7 Disadvantages of Music – Its Negative Impacts
Music is part of most of our daily routines. It accompanies us in good and bad times, lifting our spirits or inviting us to stop and reflect. However, music has its disadvantages, which is what we’re going to explore in this article.
Let’s start by saying that we love music. This whole website is dedicated to musicians. We think that music is extremely important and powerful, as it helps to gather people, create bonds, and live unforgettable times.
However, we should also be mindful of the disadvantages of it, and how it might affect others!
1. Hearing loss
If we listen to music at a high volume for long periods of time, or if we play loud instruments without protecting our ears, we will likely experience hearing loss issues and tinnitus (read our more detailed article on that here).
Your music player at maximum volume can actually be louder than going to a rock concert. The average rock concert can be well over 100 dBs. This is a whopping 16 times as loud as 70 dBs. Studies indicate that hearing damage can occur within minutes of exposure to this level of noise.
While new music seems to be louder and louder (we should all be aware of how the so-called loudness war can seriously damage our hearing), the human ear is still quite sensitive and vulnerable.
To avoid this huge disadvantage and only enjoy the best effects of music, take some precautions.
Avoid listening to loud music with your earphones or headphones for a long time. Take some sensible breaks or keep the volume down.
If you’re a musician, often exposed to the sound of loudspeakers or playing loud instruments such as drums, consider wearing earplugs and/or compensating for your exposure to loudness by giving a rest to your ears through periods of silence.
2. Music can be distracting
Music can be great for concentration if you listen to the right type of music (read our piece on that here)!
A lot of young students do their homework or prepare for their exams while listening to their favorite hits. A lot of adults adopt this habit too, during working hours. As a result, they may experience mild memory loss issues or just worse results than expected.
While some kind of music, such as classical symphonies or binaural beats, could improve your focus, listening to the radio or to a Spotify playlist filled with all your favorite tracks could distract you from the task you are doing.
Music can be distracting even when you’re driving or interacting with others.
We live in a very unfocused world in which music doesn’t seem to be such a huge distraction, compared to smartphones, social media, and other stimuli we are exposed to on a daily basis. However, it can indeed make you lose your focus.
To avoid this disadvantage, claim some periods of silence for yourself, especially whenever you are engaging in a difficult or demanding task. If you don’t like silence, choose your music sensibly, opting for classical and instrumental pieces.
3. Music can trigger bad memories
As we highlighted in the introduction, music is beside us in good and bad times. That’s why certain songs or even specific musical patterns can trigger the memory of negative situations we lived in the past and that we would rather leave behind forever.
This situation occurs at different levels.
Music can trigger seriously disturbing memories, perhaps connected to an accident or any other scary experience, or milder bad memories, perhaps connected to feelings of shame or emotional inconvenience.
While it is healthier to solve past problems, even through the help of a professional therapist, rather than burying our emotions in the sand, the antidote to this occurrence could simply lie in discovering new music. Or how about trying to substitute that bad memory with a better one, listening to the feared song in a moment of happiness?
Before trying this last solution, however, seek some psychological support, especially if you are dealing with stress disorders, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
4. It’s very difficult to make money in the music industry
So many people around the world are incredibly passionate about making music. From a business perspective, the industry is heavily over-supplied with artists. For this reason, it can be difficult to gain enough traction in the music industry to make enough money for it to be a part-time or full-time job.
Even bands that worked tirelessly to build a relatively large fan-base often still need to have part-time jobs to sustain themselves.
For musicians that are starting to get some serious movement, the industry is still a mine-field of scams and exploitation when it comes to the business end of the industry, such as record and publishing deals.
For musicians that can’t “make it” (whatever their definition of that might be), they often compromise on their dreams by heavily diversifying their work or taking up jobs in other areas of the industry just to support their families.
5. Some people just can’t stand music
As odd as this may sound to a community of passionate musicians, not everyone likes music. In fact, some people simply loathe it.
Someone may be too sensitive to loud sounds, therefore finding it challenging to enjoy a song.
Some other people may not understand the point of one or more specific genres or styles, in contrast to those eclectic music-lovers who seem to dig any artist or song they are presented with.
Some people may even experience anxiety responses when presented with specific genres of music due to their loudness, dynamics, or overall mood.
Depending on their personality, some people may enjoy different activities, such as reading or doing sports. After all, human beings are all different.
6. Noise pollution
This point probably sounds incredibly obvious, but playing loud music can certainly be a nuisance to other people. You may be playing this in your home, in your car, or in a public place.
Playing unreasonably loud music at any time of day, particularly at night time, can be a major headache for your neighbors and family.
Music sounds quite different far away or when it has to travel through walls.
The great-sounding dance beat to you might sound great to you, but the people next door might mostly hear badly muffled drums and the low end of the bass. Therefore, even if your neighbor has similar music tastes to you, they could still consider your music as noise pollution!
It’s nice to be mindful of others, and if you are playing loud music, then make sure to do it in an appropriate place and time of day.
If you really want to blast music at night time, then use a set of headphones (though also be mindful of point 1 in this article!).
7. Making Bad Decisions
Party music and clubbing atmospheres can make people more likely to make bad decisions with regard to alcohol and other substances, this is particularity true for younger people.
This is much more of an “indirect” disadvantage of music, as these bad decisions are likely a product of the party and clubbing environment. However, one of the most important factors of these environments is music.
Music may be a recurring positive presence in our lives, but it can also come with negatives both to yourself and to others.
Make sure to be mindful of these to ensure that you can enjoy music as much as possible, while also having a great impact on the life of yourself and the people around you.