Music can facilitate mental work at two levels, says Steve Halpern, Ph. D, an American composer who has studied the effects of music on the mind. Most commonly, he says, we use music "in the background as a sound conditioner which blankets some disturbing noises".
People assume that classical music, because it isn't driven by a loud and simple beat, must be ideal background music for studying or other mental work. But that isn't necessarily so, according to Dr Halpern. Classical pieces can be so bequiling that they can be distracting. And pop songs tends to be worse. They have tension built in
Halpern produces tapes of music that leave out the catchy melodies, chord progressions and the heavy beat. This type of music prepares the mind for absorbing information easily (such as spoken affirmations). "We can enhance creativity by speaking directly to the subconscious", he says.
Based on material from "How to Boost your brain-power" by Roger Yepson published by Rodale press 1987.
Halpern Sounds, 1775 Old County Road #9, Belmont, CA 94002, USA