Music has always been a bit part of my life, and is quite a large area to talk about. But after Capital Cities’ Safe and Sound (mentioned in this week’s Musical Discovery post) has been a song I have constantly listening to this weekend, I have been curious as to why we listen to music. What even is it in music that appeals to us?
For those of you who don’t know, I am a drummer (you can view a fairly average video of me drumming to Use Somebody here). In my
unbiased view, drummers and vocalists are important for any musical groups. But, when listening to music, are there any instruments that are ignored – that are there just as a small effect on “the bigger picture”?
Most questions like these are hard to answer, as music is listened to differently by different people. I know that, on most occasions, I pay attention to a song’s drum rhythm first before I actually start to appreciate what is going on regarding other instruments. I presume this is the same with other instruments. We all pay attention to different instruments based on what we play (if any), and other factors in music. For example, tempo, dynamics and solos, as well as all the other terminology assigned to music allow us to focus on that particular instrument in that moment in time. We either have a preference, or the song itself determines what we listen to.
I’m no biologist, but the reason why music appeals to us is an odd one. Chances are it is more likely the complexity and the “alien-sounding” noises created, different to our own, that make us interested in music. We, as human beings, like to discover and learn. Once again though, I’m no biologist, and it can be dependant on the person.
But what in music appeals to us, can be explained rather well. The first being an empathic link. Sure, if the music contains great musical melodies, then that helps. But consciously or unconsciously, we pay attention to the lyrics, and if they have a strong empathic link with us, then we listen. Songs carry emotions of happiness and sadness amongst many others, so there will be points where songs appear to replicate emotions and scenarios. This empathic link created creates interest. Also, let’s not forget, love is a key life story, and with love being a cliche, but long sought after, topic for tracks. So there will be empathy there.
Basically, songs know how we feel, and it is that which is why music therapy is often encouraged.
But what are your thoughts on music? Why do you listen to it? What sort of music do you listen to? Leave a little comment below or get involved on other social networks. You can leave a comment on my Facebook page or use the Twitter hashtag, #lifeofathinker to let me know! Oh, and you can follow me on Twitter too if you like, @lifeofathinker.
P.S. Credit goes to C L Haden at Loving Life in Wellies for telling me about incorporating hashtags into my blog! Do go over to her blog and say hello for me!