7 Reasons We Are Moved by Music

via Psychology Today

1. Reminiscing

The power of music to evoke reminiscing is shown in the movie Casablanca, where Rick forbids his bar pianist Sam ever to play “As Time Goes By” because of the unbearable feelings of sadness and loss reminded by the song.

2. Synchronizing movements to music.

“The auditory system has a rich connection to motor systems in the brain…. These connections help explain why music often makes us want to dance”

3. Music as a language of emotion.

“People who have difficulty expressing their feelings in words sometimes feel more comfortable expressing these emotions through music.”

4. Emotional contagion.

“Emotional contagion refers to the phenomenon that perceiving an emotion can sometimes induce the same emotion.”

5. Music as an auditory cheesecake.

“The cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker (1997) has characterized music as “auditory cheesecake.” In this view, music is a cocktail of recreational drugs that we ingest through the ear to stimulate a mass of pleasure circuits at once.”

6. Musical anticipation.

“What makes music so emotionally powerful is the creation of expectation.”

7. The emotion of awe.

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