Music can effect our emotions in both positive and negative ways. Research shows that events of high emotion stimulate the brain to remember not only the event, but all the other things that were happening at that specific moment. Our brain connects sounds, smells, and feelings to the event that occurred and links them together. In the event of a tragedy, if there is a specific sound involved, you may find yourself experiencing the feelings associated with the tragedy every time you hear that sound.
This is why certain songs can create emotional responses. And, why the songs we may hear at funeral services may stimulate a feeling of sadness or other feelings. These emotions can often escalate to a physical response, as well, such as crying.
Songs do not affect everyone in the same way. This is because each person’s brain makes the connection between song and emotion in a different way. A song that may create sadness for one, could give another person the strength they need to help them through the grieving process.
TAPS is a commonly played song during a military funeral. For many, this song creates a sad emotion. But for others, their brain may have linked this song to the memory of how courageous their loved one was, and the song may give them a sense of pride, or comfort, or even strength.
There is something about music that evolves over time, as do emotions. When we hear a song we re-live the emotional sequence that happened when we heard it previously. When you start looking at the songs you listen to, pay attention to your emotions. You might be surprised at how much songs can effect your emotions. Think of the songs you heard at the most recent funeral you attended? Is there an emotional response to any of those songs?