More than a year ago I posted a brief article about a new concept I had stumbled upon, about music and it’s possible anabolic and catabolic effects. Looking back it was highly inadequate, especially now that I’ve heavily refined the idea. Here’s the original, if you wish to look back.
I’m going into more detail today, so let me define a few terms I will be using:
- Anabolic: Building up of energy or using energy to make complex objects out of simple ones (building up)
- Catabolic: Unleashing/usage of energy or breaking complex objects down into simple ones (tearing down)
- Bio-energetic: A balance between anabolic and catabolic.
- Potential energy: The… potential energy… something has to use. It’s so simple I don’t know how to explain it. Think of a bomb that hasn’t exploded. It has lots of potential energy. There you go.
I expect you to act smart with me today, so hold on.
Music has very powerful effects on the mind and body.
We all have some music we love, and others we hate. Personally, I think whatever I like is the best and what I don’t like is the worst, and if you don’t agree with me your opinion is wrong. Now moving on.
For years I was perplexed trying to understand why certain people react certain ways to certain music. That question was pushed even harder on me when at 15 and 16 my dad asked me why I blasted stuff like Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin while doing chores. Well here’s the answer.
Younger people have more potential energy. That is why they get into so much mischief (at age 2) and trouble (at age 20). There is more possible energy to be used, and more intense music is often desired because it unleashes that energy. It facilitates in the expression of the aggressive emotion all humans have, but younger ones naturally have more of.
This doesn’t mean it makes us break stuff. If anything, the music burns up that energy and passion, lessening the possible damage (unless they damage stuff while the energy is being released). This is also why hard music is popular when lifting weights. It unleashes energy to be used in exercise.
In short, catabolic music taken to it’s utmost is aggressive, explosive, and destructive.
Very much male energy (that’s a completely different concept to explain which I picked up from Elliott Hulse).
Anabolic music, on the other hand, is obviously very different. It is popular amongst the older crowd who’s already had their days being stupid and expelling such high level of energy. They have lower potential energy, and tend to favor the gentle, empowering and graceful feel of music expressing more anabolism.
It helps to express deep, powerful emotions we all have, such as sadness and passion. Not passion as in the roaring inferno we feel from catabolic music, but as in the massive energy held at the bottom of even the calmest ocean. Where catabolic energy is physically high (loud noises, jumping, etc.) anabolic energy is low (deep resonating noises, sleep, etc.)
Anabolic music is empowering, calming, and nurturing.
It is the female energy.
Where heavily catabolic music can be archetypically seen in a heavy metal or screamo concert with thousands of raving kids, anabolic music can be archetypically seen in a concert hull with a full symphony in process.
Both side have their legitimate uses. Especially when combined.
Right in the middle we have bio-energetic music. The stuff that makes you feel like you own the world. Not that makes you feel you can conquer the world, or makes you feel like the whole world gives you energy, but the stuff right in the middle.
If catabolic music is fire and anabolic music is water, bio-energetic music would be the Avatar
For a long time I actually had trouble labeling the stuff near the middle, because I didn’t understand the term bio-energetic. I recognized that many of my favorite songs had lots of dramatic contrast between anabolic and catabolic in the same piece, but didn’t know what to call it. Until I took biology and studied the metabolism. Then all my weird ideas made sense, so I could make them weirder.
Now what’s the significance of this? I don’t know. I’ll just tell you what I do with this knowledge. Then you can go do something with. Change the world, grow a beard, adopt a gorilla. I don’t care.
With Anabolic Music:
- I listen to this after very intense workouts where my mind is to tired to hear anything catabolic. I also listen to it when I am in a very calm, peaceful mood or am emotionally drained. It builds my energy back up and allows me to recovery very quickly.
With Catabolic Music:
- I use it to get psyched up for something or when I’m really angry and just need that energy to get burned up doing something. Also since I’m still young, I tend to lean more in this direction anyway (though surprising less than most).
With Bio-energetic music:
- This is my favorite area to be in. My favorite band, Red, feels very balanced and bio-energetic to me. Also I’ve been listening to lots of neo-classical music, which has orchestras plus dubsteb, or electric guitar, or other modern/catabolic amenities to the classic anabolism. Here’s a playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDisK5c9JSmPD6S8C1ZCP3ohnjJvprpYb