Friday, February 3, 2023

Why Do We Listen To Music

Music Helps You Sleep Better

Why Do We Listen to Music?

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Berthold Auerbach

Over 30% of Americans suffer from insomnia. A study showed that students who listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before turning in slept significantly better than students who listened to an audiobook or did nothing different from their normal routine.

If youre having trouble sleeping, try listening to a little Bach or Mozart before bedtime to catch some Zs.

Music Ignites Passion And Imagination

Most people in the modern world listen to several genres of music thanks to the ease of access to hundreds of radio stations, streaming music services, in-store music, and subscription downloads. Listening to music is a much more private experience than ever before, and finding one musical genre that you love is easier than ever before. However, certain aspects of music work on almost all of us, which means that music can be used in a variety of settings to ease stress, inspire confidence, and increase productivity.

Music Can Help Manage Pain

Research has shown that music can be very helpful in the management of pain. One study of fibromyalgia patients found that those who listened to music for just one hour a day experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those in a control group.

At the end of the four-week study period, participants who had listened to music each day experienced significant reductions in feelings of pain and depression. Such results suggest that music therapy could be an important tool in the treatment of chronic pain.

A 2015 review of research on the effects of music on pain management found that patients who listened to music before, during, or even after surgery experienced less pain and anxiety than those who did not listen to music.

While listening to music at any point in time was effective, the researchers noted that listening to music pre-surgery resulted in better outcomes. The review looked at data from more than 7,000 patients and found that music listeners also required less medication to manage their pain. There was also a slightly greater, though not statistically significant, improvement in pain management results when patients were allowed to select their own music.

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It Will Help You Focus More

Rather than distracting college students, a Stanford study found that music moves brain to pay attention. Researchers utilized musical compositions from the 1800s in their study and found that music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory . They believe that music choice was influential in brain processing, revealing, The goal of the study was to look at how the brain sorts out events, but the research also revealed that musical techniques used by composers 200 years ago help the brain organize incoming information . Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven can help students categorize information, which is an influential asset to studying.

Prolactin: Tricking The Brain

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Another reason people enjoy sad music is because of the hormone prolactin. Apart from its connection to lactation, prolactin also has various psychological effects. It is released, both in males and females, in response to grief, sadness or other forms of stress to attenuate the pain through its analgesic effect. When you are in a state of grief, prolactin produces feelings of tranquility, calmness and consolation, thus preventing the grief state from escalating uncontrollably.

When we listen to sad music, were essentially tricking our brains into thinking that something sad has happened, thus causing a spike in prolactin. However, without any actual feelings of sadness, the effect produced by prolactin would simply result in a notably pleasant state. Even if the listener feels sad after listening to a sad song, he is aware that hes merely listening to music and that the sadness he feels does not warrant the full negative impact of a true tragedy.

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It Can Lead To Better Learning

Doctors at Johns Hopkins recommend that you listen to music to stimulate your brain. Scientists know that listening to music engages your brain they can see the active areas light up in MRI scans.

Researchers now know that just the promise of listening to music can make you want to learn more. In one 2019 study, people were more motivated to learn when they expected to listen to a song as their reward.

Why Do We Listen To Music A Uses And Gratifications Analysis

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Four uses and gratifications studies investigated peoples reasons for listening to music and whether these reasons differ significantly from those associated with otherleisure activities . In Study 3, an open-ended, qualitative research design wasused to investigate why people listen to music. In Study 4, a cross-sectional design wasused to investigate the possibility that people of different ages might listen to music fordifferent reasons. Findings showed that there are a number of reasons why participantslisten to music, comparison of which indicated that participants listen to music primarilyto manage/regulate their moods. Comparison with other leisure activities indicatedthat for the most part, listening to music was rated better than other leisure activitiesat serving an individuals different needs. This versatility may explain why music is soimportant to people. Evidence was also found to suggest that the reasons for listeningto music may change as people grow older.

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To Learn About Others And The World

Languishing down at number six was the way in which music teaches us about the world. Music tells us stories about other people and places and it gives us access to new experiences. Music can teach us how other people think and even suggest how we might live.

Psychological research backs up the importance of the information music sends out to others about our personalities. In one study participants could broadly judge anothers personality solely on the basis of their top 10 songs .

Music is also sending us a message about the state of the world. Dodds and Danforth downloaded the lyrics to almost 250,000 songs composed between 1960 and 2007. They found the lyrics got steadily more depressing up until 1985 and then levelled off around 1990. This decline was seen across all musical genres.

It Can Even Cure Pain

Why Do Humans Like Music? (2018)

So, you arrived at the last Conquistadors basketball game, prepared to perform better after a little music therapy. Excited and energized, you played all of your best moves on the court, until you sprained your ankle landing a slam dunk. Ouch! Now, every time you attempt to study, your mind only focuses on the pounding pain in your ankle! Have you tried studying with music? According to USA Today, music is so powerful to the body that it can actually help ease the pain. Studies show that music can meaningfully reduce the perceived intensity of pain, especially in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine.

Your ankle pain and your midterm stand no chance against your favorite album and focused mind! Similar to how a lullaby would calm you, listening to music can also help you relax as by lowering your blood pressure, easing muscle tension and increasing your attention span.

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Music Fools The Brain Into Thinking It’s Speech

These explanations may describe why we feel joy from music, but don’t explain the whole other range of emotions music can produce.

When we hear a piece of music, its rhythm latches onto us in a process called entrainment. If the music is fast-paced, our heartbeats and breathing patterns will accelerate to match the beat.

That arousal may then be interpreted by our brains as excitement. Research has found that the more pleasant-sounding the music, the greater the level of entrainment.

Another hypothesis is that music latches onto the regions of the brain attuned to speech which convey all of our emotions.

“It makes sense that our brains are really good at picking up emotions in speech,” the French Institute of Science’s Aucouturier says. It’s essential to understand if those around us are happy, sad, angry, or scared. Much of that information is contained in the tone of a person’s speech. Higher-pitched voices sound happier. More warbled voices are scared.

Music may then be an exaggerated version of speech. Just as higher-pitched and speedier voices connote excitement, so do higher-pitched and speedier selections of music.

“The happiest I can make my voice, a piano or violin or trumpet can make it 100 times more happy in a way,” Aucouturier says, because those instruments can produce a much wider range of notes than the human voice.

And because we tend to mirror the emotions we hear in others, if the music is mimicking happy speech, then the listener will become happy too.

It Can Improve Memory

Music also has a positive effect on your ability to memorize.

In one study , researchers gave people tasks that required them to read and then recall short lists of words. Those who were listening to classical music outperformed those who worked in silence or with white noise.

The same study tracked how fast people could perform simple processing tasks matching numbers to geometrical shapes and a similar benefit showed up. Mozart helped people complete the task faster and more accurately.

Mayo Clinic points out that while music doesnt reverse the memory loss experienced by people with Alzheimers disease and other forms of dementia, music has been found to slow cognitive decline , helping people with mild or moderate dementia remember episodes from their lives.

Music memory is one of the brain functions most resistant to dementia. Thats why some caregivers have had success using music to calm dementia patients and build trusting connections with them.

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How The Reward System And Dopamine Relate To Music

One of the first studies in the emotional association with music was conducted by Leonard Meyer in 1956. Meyer analyzed the fifth movement in Beethovens masterpiece, String Quartet in C-sharp major, Op. 131. After examining the tonal changes and measures, Meyer concluded that creating unfulfilled expectations caused suspense and tension in the listener, which leads to the emotional response to fulfilled expectations.

Listening to music triggers physical changes indicating emotional arousal.

Listening to our favorite songs will make us happy, which is indicated by the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Lowered electrical conductance on the skin
  • Activation of areas of the brain involved in physical movement

The cerebellum is highly activated by our favorite songs, triggering increased blood flow to the legs. This may be part of why dance is so closely associated with nearly every genre of music. The region of the brain most impacted by almost every type of music in the world is also the area that makes us want to move, even if this is just tapping our feet or bobbing our heads.

Do We Experience Real Emotions In Response To Music


Do we actually feel emotion in response to music? It’s an intriguing question that would seem to have a simple answer but some theorists don’t think so. Instead, there’s an argument that controversially suggests we aren’t experiencing traditional emotions in response to music at all. What we’re feeling, the theory suggests, is a kind of tension and relaxation in turns, based on whether or not our expectations of what a piece of music will do next are met. We feel happy, according to this idea, when the next note or movement fulfills what we think might happen, while we get frustrated or feel on edge when it doesn’t.

However, there are a lot of ways to rebut this, or at least to argue that it’s part but not all of how our emotional responses to music seem to work. There’s a lot of physical evidence that we seem to experience emotion while we listen to music, from heart rate increases in response to tense or fast music to reports of emotional response among listeners. And it’s not purely straightforward, either we may“feel” the emotion of a piece of music as sad, but actually experience pleasure while we listen to it, as research in 2013 discovered. Emotion does seem to be involved beyond just tension and expectation, but it’s a complicated picture.

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Researchers Are Discovering How Music Affects The Brain Helping Us To Make Sense Of Its Real Emotional And Social Power

I still remember when I first heard the song by Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill. Something about that songthe lyrics, the melody, the unusual 7/4 time signaturegave me chills. Even now, years later, it still can make me cry.

Who among us doesnt have a similar story about a song that touched us? Whether attending a concert, listening to the radio, or singing in the shower, theres something about music that can fill us with emotion, from joy to sadness.

Music impacts us in ways that other sounds dont, and for years now, scientists have been wondering why. Now they are finally beginning to find some answers. Using fMRI technology, theyre discovering why music can inspire such strong feelings and bind us so tightly to other people.

Music affects deep emotional centers in the brain, says Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University who studies the brain on music. A single sound tone is not really pleasurable in itself but if these sounds are organized over time in some sort of arrangement, its amazingly powerful.

How music makes the brain happy

Thats a big deal, because dopamine is released with biological rewards, like eating and sex, for example, says Salimpoor. Its also released with drugs that are very powerful and addictive, like cocaine or amphetamines.

How music synchronizes brains

Different notes for different folks

The Importance Of Music: When And Why We Listen To Music

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Home » Affect & Emotion » The Importance Of Music: When and Why we listen to music

There is no doubt that most humans spend a lot of time listening to music. Music is clearly important to us. Neilson says that Americans are listening to 4.5 hours of music a day another one says its 2 hours. Many others like me spend between 2 and 4 hours listening to something musical. So why is music so important to us?

Fun Fact:One of the oldest instrument known to man is a Flute made out of a vultures wing bone. It is at least 40,000 years old. Researchers consider the existence of instruments as a clear marker of advanced societies.

Music is essentially something that stimulates the auditory nerves . But, music is perhaps one of the only stimuli, received to a single sense organ, which stimulates almost all of the brain in unique ways. A lot of music happens within the brain. Our interpretation is necessary for differentiating between music and noise.

No person perceives music in exactly the same way. Bearing this in mind, one can say that every person is uniquely motivated to listen to music. People will also have specific reasons to listen to music. Some common reasons are:

  • Enjoyment
  • Structural parts of the song which are preferred
  • Unique sensations like ASMR , piloerections , euphoria, deep trance, etc.
  • To not get bored
  • Social/Interpersonal bonding
  • Sleep Aid: Many of us use music to help us sleep.
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    It Can Help Treat Mental Illness

    Music literally changes the brain. Neurological researchers have found that listening to music triggers the release of several neurochemicals that play a role in brain function and mental health:

    • dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and reward centers
    • stress hormones like cortisol
    • serotonin and other hormones related to immunity
    • oxytocin, a chemical that fosters the ability to connect to others

    Although more research needs to be done to understand precisely how music can be used therapeutically to treat mental illness, some

    critical illness feel less anxiety after music therapy.

    Theres conflicting evidence about whether listening to music has an effect on your bodys physiological stress response, however. indicated that the body releases less cortisol, a stress hormone, when people listen to music. This same study referenced previous research stating that music had little measurable effect on cortisol levels.

    One recent that measured several indicators of stress concluded that while listening to music before a stressful event doesnt reduce anxiety, listening to relaxing music after a stressful event can help your nervous system recover faster.

    We Want You To Succeed

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    Florida National University is dedicated to helping our students succeed. While you continue to excel at FNU, please take advantage of our helpful resources. As the semester comes to a close, gain tips from our blog article, 10 Ways to Prepare for Your Final Exam, and dont forget your headphones!

    If you are not currently enrolled at FNU, browse our programs of study and apply now!

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    Why Do We Listen To Music

    Why do we listen to music? A review has identified three overall psychological factors of music listening: 1. to regulate arousal and mood, 2. to achieve self-awareness, 3. as an expression of social relatedness .

    The first and second factors were deemed to be much more important than the third one. This finding is in contrast with what we would expect as many theories posit that music has evolved as a means for social communication and coordination.

    However, it may reflect the fact that music now has a different meaning for people than it has had in the past. Continue your reading and find out how the mind is affected by music.

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