Music has many useful functions! We can use music to teach our baby a variety of things, and we can use it to soothe our baby or help them to sleep. But are all music suitable for babies? Specifically, is rock music bad for babies?
Rock music uses the tritone as a fundamental aspect of its music, and the nature of tritone is disharmony, sadness, misery, confusion, fear, violence, and other similar negative emotions. Rock music is bad for babies because it conveys negative emotions to them.
But aren’t there many types of rock music? Wouldn’t some types be better than the rest? Isn’t there at least some rock music that can be good for babies? Well, let’s take a deeper look at this.
What is the tritone and why is it bad for babies?
Since tritone is used a lot in rock music, we need to understand it to know why rock music is bad for babies. We won’t go into music science here, what we’re interested in is how tritone affects our babies.
You won’t hear the tritone in happy music. For example, playing the tritone in a wedding ceremony may make it feel like a funeral. The happy birthday song that we sing to our children during their birthdays gives a warm and happy feeling because it doesn’t use the tritone. But what if we use the tritone to play the song? Here’s how it sounds like.
The music sounds scary! Why? Because it uses the tritone throughout the song. Now since rock music uses the tritone as the fundamental aspect of its music, there’s going to be a lot of these in them, whether someone can consciously hear it or not depends on the individual, but it will affect your mood.
I can’t imagine letting my baby hear this type of music. I want my baby to feel peace and joy, not fear and disharmony. Music stays in our heads for a long time; the same goes for babies. So if you want your baby to sleep through the night peacefully, it’s best to avoid rock music.
I don’t think that the tritone is inherently bad or evil, but I cannot remember the last time I heard a happy or encouraging music that uses the tritone. I have seen people put the tritone in and still make the song pleasant, but they have always intentionally try to do it, and it plays a tiny part in the song. That’s just the nature of the tritone.
Common traits of rock music and the effects on babies
Now that we understand what the tritone is, let’s take a look at the common traits of rock music.
Unlike today, parents in the 50s hated it when their kids listen to rock music. The lyrics in the songs are usually mired in rebellion, drinking, smoking, drugs. It’s no wonder that parents in those days hated it.
Today, however, young parents don’t mind it as much because we grew up listening to rock music. While some rock music doesn’t have those traits anymore, most still do. If you listen carefully to the lyrics without bias, you will find it there.
Babies may not understand the lyrics, but there’s a reason why people say that music is the language of the soul. Take the common children’s song and compare it to the typical rock song. The former is happy and joyful, but the latter doesn’t give the same feeling, and your baby will feel it too.
There is rock music today that has been converted to baby versions, and it is much more difficult to get a sense of negativity from it. Maybe those are fine, but my choice is just to let my baby listen to normal kid’s music that is usually happy and joyful.
Remember that rock uses a lot of tritones, and the tritone’s traits bring negative emotions. It’s difficult to communicate with our baby that cannot speak, and we sometimes find it difficult to figure out if our baby is happy or not. So play more happy songs and fewer songs that portray negativity, at least this way we can help our baby be happier.
Subgenres of rock music and their effects on babies
Many other types of rock genres have emerged in our culture. Some heavier and more violent, some softer, and are calmer. Naturally, we want to avoid letting our babies listen to violent music or any music that conveys negative emotions. But are there other more acceptable rock?
We cannot cover every genre of rock music because there are a lot! But let’s cover some of the more common ones that are on parent’s minds.
|Types of Rock||Traits||Bad for babies?|
|Christian Rock||Most bands uses the tritone a lot, even though lyrics may sound good, the tone conveys the typical tritone traits||Yes|
|Soft Rock||Better than rock, normally ok but still contains the tritone||Maybe|
|Hard Rock||Lot's of anger, contempt, violence||Yes|
Let’s take a deeper look at each of the subgenres we talked about.
Why Christian rock are bad for babies
This may come as a surprise for many, especially if you’re a Christian. But hear me out. Having something labeled with the Christian tag doesn’t automatically make it good or godly.
While the lyrics sound okay, the music still clearly portrays the tritone’s negative traits. I have listened to music from Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Disciple, Pillar, Jonah33, 12 Stones, they all convey same the negative traits of the tritone.
Well, I’m not saying all Christian rock is bad, but from those that I have listened to, they are not good for babies. Matthew 7:15-20 gives us a very good idea of how to discern if something is good.
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.Matthew 7:15-20
Soft rock may be okay for babies
Let me take Coldplay as an example of soft rock. The music from them is quite nice and doesn’t give the same negative feelings that come from listening to the other rock genres. Nevertheless, they still use the tritone in their music, albeit less. [source]
Much soft rock music from other bands gives the same feeling. Since the tritone is used so few times, you could say it’s fine for babies. But this doesn’t apply to all. There is other soft rock music that uses the tritone often.
I also want to advise you to be cautious of the lyrics. Babies can understand a lot more than we think and faster than we expect, that is why they can understand simple instructions.
By a year plus or two, they can already understand a lot even though they may not be able to speak yet. It’s better to be mindful of what they hear as it will affect their character. I avoid soft rock as well even though they are the mildest among other rock music.
Hard rock is definitely bad for babies!
I cannot see any place for hard rock in a baby’s life. The music often conveys feelings of aggression, violence, anger, rebellion, and more. It’s noisy, and I have a hard time imagining it will give your baby peace.
There is a reason why kids music and schools never use hard rock music, it simply isn’t suitable for children, let alone babies!
There are benefits of hard rock music. It gets your blood pumping, energizes you, some will even say makes you feel powerful. But really, why do babies need that? And when they grow up to be a toddler, they have more energy than a normal parent can cope with.
My personal advice, keep your baby away from hard rock music and just play normal kids music for them.
Children’s songs VS rock songs for babies
Ok, while this comparison may sound so ridiculous and the answer is clear, there are still things that we can learn and be reminded about.
Babies and toddlers are constantly exploring the world around them and learning. Their curiosity is so strong that it makes them remember things fast, and children are the fastest learners in the world. Maximize this opportunity to help them learn!
Children’s songs are so educational, they can learn so much while enjoying themselves. Likewise, if they spend their time listening to rock music which most of the time has contents that convey negative emotions, they are going to learn the wrong things.
Perhaps you can put on your earphones while listening to rock music. The less your baby is exposed to it, the better. Let him hear peaceful songs, and even if you’re not a Christian, let your baby listen to Christian baby songs as an alternative, it will soothe, calm, and give peace to your baby.
Keep the volume down around babies
No matter what music you are playing, keep the volume down. Your baby’s eardrums are still developing, and loud noises can damage their hearing. Don’t put earphones on him as you won’t know how loud it will be for your baby.
Don’t bring them to places with loud music, and don’t play music that creates suspense or will suddenly increase in volume, it will frighten your baby, and that’s not good for their development. Give them an environment that can help them build trust and confidence.