Q: Why do humans enjoy music?

Kenneth B. Cadby (acme@crl.com)
18 Apr 1995 17:41:42 -0700

[ Article crossposted from sci.anthropology ]
[ Author was acme@crl.com ]
[ Posted on 12 Apr 1995 02:25:25 -0700 ]

(Just a layman, here.) I theorize that music excercises crucial parts of
our brain... probably the language center(s), or at least those areas of
the brain that specialize in recognizing specific pitch progressions,
rythms, timbre, etc. Ie, just the basic parts of the brain that would
normally learn to recognize sounds in nature and in human communication.

Music is profuse with predictable sounds, and (at least I find) fun to
learn. I truly love hearing certain kinds of music for the first time,
and I usually enjoy those same songs repeatedly (altho not too much--I
HATE top-40 stuff that's played over and over again!). I think I heard
that a specific place in the brain was discovered in people who have
perfect pitch--in between the language center and auditory center, I
think? Interestingly, it seems that a lot of people can develop a sense
of perfect pitch, but only if exposed to discreet pitches at an early

Isn't music also a very social, clickish (sp?) thing? Often I find
friends based on the similarity in their musical tastes to mine. Kind of
a snobbery, in some cases. (But I don't appreciate opera, yet.)

Any evidence for animals enjoying music? Speaking of animals, has anyone
heard the vastly slowed-down recording of crickets chirping? Sounds like
a human chorus in beautiful harmony! Does the fact that the commonality
of certain sounds (growls, yelps of pain, etc) among different animals
mean anything?

Oh yeah, dance... well, that's another question, isn't it?

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