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When And Why Do We Listen To Music

2132 words - 9 pages

When do we listen to music? Today music exists almost everywhere; we listen to music in our car, on our iPod or smart phone with headphones, while we are walking, riding our bike, working, doing our chores, when we go out in a club, etc. But all of these excessive presence of music, does not mean that we’re involved in the process, called ‘listening to music’. And here is where the term art comes. Let’s start from the time we choose to listen to music. Is there a right time to listen to music? There is always a right time for music. But before that we have to make clear that using music as background, when we are doing our activities or as a means of keeping us company, is not exactly ‘listening to music’. So, taking into account this aspect, the answer is yes. And this time is when we choose to listen to music and do only that, either because we want to relax or because we want to cry or even when we want to have an emotional burst. In all these cases music plays the role of a psychologist who knows how to trigger our response to certain events. But in order for this to happen we must be emotionally ready to accept this influence of music; and we can’t be emotionally ready when we wash dishes, when we drive, when we work, because simply, we are not concentrate on music. It doesn’t matter if we are angry, sad or happy. We only have to say to ourselves ‘now I want to listen to music’. Of course, there are many cases where music could have a supportive role on one hand (like listening to music when studying) and on the other, it could also serve as a ‘medicine’ or a kind of treatment (this is exactly what music therapy deals with).

Why? Firstly, music gives us pleasure. In fact, it has been found that music makes the brain release dopamine, a neurotransmitter or simply a chemical messenger that plays vital roles in a variety of behaviors, the most important of which are pleasure, movement, cognition and motivation. But… let’s leave this medical details aside. Music is also a fundamental channel of communication which often serves a symbolic purpose; as such, it can mean different things to different cultures, including its role as an outlet for negative or controversial behavior. In any case, music can make people share emotions and meanings, even though their mother tongues can be mutually incomprehensible. So, music is not used only for enjoyment; it has also been used in rebellions (war / battle music), in protests (protest songs), in opposing to an ideology (political songs), in religion or rituals, as a part of social identities (like traditional songs), in films (what we call ‘soundtracks’), in radio and TV commercials… so, there is a wide range of situations that music can be used and serve each time a completely different purpose. Even today, scientists do not a have a clear scientifically proven answer to this question; however, studies have shown that the main reason people listen to music is because they value the...

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