The power of music has been often discussed for millennia. It's been accredited to claims of healing, higher intellect, improved energy, greater human performance, and it's even been said that the right musical harmonies can lure the heart of a mate. To inspire love from another is a tall order and the topic of this article.
With all the mystical ideas surrounding music, people have wondered what is the true link between a melodic harmony and love. Is there a certain set of chords which innately arouse specific emotions? Are there certain sounds which all humans link to specific emotions? And if there is, how and why does this happen?
In order to explain the link between love and sound, it is important to clarify the difference between the following questions. Does music express emotion? Does music induce or produce emotion?
Music as a method to express emotion is a quite well established fact in the scientific world. However, harmonic melodies as an inducer of emotion is still a highly debated topic among psychologists and musicologists.
Another important distinction to note, is that of felt emotion and expressed emotion. Just because an individual recognizes a “sad” composition, does not mean he starts feeling the same way. In fact, this becomes even clearer when we talk about a “happy” tune. If you have recently gone through a break up and listen to a song about love and happiness, it may have the opposite effect and make you feel sad or lonely.
The majority of us are aware of the fact that a good melody and ambience go hand in hand. We tend to put on some soft, relaxing sounds before a quiet, romantic dinner. On the other hand, we listen to something much jumpier and livelier when we work out or do chores. There is no doubt that music has a significant impact on our state of mind, mood, and emotions.
Coming to one of the main findings of the famous manufacturer Sonos in collaboration with the neuroscientist Daniel Levitin and Apple – music brings people closer together, both emotionally and physically. With more than 30,000 people polled, Sonos asked listeners how melodic sounds affected their lives, directly and indirectly.
An experiment conducted by Sonos in about 30 households, people were asked to spend a week without any melodic sensation. The following week they were asked to do just the opposite. The research conductors had rigged these homes with Apple watches, Nest cams, iBeacons and Sonos sound systems, for better observation of the reactions and results of what happened when music was played in the home. There was no restriction on which type of music the families or housemates could play and were free to select their favorites according to their mood.
This allowed the researchers to obtain important information relating to how music impacted households during daily chores and activities. The most notable finding of this research was what Levitin called “a nexus of togetherness and intimacy”. The research found out that during the days music when was played in homes, members of the household were much closer physically. Other research statistical discoveries included:
- A decrease of 12% in the average distance between housemates.
- Household members spent 4 and a half more hours together while music was playing, as compared to when it was not.
- The members were also 33% more likely to indulge in cooking together.
- There was an increase of 15% in laughing together.
- People were 85% more probable to invite over someone.
- They were 18% more likely to say “I love you” to each other.
- There was an increase of 66% more intimacy between couples.
All these statistics can make quite a lot of sense when you consider the fact that audible melodies and harmonies have, for a long time, been a part of physical attraction between men and women. In fact, another study which was published in the Psychology of Music, showed that women are much more likely to give out their phone number to a man who is holding a guitar, as compared to a man who is holding a gym bag, or nothing at all.
This study does not prove that music, or musical skills, have the power to lure the opposite gender into your love life. But it does highlight that music can serve as a synthetic aphrodisiac, an audible chamomile tea that calms the heart enabling the magic to happen. This also does not mean that anytime music is played it can attract the opposite sex. Recent studies have developed theories based on experimental observations, that there is a strong relationship between attraction and personal music tastes between individuals. An interesting study suggests that almost 30% of people think their partners have lied to them about their musical taste in order to attract them physically, which reveals how important music is to people.
In another research, it was ascertained that when a person listens to music, the brain releases oxytocin and serotonin which are also known as the love hormone and the happy hormone. This is also another reason why humans listen to music when they are sad and lonely. Without knowing, most people use music as a mood regulator, similar to the purpose of drugs. The same way in which drugs, alcohol, or even coffee help stimulate us, beautiful melodies can alter our mood into something more tolerable and even happy.
The study conducted by Sonos proved that a connection between music and your mood exists. Every time music was played, listeners became 24% less irritable and instead 25% felt more inspired. Overall, there was a 16% increase in the general positive feelings over an individual’s mood and behavior. Listeners also became 22% more active while listening to music.
In conclusion, music is not responsible for only making us want to do more. It has the ability to making us enjoy our tasks more, as well. Participants say that chores are easier to do with music, feelings of love is enhanced with music, and even claimed food appeared to tasted much better than without music playing in the background. Music can be seen as a form of “digital spice of life” which adds just the right amount of flavor to our activities.