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Thread: Why do we like music?

  1. #1 Why do we like music? 
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
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    Why do we like music? Why do we like different types of music? Why do some songs make you feel sad, some songs make you happy, some songs make you feel both.

    Why?



    Surprised Vsauce didn't make a video on this already :P


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  3. #2  
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    It must be a good question because I have no idea how to even begin to answer it.
    Almost everybody likes music, even when they decide that what the other guy is listing to is not actually music.
    Some of the oldest artifacts we have found are musical instruments. possibly older than 35,000 years ago.
    So we have been music lovers for a long time.
    Sorry for using a BBC story for support but it saves me a long search.
    BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | 'Oldest musical instrument' found

    But why we like music, why it can affect us emotionally, and why we have different tastes in music is a hard question to answer.


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  4. #3  
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    We started with rhythm, then we started to dance, now we make noises together and in time with each other.

    I do it myself and wouldn't say it's any more than that. Shut up and dance.
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  5. #4  
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    Babies are the answer, I reckon.

    Lullabies - whether they're just people murmuring quietly to babies to soothe them or humming a steady background noise or singing a nonsense song traditional to the family or the community. They all work. And babies love music, even the tuneless singing of someone who'd never dare sing in public, so long as it's a parent's voice. The rhythm? Have you ever found yourself rocking from side to side when you're supposed to be having a totally adult conversation with a work colleague? When you've spent the previous night rocking a crying, teething infant, it's a bit like the effects of being on land after a journey by sea. It takes a while for the habitual movement to go away.

    As for that "earliest" musical instrument. How would we recognise clapping sticks from any other sticks in such locations?
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  6. #5  
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    Music might go back much farther than clapping sticks used by humans.
    Here are a couple of stories from National Public Radio about primates and music.

    Monkeying With Music's Impact On Apes : NPR

    Music Written For Monkeys Strikes A Chord : NPR

    It seems that some apes can understand music and David Teie thinks our sense of music is formed in the womb.
    I am not quite sure what to make of it.
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  7. #6  
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    In the womb?

    Being surrounded by the inescapable thumping of the heart and the swoosh-gurgle-rumble of blood circulation and digestion is the first sound the foetus can perceive at whatever stage those sensations are perceptible. Like an internal stethoscope. You wouldn't even need functioning ears for some of those sounds - the heartbeat is probably like that in-your-bones sensation of a penetrating bass or percussion beat when the neighbours in the next street have a live band playing at a party.

    Watching my totally comatose husband respond, marginally, in different ways to various pieces of music and to the sounds of our various voices reading to him made me realise anew how much must be getting through to the oxygen starved brain of a foetus.
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  8. #7  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    I started performing professionally at age 13...first time performance....age 4 about 300 people...

    theatre and music are my heart and soul

    Broadway and OLD folk music....my forte.....

    I pick my songs like I pick my friends..carefully with much thought and soul
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Watching my totally comatose husband respond, marginally, in different ways to various pieces of music and to the sounds of our various voices reading to him made me realise anew how much must be getting through to the oxygen starved brain of a foetus.
    LOL
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  10. #9  
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    LOL
    Yep. We can sort of laugh about it now. Of course he doesn't remember any of it.

    It's a year todayish since he got his defibrillator implanted and a year next week since he was transferred from hospital hospital to rehab hospital. How time flies when you're having fun!
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  11. #10  
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    Every day on this side of the grass is good.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I started performing professionally at age 13...first time performance....age 4 about 300 people...

    theatre and music are my heart and soul

    Broadway and OLD folk music....my forte.....

    I pick my songs like I pick my friends..carefully with much thought and soul
    Ok. You are a good musician. But how does telling me that contribute to the topic?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I started performing professionally at age 13...first time performance....age 4 about 300 people...

    theatre and music are my heart and soul

    Broadway and OLD folk music....my forte.....

    I pick my songs like I pick my friends..carefully with much thought and soul
    Ok. You are a good musician. But how does telling me that contribute to the topic?
    You asked:
    Why do we like music?

    I cannot speak for others, only for myself.

    I told you what music means to me.

    How one picks a song to sing is usually reflective of how that piece of music "Speaks" to the individual presenting it. Therefore it has to be a piece that takes them somewhere, with joy, sorrow, hope or some other emotion.


    Why do we like different kinds of music?
    Because different types of music bring out different parts of ourselves. A reflective piece maybe to personal situation, a dancing piece to the joy of movement.

    Why do some songs make you feel sad, some songs make you happy, some songs make you feel both.

    Why?

    Because they touch certaini parts of our emotions, as I said above.

    However the same song does not always have the same effect on each of us....so that is also why music is so extremely PERSONAL!!
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    Good music makes us feel things. It can make even a sad story wonderful. This is the source of its attraction.

    There is also rhythm and beat; these are older than our race. When the thunderstorms come, and the lightning plays and the thunder rolls, male chimpanzees seek out their favorite hollow tree, and dance, scream, and bang on the tree with sticks and rocks, to respond to the sky. It's called the "thunder dance" among researchers. One can only imagine what they're feeling in this primal connection to the most awesome phenomena in their world. It raises the hair on the back of my neck to think of it.
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    Well, I'll shut up, but I can't dance. I like watching others dance, but I'm just bad. To think Fred Astaire was born half a mile from my house makes me ashamed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Schneibster View Post
    We started with rhythm, then we started to dance, now we make noises together and in time with each other.

    I do it myself and wouldn't say it's any more than that. Shut up and dance.
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    Bah. Be free; don't be self-conscious. Let your body follow the rhythm and anyone who laughs is happy, not mocking. Certainly if I laugh that's what I mean and you can't doubt it.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schneibster View Post
    Bah. Be free; don't be self-conscious. Let your body follow the rhythm and anyone who laughs is happy, not mocking. Certainly if I laugh that's what I mean and you can't doubt it.
    Good way to look at it. I actually like dancing. Just wish I was better. Music; I like all kinds. Even Gregorian chant.
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  19. #18  
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    Dude, if I'm playing and you're dancing on the floor we're exchanging emotional energy and we're both digging it. Lose yourself to it. That's what I play for; the moment when I stop thinking about what I'm going to do on the guitar next, and start playing my feelings. I can only score that occasionally and it's not available from any drug. It's what too many musicians try to get with drugs that they never can, and why there are so many sad stories. You can only score it for a few minutes when you and the crowd are one. I suppose you can score it in the crowd too; I have a few times but I'm not sure you can totally if you're not a musician, even if you're not playing.
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