Music lovers have always known of it’s ability to provide a boost and to lift the mood, and now scientists in Glasgow are set to prescribe music to patients with pain or depression after studies showed the new treatment could help to alleviate symptoms.
The research at Glasgow Caledonian University has been using sound engineering and psychology to determine how music can help to regulate mood, and now they hope to take things one step further by discovering how ‘music therapy’ can be suited to individual patients. Commenting on the new plans, the leader of the project Dr Don Knox said: “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. These include the tone, structure and other technical characteristics of a piece. Lyrics can have a big impact too. But so can purely subjective factors: where or when you first heard it, whether you associate it with happy or sad events and so on. Our project is the first step towards taking all of these considerations – and the way they interact with each other – on board.”
The three-year project has been supported by funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and is due to be completed by the end of the year.