Why Humans Love Music
Why do we like certain types of music? Neuroimaging studies have shown that humans love music for several reasons. One of these is the communication between different brain circuits. Although these studies are correlational in nature, they may help us understand why we love music. Researchers from McGill University have been studying this for years. Their results are published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The researchers used fMRI and PET techniques to study brain activity in participants while they listened to music.
In fact, music has been known to help humans form community bonds. Before the Walkman was invented, people sung hymns to demonstrate their religious commitment. Similarly, people sing national anthems to show their love for their country. Even outcasts can find a community through songs that they identify with. Regardless of the reasons for our love for music, it unites us in the process of life. The same principle applies to our love for each other.
Meyer’s theory holds that music evokes different emotions in people. Among the reasons for this is that it is culturally specific. Those who hear music must be aware of the rules of music to fully enjoy it. For example, western Europeans tend to listen to simple rhythms while people in Eastern Europe often dance to complex meters. However, these differences in musical diction do not mean that the music is not emotionally or cognitively significant.