What is music? To me, music is the zoo of amusing noises. Since a caveman, man has been making these pleasant noises. Over the years, the contemporary trends in music have changed tremendously; yet, they all share a unifying theme. That is: They all deeply convey emotion. But why actually does this parade of drum banging and thread picking appeal to us at a deep level? In realizing this train of thought, I tried to make a list of the things I find make music special.
Here are my top ten reasons why music makes us fall for it:
1. The natural patterns within it
Patterns, patterns everywhere. Nature is filled with patterns from the five-limbed starfish to intricately detailed snowflakes; and music borrows these patterns. The eight-note interval of an octave has many special properties. Musicians only discover, borrow and explore these patterns to introduce melodious sound to our ears.
2. The best part of music?
To many, lyrics are the dog’s bollocks of music. These came when at some point, we humans decided that rhythmic banging was not sufficient: We wanted more. And so, singing became a hobby; and now it’s a profession. Lyrics enable songs to have a profound impact, and can amplify – even create – emotion.
3. Having symbolic meaning>
Sometimes, music allows us to express our thoughts without even saying them. For example, mumble rap: It’s nothing but artists speaking with as little effort as possible. Yet, we understand. We get musicians, that’s what makes music irresistible.
4. The use of music for non-violentrebellion
Musicians are known to be many things, but ‘the law’s pet’ isn’t one of them. Music has fueled revolutions – from that one emo kid’s blue hair to more serious uproar like the Bengali Liberation War. Metalheads and punk rockers have their own subcultures in the western world: this proved that music surely lets us connect with like-minded people. Also, I can’t confirm that you won’t find similar examples in the east.
5. Exposure to music can predict academic performance
Babies are soothed by the sound of lullabies. This is no coincidence. We are born with an innate attraction for musical sounds. Studies show that children exposed to classical music are more excellent academically. No wonder we’ve made a whole industry out of music.
6. Musiclets us temporarily escape reality
Life is full of all kinds of worries: bills, education, jobs. Aside from gaining pleasure, we also turn to music to escape everything for a while. Nothing like putting on your best track and closing your eyes into a deep trance; it’s awesome, for the five minutes that it lasts…
7. It influences neurotransmitters
Basically, this is nerd talk for “Music excites us or drags us down.” It can affect neurotransmitters, the working units of the brain. By doing this, it can make us feel uplifted or motivated; or sad and dragged down.
8. Universal portrayal of emotion
Music can induce a specific positive or negative emotion. For example, a horror movie soundtrack sounds relatively scary, no matter your upbringing. It’s a universal medium to portray emotion.
9. Music sets the mood
Music can get you in a relaxed or energetic mood based on its bpm. For instance, it can both motivate you to study or work out. Sad music can make you contemplate while uplifting music can put you in a good mood.
Perhaps you’ve heard of lo-fi music. It’s a relatively new genre, yet it’s already caught on with young people. In particular, people like to use such calming music as it ‘helps them focus’ on study or work. Just try searching ‘study music’ and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Music is something that unites us. It does not take any special ability to appreciate music. Music transcends feeling and reality to give us a phenomenal and sensational experience. We should be grateful for music because it allows us to express ourselves better than any language ever could.