Why Humans Love Music
The reason humans love music is the same as why they love any other thing – it releases dopamine, a chemical involved in motivation and addiction. Musical pleasure comes from both expected and unexpected changes in the rhythm and melody. The combination of the two triggers a powerful emotional reaction. Moreover, listening to music can trigger a deep sense of calm, a feeling of well-being, and even a feeling of happiness.
Before the Walkman, music was often defined as a social experience. It’s not unusual to see people singing hymns as a way to affirm their church-going commitment or demonstrating their love for their country. Outsider genres help outcasts find community and form bonds. Regardless of age, music is a common thread that binds people. The question of why humans love music is complex, but there are several explanations.
The science behind why humans enjoy music is fascinating. Scientists have found that a certain region of the brain is involved in creating learned responses, such as the dancers’ reaction to bass music. A change in a song’s melody or beat may trigger a response similar to the release of dopamine in humans. This is the same region of the brain that Pavlov’s dogs responded to a buzzer. When a dancer hears a song that triggers this response, the brain releases dopamine in anticipation of the rush.
Another study involving an experimental group of pop music fans found that the brain’s reward circuits are connected. These circuits are responsible for determining how much pleasure a person gets when listening to music. However, the study’s findings did not prove any biological benefit. In addition to neuroimaging studies, researchers found that music-loving subjects showed greater synchronized activity in the auditory and reward regions of the brain.