"Music is not tangible. You can't eat it, drink or mate with it.
It doesn't protect against rain, wind or cold. It doesn't vanquish predators or mend broken bones. Yet humans always prized music - or well beyond prized, loved it.
So, why this thingless thing - at its core, a mere sequnce of sounds - hold such potentially enormous intrinsic value?
The quick and simple explanation is that music brings a unique pleasure of humans. Of course, that still leaves why.
"When pleasurable music is heard, dopamine(pleasure hormone) is
released in the striatum - an ancient part of brain found in other vertebrates as well - which is known to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli like food and sex, and which is artificially targeted by drugs like cocane and amphetamine.
Timing of dopamine release is not always when the music rises to a peak emotional moment but also several seconds before,
during what we might call the anticipation phase.
"So, each act of listening music may be thought of as both
recapitulating the past and predicting the future. When we listen to music these brain networks (including auditory cortex)
actively create the expectaions based on our stored knowledge.
In a cross talk between our cortical systems(of brain), which analyse patterns and yield expectations, and our ancient reward
and motivaional systems, may lie the answer to the question;why does a particular piece of music move us?
When the answer is yes, there is little - in those moments of listening , at least - that we value more."
- Robert Zattore, NYTimes.
Now, I understand why an attractive young graduate student majoring in music at UC Berkeley told me in late 1960's she could get an orgasm without
any sexual stimulations. I now understand my pleasure of ping
pong playing better; dopamine rush through striatum. Like any
healthy pleasure, it involves anticipation(meeting the challenge with confident accumulated skills, knowledge)
and the successful outcomes realised as expected; the best secret to any success in life, I believe.