Music is one of the few constants left in today’s culturally shifting landscape. Its incredible ability to capture and express deeply personal emotions- whether by mourning a loss with Adele, dancing with Rihanna, chilling with Drake or working it like Beyonce – has brought people of diverse races, cultures, and backgrounds together in a way that no other phenomenon has ever been able to do.
Music’s powerful force certainly begs the question of why exactly people listen to it. What is behind music’s universal appeal? Are there actual, measurable benefits gained when listening to a song?
Singapore-based Filipino psychologist Dr. Myra Garces-Bacsal cites a 2011 study by Lonsdale and North, where 300 students averaging 21 years old were asked why they listen to music. The results of the study show that music plays a major role in developing an individual’s healthy sense of self.
Music establishes personal identity. People strive to find their own individuality. They construct an image of themselves based on their likes and dislikes. Such preferences can best be expressed through music, as scrolling through an individual’s personally curated playlist can give a clear idea of who he is based on the songs he listens to and the artists he follows.
Music is permeable – it allows an individual’s own life realities and context to seep into his interpretation of a certain song.
Music creates and maintains social interactions. Music builds a sense of community. Through personal preferences, individuals join subcultures with others who share similar tastes. The realization that other people also have the same interpretations of a song gives the feeling of not being alone while going through life’s difficulties.
There is a sense of empowerment among music listeners to have certain playlists be a representation of what they are feeling or experiencing.
Music promotes self-expression.Getting an individual to pick a song with lyrics that clearly resonate with his current feelings helps alleviate tension and stress, making him feel better and allowing him to get through a difficult time.
There is a feeling of relief once an individual is able to let his feelings out by singing (or crying!) along to a song that he feels just gets him.
Music optimizes personal well-being. Music has the ability to regulate and manage moods and emotions. Music has been proven to be able to strategically influence specific mood states, allowing one to focus on moments in time. This means that people have the ability to match certain types of music to certain emotions and manipulate their moods and actions accordingly.
Music provides personal entertainment. While love for music is universal, song preference is decidedly personal. In a country where karaoke is a national pastime, the Filipino’s penchant for music is unparalleled.
By offering personalized updates and specially curated playlists, Digital music service Spotify recognizes that Filipinos need to have music for life. With the help of playlists such as Top Hits Philippines, OPM Says Chillax, and Soundtrack of the Philippines, Spotify is able to enhance every Pinoy music lover’s mood, sympathize with his needs, and go through life’s challenges with him.