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Uploaded:2017-10-05
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Jessi and Squeaks are dancing to some sweet tunes! But why does music make people so excited in the first place?

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SOURCES:

https://www.wired.com/2011/01/the-neuroscience-of-music/
http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v14/n2/full/nn.2726.html
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-musical-self/201101/why-music-listening-makes-us-feel-good
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735604046096
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10519843
Excuse us … we were just appreciating some awesome music!

It made me want to jump up and down! Oh sorry!

I didn’t see you there we were having a dance because we heard some awesome music and we couldn’t help but dance Does that ever happen to you? Or does beautiful music ever give you chills? Or make you feel happy, or sad?

Sometimes music makes me cry … and sometimes it makes me and Squeaks feel like dancing! When we listen to music, it’s not just our ears that are listening — it’s our whole bodies! When you listen to music you love, it can make your body relax, and very emotional music can give you chills.

Sometimes listening to music will make your body send more blood to your leg muscles, making you ready to dance! It all starts in the brain. When your ears hear music and your brain responds, your brain starts reacting, and gets excited!

And it sends messages to other parts of your body to react, too! But why do our brains react to music in the first place? Well, it has to do with patterns of notes, or little bits of music that you hear over and over again, and expectations — thinking you’re going to hear one bit of music, and then hearing something different!

Which makes your brain surprised. Music is made up of different notes. And each song you hear is built around a scale: eight notes that all go together, like a little note family.

One-two-three-four-five-six-seven … eight notes! You might’ve heard people call them... do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti… ... Do!

Nice high note, Squeaks! So that top note and bottom note — the ones we sometimes call “Do”? That’s called the tonic.

It’s the note your brain waits and waits to hear. It’s the most important note in the whole song! Like in the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb”!

Right there, on the word “snow”! That’s it! That’s the tonic. “White... as... snow.” Most songs we know come back to that little note, the tonic.

We’re pretty used to that — we expect it. And the composer — the person who wrote the song? They know that we’re expecting the tonic.

And that until we hear it, our brains are going bananas trying to figure out what’s going on, and when the tonic is coming. As long as we keep getting surprised, our brains keep getting excited, and our bodies keep reacting to the music. We’re waiting for the big moment when the music switches from being unstable and all over the place, to the tonic.

That big moment is called the resolution. We just know the resolution will come eventually! But in the meantime, we keep listening!

And the composer is playing a little game with us, getting us more interested in the music. They’re making us wait for the big moment, holding back the tonic until the very, very end. So the next time you’re listening to a song, you’ll know that you’re listening with your ears, but that your brain is listening, too!

While the music is telling us stories and stirring up all kinds of emotions inside us, our brains are busy listening to the patterns, getting excited, and making the rest of our bodies tap along. Happy listening! Thanks for joining us!

If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we’ll see you next time here at the Fort!