Music and Sound – Sensory Analysis

Who knew that tones and vibrations can create such an impact for the human population?

Music is considered a stim for many. For others, a comforter. Music can generate many emotions and can set the tone for various scenarios, wherever it’s for a movie or in real life.

I will be mainly discussing how music impacts my life and what sounds effect me in a daily basis. From stims to sensory issues, let’s delve into the land of sound.

  • Compositions.

Music helps me to channel my emotions. All of my song represent my mind and what I am influenced by. I am usually inspired by

  • Real Life events (mostly personal)
  • My emotions at the time
  • Video Games
  • Anime/Cartoons/Comics/TV Shows
  • People
  • Specific fictional Characters
  • Genres

Making a song unleashes a rush that enables me to stim. Mostly pacing back and forward or rocking, it creates my own private space to just let go and embrace the sounds and my imagination. I always dream up stories in my head and with my music, it’s no different. Sometimes I stim dance, in private.

  • Genres

I listen to a wide range of music. From ambient to industrial. I listen to various genres depending on mood and time of day. Evening time is mainly Ambient music if I want something more chilled that I can zone out to.

Relating to moods. Ambient music helps me to be more subdued when I want to be composed when I travel. If I want to be in a more positive mindset, or to be consumed in imagination, I listen to mostly electronic or metal sounds (or even my own music). When I am sad, I mostly listen to drone or specific ambient music like Hammock. I have a specific happy playlist on my Spotify thst I listen to when I am positive, and it’s a mixture of various genres of songs that make me happy.

Here is an example of genres that I listen to…

  • Jpop
  • Pop (80’s, 90’s and first half of 2000’s)
  • Jrock (Visual Kei)
  • Rock (Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Post Rock, Classic Rock, Shoegaze)
  • Metal (Heavy Metal, Nu Metal, Power metal, Symphonic Metal, Speed Metal, Post Metal, Progressive Metal)
  • Progressive House
  • Industrial (Industrial Rock, Industrial Metal)
  • Electronic (Trance, Techno, IDM, Synthwave, Music with tons of samples ie – Fatboy Slim or The Prodigy)
  • Rap
  • Chillhop (Lo-Fi)
  • Ambient (Ambient Drone, Classical based, Instrumental music, Elevator Music, Space Ambient, Dark Ambient)
  • New Age
  • Punk (Punk Rock, Hardcore Punk)
  • Vaporwave (City Pop, Future Funk)
  • Video Game Music
  • Jazz/Bossa Nova

I think that’s it. I do occasionally have songs from genres I don’t usually listen to. One example is the handful of musical numbers from The Simpsons or Futurama or even Annie (I hate musicals by the way). There’s always one song of a genre you don’t like. I dislike Country Music and I like some Shania Twain songs. Even some Miley Cyrus country covers are pretty neat. I still don’t understand country rap, that’s even worse for me!

  • Sensory Issues

Certain tones and synths can effect me either when I first wake up, or it’s in the middle of the night. An example of this is Super Metroid’s Fanfare. I can’t listen to it when I first wake up, or in the evening as the tones freak me out. I like this tune, I really do, but unfortunately it produces specific tones that just trigger my brain the wrong way. Game Over themes from old games can do this too! Super Mario Kart or End Battle theme (SNES VER) in Street Fighter II are other examples. Let’s not get started with Sonic 2 Drowning theme! That can scare any one. Most of these examples are negative sounding tones (Except for Metroid). However, it’s not exclusively sad or scary songs that do it. Happy tunes can do too. I can’t put my finger on it why this happens, but I think it’s the specfic tones and instruments/synths or even vocals that can trigger the negative reaction.

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Speaking of musicals, I may love cheesy and silly things, but you don’t see me screaming the Timewarp.

Musicals make me uncomfortable. I don’t know how I survived my childhood. I had to put up with the Disney sing along songs VHS tapes over and over! I enjoyed them back then. I didn’t sing to them, I just watched. Music had such an impact to me since I was very young. I’ve always enjoyed just listening to music. Music in the car or bus is the best way to just tune out.

Back to musicals. The whole “happy go lucky” attitude to “bursting into song” tropes just sets me on edge. The cheesy key changes, the over the top high pitch wails and my least favourite, speeding up the song. It makes me very uncomfortable and it’s a total cringe fest. Disney movies are also bad for this, and people wonder why I choose not to watch them. I am The Grinch of musicals and you won’t see me watching one any time soon.

One more music scare for you. This tune, Fire 2 scares the crap out of me. Regardless of sensory difficulties or not. It’s the theme of fear! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Music, to me is life. Its a stim, a creative outlet, a chill out tool, a scary sounding sensory nightmare, a sleeping aid, a ritual…

… I could go on all day. I’ve expressed interest in music from an early age. Music generates a deeper connection to me. Sounds generate emotion and memories. It’s a powerful tool. It’s also great because it produces vibrations, so those who cannot hear, they can still experience the sound waves. Again, who knew vibrations and sound waves could produce something that can mean something meaningful for humans?

What does music mean to you? Do you have specific sensory difficulties with sounds?

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