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Music – why humans like music? by Dr Beetle

International icon in music, example of it’s universal appeal to humans



Topics and correlative excerpts from article:

What is the one phrase or description that can nail what is good about good music? I think it is that good music is tightly played. In any style of music, it is when that style is tightly played by skilled musicians so that it flows and has immaculate timing that the pleasure is greatest. This gives the clue as to the character of the desire that also appreciates music.
“What the phrase, ‘good music is tightly played’, is really describing in biological terms is a desire for parsimony. With parsimony, a simple backbone or foundation occurs, to which all other aspects under consideration are linked, can grow, and return with ease. The music just flows but can return in delightful ways back to its central theme. In a biological sense, wouldn’t it be great to have all of your abilities, mannerisms and instincts similarly organised, to the point where they could be organised and flow like music? It would be a sign of efficiency in organisation. In fact for humans, with so much learning to organise, mimicking the quality and parsimony demonstrated in music must be of prime biological importance. With anything less, the animal could become blundering, deluded, unfulfilled, unsynchronized and incompetent.
Music is easy to remember and use, and indeed was the main way to convey ideas and culture before recorded writing. A brain that has all of its other functions and ideas organised according to parsimony would be easy to use. Such a strong desire for parsimony should not be a surprise to biologists and evolutionists. Parsimony is already recognised as probably the single most important measure of whether evolutionary trees and relationships have been properly determined and understood (more beetle). Similarly, a parsimonious adaptation should always survive over one that requires just one more step or consideration. Where could this organ be that directly produces the desire for parsimony? I have named it the interaction desire, and it arises (again, my speculation) when the pleasure centre in the hypothalamus judges the level of parsimony being laid down in the tracks of the cortex (more beetle). Something has to keep the cortex in check while it learns its instincts, by encouraging the pursuit of parsimony while it sorts its experiences. Another expression or result of the interaction desire is that fundamentally, everyone tries to do the right thing (granted, as sometimes judged by delusional and twisted little minds!).
So why music? I think that music is a pleasure, because it so closely reflects what the interaction desire is trying to achieve in all aspects of life. Music mimics the fulfilment wanted by the core desire found inside all humans. It is like a symbol that the interaction desire holds up as something to strive for. Music of course can also be put to numerous secondary functions, such as an aid to remembering culture. It can also symbolise rebellion, glory, mourning, or as an aid for overcoming fear during battle.”


– What are desires?: “Desires are the most fundamental motivations in animals. Each desire arises directly from a distinct bodily organ, and is like a plea by that organ to the animal for attention and fulfilment. Desires relate to plain and simple animal needs.

– Understanding emotions: “Emotions, by the way, occur when desires are blocked or suppressed. A desire that is spurned must still find its way to some kind of resolution. To do this, desire can turn itself into an emotion, which then has the design to overcome or resolve whatever block was standing in the way.”

– The human need for parsimony:

– And how all 4 of these things instinctively seem to tie together: “Music is easy to remember and use, and indeed was the main way to convey ideas and culture before recorded writing.”

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