How Does Music Affect Your Brain Waves?

Our brain is our body’s control panel. The cerebral cortex in the brain is its largest part, which is further divided into right and left hemispheres. The right hemisphere is the creative center while the left hemisphere is the analytical and mathematical center. Keeping communication flowing between the two is the corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres.


Music can literally alter our brain’s perception and consciousness. It is possible to change the perception of time, shifting it from the left hemisphere to the memory, creating an experimental time period. This way, music can speed up or slow down our perception of time depending on the beat of the music. Many people exclaim that time just passes by when they are listening to music without knowing it is actually creating a perception of an experimental time.


Music can also create a flow between the two hemispheres, causing them to work together. So how does music affect your brain? It’s complicated. The sound of music activates the right hemisphere whereas the verbal nature of songs triggers the left brain. This enhances the communication between the right and left brain hemispheres.


Surprisingly, studies have proven that when we remember the tune of a song or when we imagine that we are listening to a piece of music, it triggers the auditory cortex. This confirms that our mind cannot differentiate between what we are imagining and what is actually happening. Therefore, if you wonder, “How does music affect your brain waves?” realize that imagining you are listening to music activates all the same responses as actually listening to it would.

Music can also trigger sensory perceptions. For example, if a song reminds us of a fragrance or aroma, whenever we listen to the same song and remember the fragrance, it will activate the same sensory response. The same thing happens when a song reminds us of a feeling, temperature, or even food. We might experience changes in our emotions, body temperature, and hunger levels.


But how else does music affect your brain? It results in production of alpha as well as theta waves. When we have a lot of alpha activity in our brain, we experience creativity. Meanwhile, when theta waves are triggered, we feel relaxed and dreamy. Music that creates beta and theta activity boosts relaxation while enhancing creativity.


This is why music can make us feel happy or sad and relaxed or pumped up. There are a range of reactions that take place in our brain when we listen to music, and they allow us to feel better.