Throughout many years, electronic music (dance music) has become a successful music genre since the 90’s. Numerous people of all ages attend music festivals like EDC New York, Moonrise Festival in Maryland, Ultra Miami, etc. I have always loved EDM music since middle school and I have attended many festivals and concerts as well. Every time I attended a festival, I always felt like I belonged or that it was a peaceful atmosphere. The peaceful atmosphere is caused by P.L.U.R (Peace, Love, Unity, Respect) which unites all the concert goers. I loved the fact that the bass sounded beautiful to my ears and I loved that the visuals amazed me. I thought to myself, what really encourages people to attend these festivals. Was it the atmosphere, the visuals, the people, or just the music itself?
What makes one feel excited or feel a rush of adrenaline at these certain festivals? Is it that escape from reality that people crave? I began to research about the science behind EDM music and I read an article online about music therapy. According to the American Music Theory Association, musical therapy is a health profession. The beats of the music allow concert goers to feel a rush of excitement while creating relationships with others around them. Martin Seligman, known as the father of modern positive psychology, coined the term “PERMA” which stands for “Positive Emotion, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment.” Music is a way to abate anxiety. Most of the time, the media describes EDM in a negative manner giving it a bad connotation due to excessive drug use at festivals, however the atmosphere itself is a trance. EDM itself has a huge emotional range compared to other forms of music due to its abstractness.
The chills and shivers one receives while listening to music or attending a festival is due to a release of dopamine within the brain. Dopamine is related to blood pressure and blood flow. It causes the emotional outburst and a pleasurable experience for concert goers.
Dr. Laurel Trainor, a director of McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind, conducted an experiment to test the electrical brain waves of 35 people using an EEG machine. Trainor produced both low and high pitched tunes and asked the men and women to tap along to the beat. When the beat dropped, most of the people were able to tap along to it. According to Dr. Laurel Trainor, our brain’s motor regions are activated when there is a musical beat, therefore, we are tempted to move along to it.
In conclusion, I learned why music is a necessity in every day life. It forms a genuine atmosphere around you and allows you to feel free!!
Editorial Staff. “Music Therapy: The Science Behind the Life Changing Effects of EDM.” EDM Electronic Music EDM Music EDM Festivals EDM Events. That Drop, 16 Feb. 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2016. <http://www.thatdrop.com/edm-music-therapy/>.
Gates, Sara. “Here’s Why People Love Deep Bass Sounds In Music.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/02/deep-bass-sounds-music-rhythm_n_5548301.html>.
“This Is Your Brain on Music.” Neurotic Physiology. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. <http://scicurious.scientopia.org/2011/01/31/this-is-your-brain-on-music/>.
“Authentic Happiness.” Profile of Dr. Martin Seligman. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2016. <https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/faculty-profile/profile-dr-martin-seligman>.