Music And Your Brain

Bryan Ennis, Business Manager

The average person listens to 32.1 hours of music every week according to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. That’s about 4.5 hours of music every day.

Nielsen also states that back in 2015, 317 billion songs were streamed worldwide with on-demand streaming platforms. Music has become almost a necessity for the average person.

To start with, technology has played a great deal in aiding the growth of music. It’s let consumers have easy access to stream music anywhere, anytime. In the same article by Nielsen, it goes on to say that the average consumer in 2017 used about 3.4 devices every week to engage with music. Whether it’s a smartphone, laptop, television, tablet, or satellite radio, consumers are now able to stream music effortlessly.

Music can also give consumers a shot of dopamine after they listen to a particular piece of music. Valorie Salimpoor and Robert Zatorre, two McGill University graduate neuroscientists, conducted an experiment on 126 volunteers to see how music affects the brain. They had them listen to their favorite kind of music and injected a radioactive tracer in the patients to track any levels of dopamine released after 15 minutes of listening to music. After the experiment, Salimpoor and Zatorre found that the patients’ brains were flooded with dopamine after listening.

This shows why consumers are constantly immersing themselves in music. You get the same satisfaction out of listening to one of your favorite songs as you do eating when you’re hungry. It’s the pleasant feeling that everyone loves and wants to have.

I suggest that the love for music also comes from the fact that there is such a variety of it. According to an article on Music Genres List, there are over 200 established music genres. Almost anyone can find music that they like and can connect with. To go even further, there are different genres of music that people listen to depending on what kind of mood they’re in.

Someone in a recent heartbreak might listen to a slow indie singer like SYML while someone who got their first job might listen to a rock band like AC/DC. Music has the power to connect with consumers and it helps express their emotions in it’s own unique way.

The amount of emotion that music is able to create is astonishing. Every movie or TV show you watch has a soundtrack along with it that is used to help communicate some form of emotion that words can’t express. This is the same for commercials, too. Companies will put upbeat, fun background music behind commercials so viewers are entertained and/or in a positive mood when they see what is being advertised. Or it can do the opposite depending on what they company wants you to feel. Music has an incredible impact on our daily lives. A lot more than we may think.

Take some time to just observe your surroundings throughout your day. You’ll suddenly hear music everywhere. From your TV at home. On a radio station in your car. Over the intercom of a store. We just can’t seem to live without it.