How does music have a big impact on how someone feels while they listen to it?

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How does music have a big impact on how someone feels while they listen to it?

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This is a deceptively large question as there are tons of neurological, cultural, and personal aspects that contribute to it and it’s still not a completely answered question.

Neurologically, lots of things happen when we listen to music. Some frequencies fall within the range of human speech and our brains tend to pay closer attention to those.

Discordant tones (like tritones) resemble animal distress sounds, so those can make one feel anxious.

Also, tempo can even alter our internal.perceptions of time!

The same music can be interpreted in vastly different ways by different cultures as well as there being some “universal” interpretations.

For example, here’s one study of the Mafa people of northern Camaroon being exposed to western music. Despite there being large differences in structure, some motifs seem to evoke the same or similar iconic meanings.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3762814/

Lastly, there’s the personal. Music tends to be a great mnemonic device so listening to a certain song can definitely evoke memories of times, places, and emotional states.

So, yeah…music is awesome and affects us in a ton of ways.

For kicks, check out these scenes from Jurrasic Park without music – just a completely different effect and shows how much even background music can affect our perception of things.

https://youtu.be/fRwd1zYZEAU