“Where words fail, music speaks.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

According to the Harvard Business Review, the familiar Intel “Bong” is played somewhere in the world once every five minutes. The simple five-note tone, along with the memorable slogan—”Intel inside”—has helped Intel become one of the most recognized brands in the world. And this could be said for thousands of other brands, products, and services around the world.

Music is arguably the most powerful tool to connect with or evoke emotions within an individual or group (audience). In fact, music is such a powerful medium that The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) reports that music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain.

A recent review in the World Journal of Psychiatry found that music therapy can be an effective treatment for mood disorders related to neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia, stroke, and multiple sclerosis.

According to Barry Goldstein, a recording artist who has studied the vibrational effects of music for more than 25 years, music has a profound impact on the brain in four ways by engaging emotion, memory, learning and neuroplasticity, and attention.

Goldstein goes on to say that “listening to music can create peak emotions, which increase the amount of dopamine, a specific neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain and helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers – much like you can’t go without your mobile phone. We often feel emotions are experienced from our heart, but an enormous part of the emotional stimulus is communicated through the brain.”

“This newfound understanding of how music affects the brain and heart is leading to innovative ways to utilize music and the brain to create emotional understanding between people”, Goldstein states.

He further adds that “music evokes and engages our emotions in many stages of our lives, both individually and in groups, and says that music can evoke the deepest emotions in people and help us process fear, grief, sadness, and resentment, even if these emotions are held on a subconscious level.”

Malini Mohana, a content writer, psychology graduate, researcher in neuropsychology, who has extensive clinical work experience, states that, “music, be it within films, live orchestras, concerts or a simple home stereo, can be so evocative and overwhelming, that it can only be described as standing halfway between thought and phenomenon.

She purports that music is able to evoke emotion in a way that is incomparable to any other sense and that, more than any other stimulus, music has the ability to conjure up images and feelings that need not necessarily be directly reflected in memory.

Malini refers to Professor Daniel Levitin, a neuroscientist, and composer, who unpacks the mystery of the emotion in music by explaining how the brain’s emotional, language and memory centers are connected during the processing of music – providing what is essentially a synesthetic experience. The extent of this connection is seemingly variable among individuals, which is how certain musicians have the ability to create pieces of music which are brimming with emotional quality, and others simply cannot. It could be this heightened level of experience in certain people and musicians that allows them to imagine and create music that others simply cannot, painting their very own sonic image.

So, the next time you want your audience to truly connect with your brand, product or service, don’t see music simply as a backing track to visual stimulation. Rather, why not step out of the norm and use music as the lead to your next campaign, advert or video. Select or have a customised composition written first, and then see how the music can be supported by the visual stimulus. Doing it this way ensures you are tapping into evoking emotion in a way that is incomparable to any other sense, and that has to count for something in a very overcrowded marketplace filled with much noise and a never-ending stream of content coming across your path every single day.

If you’re looking for a team to help you create emotive sound and music for your business, product or brand, contact us at Thorntree and Walker and let’s have a chat.

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Some useful links

https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2014/02/06/why-music-plays-a-big-role-when-it-comes-to-branding/#4a79a9cb7b6b
https://www.healthline.com/health-news/mental-listening-to-music-lifts-or-reinforces-mood-051713#4
https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/music-and-the-brain-affects-mood/
https://psychcentral.com/lib/music-how-it-impacts-your-brain-emotions/