Last October Bernafon Spain met with clients to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bernafon. The main topic of the event was music. We invited Zapata, the most versatile Spanish tenor, to share his passion for music. Here is what he said in his keynote address at the event:
“There are some songs we can’t get out of our heads. They stay with us for hours or even whole days at a time. We don't understand why, but we hum them while we’re showering, while we take the kids to school, or on the way to work. We repeat them like a mantra while we’re waiting in the queue at the supermarket, as we go up in the lift or while we do sports.
Music is part of our life. When you hear “The power of music to create happiness “, I’m almost certain that you won’t have been able to suppress the impulse to learn which music a professional might prescribe to achieve the joyful state of mind we’re constantly seeking.
Before unveiling this mystery, I would like to reflect on the importance of an art form that accompanies us wherever we go and which, like breathing, we don’t pay too much attention to until it’s not there. Is this an exaggeration? Maybe so. Artists often exaggerate and go over the top but try imagining one day in your life with absolutely no melody at all. No, I don't mean that for 24 hours you should delete the Spotify app from your mobile phone. That would be relatively simple and painless. I’m talking about a day of absolute musical silence - not a song, not an advertising jingle or even a ringtone on your mobile. This obviously includes no sound art playing during your favorite television series or film. Darth Vader walking among his legions without the accompaniment of John Williams' imperial march would seem very much like a high budget carnival party.
To be even more convinced about how significant music is to our existence let’s turn to science. You will find many studies produced by prestigious institutions on subjects concerning music: cardiac synchronization within minutes of singing along with other human beings, children’s speech problems improving through singing, and the continuous generation of endorphins that relax and delight us. A study conducted by Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, in collaboration with Deezer, an online music platform, summarizes the emotional impact of music (Cooper, 2019). A sample of over 7,500 people was used to analyze how we use music to develop emotions. And what they found was amazing! The results show that 90% of participants use music to relax and 82% to feel happy. Almost half of respondents stressed that they use music to overcome sadness, while 28% acknowledged that they use music to control anger. So, all study participants, in one way or another, noticed the positive and beneficial aspects of music.
Before I finish, I would like to consider something else. In the period after March 14, 2020, lots of people in Spain spontaneously went out onto their terraces and balconies to acknowledge the efforts of health workers during the contagious nightmare that we’ve been living through. This activity generated another public endeavor. Thousands of anonymous musicians appeared on those crowded balconies to offer their greatest treasure: their music. I observed those scenes, the way people looked, the smiles, the tears… and what happened was life-changing for me and potentially for the world. Those artists found a way through the atmosphere of doubt and managed to convey to the listeners a feeling that, in my view, differentiates people who are happy from those who are not -- hope.
You’ve been waiting to receive a suggestion for the title, name or composer of music that brings happiness. Is it Beethoven's 9th Symphony or Mahler's 5th Symphony? Could it be ”The Show Must Go On,” by Queen or ”Entre dos aguas,” by Paco de Lucía? The answer is that I have no idea. Without you even being aware of the reason, Rosalía, Camarón, Led Zeppelin or other artists might have made you feel happiness. It’s not something for me to define. What I am sure of is that there is music to suit every moment and every individual allowing each of us to use it as we would salt in the kitchen - to enhance our emotions. My recipe is to add music as a flavoring to enhance happiness.”
In September, we introduced our new music program in Bernafon Alpha. It offers a new way to experience music with hearing aids so that the end user does not miss key aspects of music and continues to enjoy it.
Learn more about Alpha’s Music Experience.
He was born in Granada on July 31, 1973. He began to study classical music because a school friend told him that they might take him in her choir. He states that, “Music has been my great companion right from childhood. I went to try it…and Handel’s Alleluia was playing. It was a love at first listening.”
Zapata is the most versatile Spanish tenor and the most enthusiastic of his generation. He has been able to tackle such disparate and demanding roles as the Conte de Almaviva at the Metropolitan Opera in New York or Die Knusperhexe (La Bruja or the Witch) at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Cooper, L. (2019). Using Music as Medicine – finding the optimum music listening ‘dosage’. An excerpt of a study. Retrieved from: https://www.britishacademyofsoundtherapy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Deezer-Health-and-Wellbeing-research-short-.pdf