Ever wonder why you bob your head or close your eyes and sway to the sound of sweet, deep bass? Well, scientists at McMaster’s Institute for Music and the Mind found the answer. The scientists went through a series of investigations to uncover the reason why almost every genre of music has an undertone beat, and they found a connection between brain frequencies and the attraction we have to low frequency rhythms.
“Music in diverse cultures is composed this way, from classical East Indian music to Gamelan music of Java and Bali, suggesting an innate origin,” said study co-author Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute, and a neuroscientist at McMaster University.
This low undertone rhythm is found in all genres of music, but especially in the various sub-genres of EDM. It is that constant beat that almost always compels one to fist pump when listening to it.
Trainor and her colleagues conducted this study on 35 volunteers using two simultaneous streams of computer-generated piano tones, each with a different pitch. The electrical activity of the volunteers’ brains were monitored while listening to each sound; every now and then the notes were played 50 milliseconds too fast, or 50 milliseconds too slow. It was found that the brain responded strongly when the lower tones were offbeat.
“There is a physiological basis for why we create music the way we do,” stated Trainor. “Virtually all people will respond more to the beat when it is carried by lower-pitched instruments.”
This could be the answer everyone is looking for to explain the euphoric feeling that goes through your body when the drop is just so deep and dirty.
[H/T: The Huffington Post]
Cover photo credit: theknwldg.com
Written by Taya-Maria El-Asmar