The First Music Theory

I prose a theory like that of addiction theory. More and more nowadays, we see the idea of ‘addiction’ fall out of the sub-category of substance abuse and into the sub-category of activity abuse, the such of which include gambling and – even more recently – internet gaming.

So, what if it were possible to apply that theory to any activity. The umbrella of sport covers many activities, after all. I hone in on the for this post – or, more precisely: music. There are so many musicians and music-lovers in the world that it’s easy to start theorising that some must have an addiction to the aural stuff.

What constitutes or defines an addiction? Forever wanting to do the activity and then experiencing the physical and mental draw-backs and withdrawal symptoms when not doing said activity.

Salience is about the importance of an action to the addict: reverse salience keeps one ‘in thought’ with one’s wanted activity. In this instance: a musician will want to listen to music whenever they have not recently. Perhaps, they will feel an ache not satisfied by other types of amusing activity.

Why? What is it that goads someone into becoming an addict – of music? There is no chemical substance to remove or insert into their minds. Still, however, they no longer possess their own body but for music, and are possessed by the addiction.

I suggest that, just as gambling and playing games evokes a successful mood alteration, a ‘buzz’ into the Amygdala, so does a rhythm or a melody. Unlike an ‘ear worm’, these sorts of ideas of emotive music create feelings that are not harmless. They change the biochemistry of the brain – or, rather, they attach undue emotions to the activity of listening to music. The activity becomes one to pep up or to calm down.

Addicts are Pavlov’s dogs.

Emotion is the reason we do many of the things that we do. Food gives us pleasure, as does the relationships of our family and friends, et cetera. Now the association is made between music and pleasure, as with anything pleasurable, we want more of it to sustain ourselves. And, as the addict gets used to the sensation, just like bacteria mutating different strains to go beyond the antibodies of the solution, the addict turns up the volume, striving to ‘feel’ the music even more, to understand the sensations and the bassonic tones. Music is a drug. Almost.

Yes, these things have negative effects. I know personally. Locking one’s self away into music has the same effect as getting drunk and staying out on a Friday night to the chagrin of friends. One becomes solitary, relying on the appearance of music for happiness. Music takes the place of people; it is the fulfilling nature, which leads to pushing away the other sources of good. When music is left aside, it is always on one’s mind, as if there is a be all and end all with chords and countermelodies.

Then again, writing can have those same affects. This hypothesis, of course, can be expanded upon.

Now, I don't know about you, but that sounds like the effects of addition to me.

The End

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