Why do we love music
Music is emotion. While the whole world is busy chasing their everyday lives, some of us, the musicians, the gifted ones, court to create masterpieces that echoes through generations. What makes music so appealing? Many tried to answer this question, but I haven’t found a explanation I like. Here’s what I think.
You may be taking a cross continent flight, or simply driving to your workplace. Music is always there with you. A morning jog or the time you fell asleep rocking out to your favorite piece. We are surrounded by it. We carry it in our pockets and love to share it with our friends. And when someone introduces us to a new piece of music, sometimes we immediately fall in love with it. Love at first hearing. Music gives you company. Simply plug in your earphone and hit the play button and you are no longer alone. You are lost in memories or imagine a world depicted in the lyrics. Music understands you. The same song can carry different emotions based on your environment.
Any well crafted music piece has several dimensions to it. Each musical equipment used to create it has a different story to tell. When you are in a party you head bang to the beats of the drum. The same music activates a different part of our brain when it is playing in the background as you are engaged in something else entirely. Talk about the same music when you have lost someone. You start realizing the sadness in the percussion instruments. It is so rich and vibrant and we hear what we choose to. It is a reflection of our emotions.
Apart from our subconscious music has a direct relationship with lot of other brain functions and thought processes. Put on a relaxing Buddhist chant and our mind starts to pacify. Play rato ra chandra surya (one of the national songs of Nepal) and all of a sudden you realize how much you love your country. How can something so trivial evoke such intense emotions in us? One might argue that we are conditioned to do so from our early childhood. But why does only music stand out to such degree. Researchers have found that babies in womb are also influenced by the music that the mother hears. Could it be that music interacts with something more than our brains?
All the civilizations of past had some form of music embedded into their culture. And today it has gotten only more ubiquitous and diverse. The differences between these diverse music pieces has led to categorization of them into scores of genres. There is something for everyone. No matter how specific your taste is, the thousands of nuances of the sub genres can accommodate your craving. Metal heads can relate to death metal and country music can put a grin in suburban faces. Kids can sing along with rhymes and Disney soundtracks and everyone can enjoy Beatles and Adele.
Music can understand everyone. It can talk to you and hold your hands when you are feeling down. The words in the songs can motivate you and cheer for you. A song from your childhood can make you remember the yesteryear as if it was yesterday. When mangal dhoon(folk nepali instrumental) plays on TV it pumps you up with festive spirit. Music is like a packaged emotion which you can unwrap and wear on your face.