Because of the effects it can have on the mind and the brain, I would like to use music in mediation. (See one of my earlier posts on this quest.) So I have been trying to find out if there is music that is universally calming, invigorating, inspiring, you get the idea, or if the effect is so individual that use of music in a mediation or negotiation would be risky. Today I have some more pieces to the puzzle but no definitive answer yet.
I am happy to say that I just heard from a neuroscientist who said she has given a presentation on this topic. She is traveling this week but will get back to me with more information. I also have heard from many other helpful people, some of whom have referred me on to others.
Neuroscientist Dr. Robert Zatorre was kind enough to write (quoted with permission):
However, cultural constraints are certainly very important, I think, and cannot be overlooked. There are all kinds of things that people "bring to the table" as it were, based on their background, upbringing, musical acculturation, etc.; even personal associations might be important (a certain mild, relaxing piece may be calming for most, but if it happens to reminds me of my ex-wife who left me for another man, then it might have a different effect!)
Therein lies the problem. So far it has not been easy to find anyone with a solution. Fortunately the detective work is compelling—and fun. I will keep you updated.
Image credit: RoganJosh.