The effect music has on societies is undeniable. Music has been used countless times during history as a tool for social change and current times are no different. In addition to being soothing to the soul, music can also create bonds between individuals and bring societies together. In this article, we are going to touch on three ways music can affect social bonds:
Music Encourages Cooperation And Contact With Others
In previous times, the only way to enjoy music was through live instruments. It is believed that gathering in a group and enjoying music together was one of the tools that helped our ancestors survive in harsher time and create bonds within the community.
And having a musical performance with others can also have a bonding effect according to research. As a matter fact, it has been shown that people felt a bond with people they were harmonizing with, even if they could not see the person or if the person was in another room. While researchers are still unsure about what is exactly happening, coordination of sound and movement with others has been shown to encourage the release of feel good hormones that contribute to bonding.
Music Releases Bonding Hormones
One of the hormones that is released while enjoying and performing music is Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a very important hormone that plays a crucial role at the earliest stages of bonding between a mother and a child. Oxytocin is also said to be released when couples kiss each other, which contributes to pair bonding.
In a study, a group of adults was asked to sing for 30 minutes. Those who sang saw their levels of oxytocin rising above the norm and that was for professional, as well as amateur singers. In another study, patients who had undergone bypass surgery were asked to listen to a particular piece of music for 30 minutes a day after their surgery. They too had elevated oxytocin levels compared to the control group.
Music Contributes To Social Cohesion
Music has a way of bringing groups together no other media can. Just think about stadium hymns for instance. Music brings groups together of all walks of life. The same can be said of mega concerts, which are almost religious in a sense.
Research has shown that people correlate one’s musical taste with their values and that the link between the person’s musical taste and values will influence the general idea they have of a person.
Also, it has been shown that social cohesion is enhanced when young members of a family or peer group listen to music with their group. This is why music education is essential for social cohesion. And this is also why the education department is pouring more resources into music education. This recently encouraged many professionals to seek an online master of music in music education and this is also one of the reasons online MMME degrees are in higher demand than ever.
The social implications of music cannot be denied and music is being used as a tool for social change more than ever. In addition to affecting society as a whole, music can increase empathy, improve learning, and help bring together whole communities.