together.

  • right hemisphere perceives pitch and some parts of melody, harmony, timbre, and rhythm.
  • left hemisphere (in most people) shows rapid changes in frequency and intensity, both in music and words.
  • corpus callosum connects the right and left hemispheres.
  • hippocampus is where working memories are stored, musical experiences, and context.
  • motor cortex controls movement light up when you want to tap your foot along with the beat.
  • nucleus accumbus controls emotional reactions to music.

How it impacts your life

  • Music has been used to calm Alzheimer's patients. The right kind of music can reduce confusion and disagreements.
  • After heart bypass surgery patients experience changes in blood pressure, but studies show that hospitals that play music in the background, the patients need a lower dose of the medication.
  • Premature babies gain weight faster when music is played.
  • Helps your push through your workouts for longer periods of time.
  • Stroke patients in one small study showed improved visual attention while listening to classical music.

How it impacts your brain and nervous system

Starting at a young age music creates and strengthens neural connections throughout your brain. Music activates nerves in the auditory system so you are able to actually hear the music. Since these connections are being made you are creating more active neurons that help your ability to do things.

More fun facts

Psychologists did a study about personality and music, and they correctly predicted what kind of genre people preferred by using five personality traits: openness to experience, extra-version, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability
  • Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, and at ease
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introverts, and at ease
  • Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
  • Country fans are hardworking and outgoing
  • Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
  • Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
  • Pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing, and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
How Music Affects Your Brain


I think that overall music is an awesome way to show who you are. It helps you improve what you do and do things you never knew you were capable of doing. It has a positive affect on people, and can help people relax, heal, and even feel better about something.