If you take a moment to think about it, what happens when a music-deprived home is suddenly wired up with Sonos speakers streaming great Apple music? More happy mode switch right? Even babies show a certain jolly or calm mood at the sound of music.
Technology has made music easier to create, find, and listen to, making us feel closer, both physically and emotionally. And yes, that includes ‘Romance!’
The Study And Findings
A recent study was conducted by smart speaker manufacturer Sonos in partnership with Apple Music and neuroscientist Daniel Levitin—Author of “How music affects our brains”. Through a research partner, Sonos polled 30,000 music listeners about the effects music has on their lives. From there, the researchers did something that hasn’t really been done before: In 30 homes throughout the world, they conducted an experiment.
For one week, the members of each household didn’t listen to any music out loud. The following week, they did. And the researchers rigged up each home with Sonos sound systems, Apple Watches, iBeacons, and Nest cams to see what happened when the music started playing throughout the home. Families and housemates were free to put on whatever music they wanted whenever they wanted.
By observing people in their natural habitat—their homes—researchers were able to get a unique look into the impact that music has on their day-to-day behaviors.
“Music historically has been a group experience,” Levitin points out. And one, he argues, that serves an evolutionary purpose.
Nexus Of Intimacy And Togetherness
Some of the most notable findings of this research fall into what Levitin calls “a nexus of intimacy and togetherness.” When music is playing at home, people become physically closer. The average distance between household members decreased by 12% during the in-home study. Housemates (usually family members), spent four and a half more hours together with music playing than without it. With music on, people were 33% more likely to cook together and 85% more likely to invite people over. They were 15% more likely to laugh together, 18% more likely to utter the words “I love you,” and some people also said sex was better with music.
Music Has Long Been A Part Of Physical Attraction and Sexuality
A 2015 study published in Psychology of Music, found that women were more likely to give their phone number to a man holding a guitar case than a man holding a gym bag or nothing at all. In fact, the notion that music plays a key role in human mating rituals goes at least as far back as Charles Darwin who wrote that “musical notes and rhythm were first acquired by the male and female progenitors of mankind for the sake of charming the opposite sex.”
Music Triggers Your Love Hormone
There’s apparently a neurochemical basis for all of this, Dr Levitin says. Listening to music out loud together triggers the hormones oxytocin (the so-called “love hormone”) and serotonin. So it’s no wonder cranking “Hotline Bling” makes us feel sexually aroused.
Music As A Mood Regulator
It’s obvious how human beings use music as a way to regulate their mood, like a drug.
“We find from studies that people listen to a different kind of music when they’re cleaning the house,” says Levitin. “Then there’s a different kind of music to help motivate you through your exercise workout. The same way we use coffee to get stimulated or alcohol or pot to get calm, we have music that fits these different moods or alters their neurochemistry.”
It makes activities more enjoyable and household chores were easier to complete when music was playing.
Food Tastes Better With Music
According to the research, another 58% said food actually tasted better when music was playing. This finding confirms something psychologists have already been investigating: the use of music as a sort of “digital seasoning” than can actually affect how our food tastes.
On a personal note, I am yet to see anyone who doesn’t have an ounce of love for a kind of music, therefore I totally agree!