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German study: Music helps many through pandemic crisis

Music has helped people through the crisis caused by the current pandemic, a German study of more than 5,000 people from six countries on three continents has found.

Frankfurt, 26 July 2021 (dpa/MIA) — Music has helped people through the crisis caused by the current pandemic, a German study of more than 5,000 people from six countries on three continents has found.

The study by the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics based in Frankfurt found that different approaches to music were key, with listening to music and making music resulting in different coping strategies.

Those experiencing negative emotions caused by the pandemic used music to damp down feelings of depression, fear and stress. They did so primarily by listening to music.

By contrast, people of a predominantly positive disposition used music for social interaction. Listening to and playing music gave them a feeling of belonging and community, the study found. In addition, playing music provided an opportunity for self-reflection.

New compositions specifically inspired by the pandemic, along with old songs with texts reworked to take in the pandemic, had a significant role.

This “coronavirus music” provided the opportunity to react collectively to social challenges and boosted the individual’s and the community’s capacity for resistance, the study found.

The respondents to the survey came from Germany, France, Britain, Italy, India and the United States, answering an online questionnaire on their behavior through the pandemic.

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