MUSIC LISTENING AND MAKING ACTIVATES A multitude of brain structures, the engagement of which is likely to have beneficial effects on the psychological and physiological health of individuals. We first briefly review functional neuroimaging experiments on music and emotion, showing that music-evoked emotions can change activity in virtually all core areas of emotional processing.We then enumerate social functions that are automatically and effortlessly engaged when humans make music. Engagement in these social functions fulfils basic human needs, is part of what makes us human, and is an important source for pleasure and happiness. Finally, we present a new method for music therapy, including an exploratory empirical study on effects of music making. Results show that the music making increased the mood of individuals compared to a control group. This music therapy method is promising in encouraging further development for the treatment of affective disorders, and can be used in both single- and double-blinded studies for empirical, evidence-based medical research.

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