Why do we enjoy music?
Whether you like music, or love it, and there are some of you out there who are indifferent I’m sure, we react to music at an emotional level for scientific reasons.
Music can interact with our brains in fascinating ways. Our brain can synchronize with music at 60 beats per minute, causing us to produce alpha brainwaves at 8 to 14 hertz- cycles per second- which is the frequency at which we tend to relax. And if a person relaxes for an extended period of about 45 minutes or longer, a Delta brainwave of 5 hertz can induce sleep. That is very cool and you can read about that here:
In 2006 Stanford University published this piece on music and its use in a variety of therapies.
In some cases music worked as well as some medications.
More recently comes this piece from UC Berkeley:
Music can also trigger anxiety and apprehension. Just think how you react to the background music of a scary or suspenseful movie. It can can make our heartbeat faster and put us on the edge of our seat. As the music builds so does our apprehension. We have become conditioned to it.
Music can also bond with memories- good and bad- from that point on it may trigger that memory of what you were doing at the time you heard the song. It can be quite nostalgic.
Music can make us cry. Music can induce romantic interludes, and it can inspire us. Music helps make us who we are.
Think how many times a song has been trapped in your head.
Animals too, can react to music. This article describes how music is used as a therapy to calm and soothe some of them.
I don’t know how you feel about it, but personally, I can’t imagine a world without music. I suppose if we’d never had music we wouldn’t know to miss it, but how different our world would be and not for the better.
We would be all be sadly diminished by its absence. It would be like trying to imagine a world without color.