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Music makes us feel good. It can change our mood and transform your daily routine into something magical.

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In all cultures, music can move people. Unlike sex or food, it has no intrinsic value, but yet, people feel better when they hear something they like.

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Neuroscientists Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre from McGill University, Montreal, used positron emission tomography to study neural mechanisms underlying intensely pleasant emotional responses to music, trying to give an answer of the question “why does music make us feel good?”

Another study published by researchers from Stanford claimed that listening to a new piece of classical music made many persons show the same patterns of synchronized activity in several brain areas.

More interesting reports were revolving around the neural connections and the strength that could be generated when you hear a song for the first time. This determines how much you like the music, depending on what you’ve heard and enjoyed in the past.

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But the most interesting theory among scientists who study the awareness of music dates back to 1956, when a philosopher said that “emotion in music is all about what we expect.” This idea was released by the composer and philosopher Leonard Meyer, who build important psychological theories of emotion. What philosopher Leonard Meyer argued was what music does too.

The first kind of music was very likely drumming. It was a natural rhythm for dancing or entering hypnotic states, which can make humans feel happy and full of enjoyment. Scientists say that life is based on rhythm. The physiological and biological functions in the human body are rhythmic.

Walking, talking, heart beats and mental thinking are all build on having a regular rhythm. As human being, we get our musical systems in an early age.

Quoting from The Independent:

“Babies will sing several hundred different notes over a few minutes. But that song can’t be repeated, so it’s not much fun. The baby then listens to its parents singing nursery songs which only have a few notes, so the baby can learn to remember them and enjoy them.”

A lot of harmonies can be found in the in the Western style of music while other musical systems don’t contain as many harmonies. Harmony can balance the ratio between different parts of a whole.

Almost the same with melody, we hear it and enjoy it in different ways, like hearing it on films or romantic moments. The brain starts releasing chemicals that give pleasure when we listen to music.

The previous details (and more) can be found organized in a nice way in the following infographic, which designed by Infographics Creator.

Infographic-Why-Do-We-Like-Music

Sources:

(1) Infographics Creator

(2) Why Does Music Feel So Good?

(3) Under the Microscope: Why do we enjoy music?


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