How music moves us: here how it works on our mind and body

Have you ever felt the shivers while listening to music? Some melodies can deeply touch us: here’s how.

Everyone knows music has many effects on the human body. However, it is also closely linked with our feelings. How many times did we smile, cry or feel the shivers while listening to music? Let’s find more about the mechanism behind this incredible reaction.

Why music creates emotions

You might think that melodies helps us bringing back some memories, both bad and good, which reminds us of the emotions we felt in those occasions. However, this won’t explained how is it possible to feel strong emotions while listening to a song for the first time.

There actually are some “rules” which link music to happiness, sadness, and so on. The first one is about rhythm, connected to the heartbeat. Under 60 beats per minute, the song gives us calmness, but can also lead to sadness and melancholy. On the contrary, below 100 beats per minute, music becomes exciting and gives us happiness and enthusiasm.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/donna-ragazza-cuffie-musica-977020/

This is all connected to our heartbeat. While resting awake, we have 60-80 beats per minute. Our response to those kind of rhythms in neutral. To every other variation, our brain responds accordingly: a slow heartbeat makes us relax, while a faster one gives us ado (both in a positive way, giving happiness, and in a negative way, giving anxiety).

Music and the amygdala

It seems that music directly acts on the amygdala, a little brain gland which regulates emotions. It is connected to the sympathetic nervous system, which controls some fundamental body functions, such as the heartbeat.

Moreover, melodies pass from the auditory system to the amigdala without using any mediator. In this way, it creates emotions not connected with the rational part of our brain. Furthermore, music can increase the production of endorphines.

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/donna-ragazza-cuffie-musica-977020/

ultimo aggiornamento: 14-02-2019