Close your eyes and imagine the most perfect life you could have. While you have
closed your eyes and are focusing on this life, let’s just make one small alteration in
this perfect world of yours. Lose the music. No music at all. Suddenly you will realize
that your perfect colorful world has turned into an absolute darker shade of grey.
Although everything is perfect in your ‘perfect world’, something seems to be missing,
something very vital and yet it isn’t that vital.From the very origination point of every culture of humanity, in every history book you will find references related to music. This is why our lives are intertwined with music, its
deep-rooted within us. Which brings us to the big question why do we love music? Why
did our ancestors love music? What is it about music that affects us so much? Music has
the power to move us from the depths of our hearts and yet the mystery remains
Why do we like music?
Music is not even one of the basic necessities of life and neither does it have any
evolutionary advantage. And yet you cannot imagine a perfect life without the inclusion
of a string quartet in the background. So we decided to tug the branch of science to try
and get some answers about this mystery called music and why does it affect it so
A huge amount of research and studies has been conducted by neuroscientist in this
field to find out the correlation between music and our liking towards it. And the
findings are very interesting.
It’s all about Dopamine
Remember the rush you feel when you eat good food, have sex or maybe have some
strong addictive drugs? (We strictly advice against taking drugs). You feel that rush due
to the release of a neurotransmitter in your brain known as Dopamine. Release of
dopamine is your brains own reward and recognition system. If any activity is
responsible for dopamine release in your brain, your brain gets addicted to it and then
your brain instructs you to perform that activity frequently. Simply put your brain wants
to be rewarded frequently. Now both these acts of eating food or having sex are
important towards survival and advancement of human race; however music is not a
primal need for us and yet every time we listen to music dopamine is released. This
should explain why music fanatics like us constantly want to surround ourselves with
music, whether we are playing a musical instrument or tuning in to our favorite artist.
Here’s another interesting finding. For very long we have associated rhythm to
music but did you know that human life is based on rhythm? Even our biological and
psychological functions are based on rhythm. Functions such as walking, jogging, and
talking, also our heartbeat (systole and diastole) and mental thinking are built on having a regular rhythm. And all this is created within you right from the time you were
According to Dr. Anita Collins a researcher and writer in the field of brain
development and music learning, “every time musicians pick up their
instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain”.
“It turns out that while listening to music engages the brain in some pretty
interesting activities, playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body
This should explain why some of the greatest musicians we know seem to be so
possessed. If just by listening to music can release a fountain of dopamine in your brain
than just imagine the effects when you actually play a musical instrument. There is
absolutely no denying that when you play a musical instrument your brain experiences
an entirely new level of pleasure sensation.
We have gone way beyond the depths of trying to understand why we love music so
much, which is why there is so much creativity around music while most of the people
worship music and also the creators of beautiful pieces and symphonies. Musicians
don’t just create music for the sake of it or just because it’s a pleasure for ears
but powerful message can be communicated through music.
Music is not just a unification of musical instruments played in rhythm to create a piece
but music is culture, because in every culture music is an important part of life. It’s
played in festivals to rejoice the moment and its played in moments when we are not
rejoicing life. And no matter what the situation in life is, there is always music in the
background and it always will be. Whether we find out the reason behind this mystery
or we don’t, this movement will never stop. Which also makes us realize that we need
to appreciate this gift in our lives called music and celebrate each day which gives us
this perfection even if everything else might fall apart.
And although scientists haven’t given a concrete answer about human advancement
with relation to music, there are several ways through which music helps us evolve.
Music helps us to learn about others and the world around us by giving us
access to stories about people, places and experiences.
It’s a path to self-discovery – it tells us who we are and where we belong.
Music has a very important social aspect – It helps us form bond with other
people irrespective of race, ethnicity or gender. It’s a point of conversation
and also friendship.
Music has the innate ability to calm us and bring us to a peaceful place. It can
easily lift our mood and even make us forget our sorrows by raising our hopes.
And for the sake of all the musical instruments created, all the musicians of this world
and all the people who thrive on music, we would like to say that, “happiness is just a
string away”, tune in or jam into your music.