In my ongoing research into the use of music in mediation (see past posts here), I am frequently reminded of the power of music to shift our moods and thoughts, and change our behaviors. It is because of that power that I believe music could be a helpful mediation tool.
This year I learned that solders use motivational music. Jonathan Pieslak has written about that use in Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War. From the recent article "How the iPod became a tool of war" (Guardian):
… The psychological effect the music has, and highly stressful situations, make for a powerful mix.
There's some fascinating psychology and ethics in this, but also questions for neuroscientists. How does the combination of the group, a stressful situation, and very specific tracks, or types of music, combine to produce such a powerful motivational, even transformative effect?
What does this tell us about people listening to this kind of music in their daily lives as civilians?
As I have mentioned before, the use of music in mediation is tricky because a piece of music may have different effects on different people. Its effect is not universal. Read the quote from neuroscientist Dr. Robert Zatorre about this matter in a previous post Use music in mediation? Still no answer since one note, tone, or tune does not fit all. A very compelling question with an elusive answer. But there is an answer, one I am determined to find.