I am of the opinion that music is one of the few things that everyone can agree touches us all in some way or another. We all can relate to music, and there are more than enough genres out there to keep us all interested. For me, I absolutely love music and I relate to it better than just about anything else. Without music in my life, I really don’t know what I would do.
There have been several studies that seek to find out why we love music and the surprising thing is that there is no one answer as it encompasses so many areas and affects us all slightly differently. Every single person I know has a specific song that touches them, whether they hear it on the radio, at a concert, when singing while showering, etc. There are certain songs that fill us up with emotion, from happiness to sadness and everything in between.
Music is unique in that was a way of impacting that we cannot express with words, and for years, scientists have been trying to figure out the power of music over us all. They are beginning to get some answers with the assistant of fMRI technology that has given insight into how music binds us together end evokes such strong feelings. By affecting the deepest areas of the brain, music goes to the center and somehow transforms into emotive energy.
The Power of Music
Exactly how powerful is music? Well, in one particular study, participants were hooked to a fMRI machine and then were played one of their favorite pieces of music and then closely monitored. What happened was dopamine began to release in the area called the nucleus accumbens, which is located deep in the core of the human brain. The findings also demonstrated that songs we may be unfamiliar with end up forcing us to predict where the song is going, and also to add the structure before it happens so that we actually anticipate the next bars of a song and enjoy it even more.
Some have compared it to being on a roller coaster and the combination of emotional release that is intense and anticipation has a dramatic effect on mood. There are even reasons why certain genres of music – like pop, for example – are able to work their way into our synapses for so long. They have a way of sleeping their way in with their melodic rhythms and structures that are easy to read and store in the brain over time.
This is also why we seem to get bored of pop music quicker, as it is very predictable and easy for our brains to break down and read. But the findings from the study also explain how some people can hear the same song repeatedly and still love it. The emotional feelings they get from the song work in such a way that they are taken again to the stimulating parts each time.