Why does music make us happy?

Well, to get the answer we have to start with another question first.

Have you ever wondered why music is so deeply ingrained in every culture?

Why is it that every culture created some sort of organization of notes and rhythms called "music"? It almost seems like music is imprinted into our DNA, right? We all know mother nature doesn't make any mistakes.

I think of music in a couple of ways. The number one thing that got me into music was the fact that I could use it to channel my emotions and turn bad feelings into something constructive and beautiful. Secondly, I see it as a service. Music has been of service to me in my darkest hours. And to me, it feels amazing to being able to do the same for you.

Like I do with the MISSION BASS LIVE show. Which by the way is going into the 4th round on the 29th of May at 8 pm (CET).

Save your free spot now to get reminders via email: 

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Hey BASSlover, my name is Mischa Marcks and I’m the dude who thinks that “BASS is all you need“!

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STRICTLY BASS LIVE with special guest Alex Lofoco
Music is service

And here's the thing. I've gotten some angry comments from fellow musicians (mainly well-established ones) that I'm "devaluing music and get people used to not having to pay for it". At first, it really made me doubt myself. But then I remembered the main reason why I started making music. I wanted to give back. and not just to a small elite group of financially fortunate people.

I stream this show for free because I dug deep into finding out why music is such an important part of our lives. And what I found kinda blew me away. Not to say that I am not trying to earn a living with music. I do! But I'd rather have the money come from people like you. People that are grateful for a service and that are happy to give back whatever their circumstances allow, even if they don't have to. I truly believe that this is an important step to move the whole entertainment industry into a healthier place. But that's another topic that I'll get back to another time =)

So let's get back to the topic. The elephant in the room really is...

Music can be so many different things. It can be...

  • Entertainment
  • Inspiration
  • Motivation
  • Relaxation
  • Healing
  • Distraction
  • Communication
  • Education
Not to mention all the tasks and activities it can help with and boost performance. However, it is my belief that music first of all is connection. Which, to some degree, is what connects all of the above-mentioned purposes.

For the most part connection to the message, mood, or energetic level of a piece of music. Without a connection to these three elements, none of the above would be possible.

But what causes us to feel connected?

Turns out it's a particular group of neurons in our brain. May I introduce...

Mirror Neurons

Mirror neurons are the brain cells that fire either when we act or when we observe that same action. They are the reason music is so infectious and we often can't help but jump up and dance/headbang/clap or sing along/etc. (or at the very least do it internally). They make watching someone else do something feel like we are doing it ourselves. Like when you watch an exciting movie and feel your heart rate speeding up. That's your mirror neurons at work.

That's why we sometimes listen to a song and think "I could've written this song. I know exactly what she is talking about." This then helps us to realize that for example, we are not alone with our problems and worries. That we are not alone feeling left out/sad/stressed out/anxious or on the opposite side of the spectrum excited/happy/on top of the world/limitless.

Often this connection can happen even if we don't speak the language the song is written in or the song doesn't have any lyrics, to begin with.

Maybe this is because music communicates emotions in a very direct way. There are some folks out there (Victor Wooten and myself included) that say...

"Music is a language"

This idea is born out of the realization that language and music are based on the same parameters (which I will go into detail about in another email). Thanks to this we can, just like when listening to a foreign language, come up with a pretty precise estimation of the emotional content of what's being played or said.
Using pauses deliberately when we speak or play music, for example, has pretty much the same effect on our audience. We leave them hanging and their minds think up possibly continuations of what we just said/played. Now, they are on the edge of their seats, because they want to know if their guess was correct. It's a fun game to play and really explains one of Miles Davie's quotes...

"In music, silence is more important than sound"

So I guess, music is so relatable because it's so close to the number one thing we use to connect "language". And sometimes, it even goes beyond that. Music can feel like a warm hug or a slap in the face. Which you could describe with words. But if those words are written, your brain first has to translate these words into emotions, while with music and spoken language it's an intuitive real-time process.

That being said, I would love to invite you to the next MISSION BASS LIVE show. So we can connect in real-time ❤️

If you enjoyed this article and you want to support an independent musician creating music without having a label breathing down his neck, then you can do so by sharing this blog with someone who you think would benefit from it.

Thank you for your support

Love & Bass✌️

PS: Can’t wait for the next blog post? Then subscribe to my email list and become part of the Mission BASS Tribe. As an a welcome gift you I will send you a bundle of free songs. Sign up here: https://www.mischamarcks.com/3-days-of-strictly-bass/

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