Why oh why do you have to play that music so loud?! Is this not the cry of many a parent of teens? Well, there actually are reasons why we like to listen to loud music.
The first is that it drowns out any thought we might have – the louder the noise, the less we can think. Teens need a break from thinking from time to time – all that peer pressure etc. Believe it or not, there is actually a connection between a part of the ear and the gland that produces endorphins, this makes us feel better as those wonderful endorphins are released. It also acts as a stimulant so that when exercising, we move faster and work harder. Music sounds better when played at volume and may evoke unexpected emotions.
In this article we see that listening to loud music (or noise) can cause both temporary and permanent damage to our hearing. If you are a musician, this can be very debilitating, but temporary hearing loss – such as that experiences after attending a rock concert – is just that, temporary.
When we want to concentrate we turn the music down – our brains like to have only one thing to focus on at a time so having something drowning out all that traffic noise is soothing and allows us to focus.
When we have had enough of the world, we crank up the volume! This blocks out any thoughts that are not related to the music.
Earphones are a bone of contention because although they reduce the stress of loud music on the people in the vicinity of the loud music, that sound is beating almost directly onto the eardrum and continual use may cause harm to the sound systems in the body.
As with everything, moderation is the key word.
What is your favourite music to listen to when you are stressed or when you are relaxing?