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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Church music: Give me that old-time dopamine

Dopamine (By: Sbrools)

According to McGill University researchers - whether it’s sex, drugs, rock or gospel - what seems “good enough for me” often feels that way because of an accompanying dopamine rush.

Discovery News explains that even the anticipation of a favorite piece of music is enough to trigger some feel-good brain “hits” of dopamine.  Does this therefore imply that familiar hymnal music can be as potent as shamanic mushrooms or tantric positions in terms of its effect upon consciousness?

Could this also be why there have been many who warned against an “overabundance” of worship music?  The early New England Puritans were careful to restrict their use of church music to simple Psalm singing.  The famous Swiss Reformation leader, Ulrich Zwingli, was noted for his avoidance of choirs and chants (which he felt diverted congregations from true worship).

David Huron of Ohio State University suggests that music, “like sex and drugs,” may be “mildly addictive.”
The McGill findings specify that “music-induced pleasure” is associated with such responses as a surge in intense emotional arousal, shivers or chills, and changes in heart rate, pulse, breathing rate, and other measurements.

According to Interactive Bible, the following quotations are from some historical Christian writers:

Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled.  (Erasmus)

The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument.  (Eusebius)

Music in churches is as ancient as the apostles, but instrumental music not so.  (Bingham)

I have no objections to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen.(John Wesley)


Copyright January 11, 2011 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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