There’s a very peculiar feeling one has in the moments leading up to a live music event: a mix of excitement, nerves, preparative thoughts, and responsible reasoning. You call your friends, line up the plans, pick out the right shoes, checking all the boxes from your list. It’s a sense of liveliness incomparable to most other moments we experience on the day-to-day grind, a feeling worth chasing after for good. Because we, fellow music lovers, know all too well that what we’re going in for will be exponentially greater than our expectations, and the resulting feelings of the other side.
Ultimately, it’s the combination of live music and community that makes these experiences so worthy of our happiness — according to a new study. Researchers in Australia found that people who habitually attend musical engagements are reported to have higher levels of subjective well-being. Deakin University scholars Melissa Weinberg and Dawn Joseph reported that Australians who participate in communal musical experiences — whether it’s at a live concert or a communal dance gathering — have elevated levels of overall satisfaction in life. Ultimately, the common thread is to engage with music in the company of others.
The study sampled 1,000 Australians, with an average age of 56, over the telephone in 2014. The subjects were asked to answer questions regarding their levels of satisfaction with health, achievements in life, relationships, et cetera, as well as their modes and levels of engagement with music; they answered with a numerical 0-10 or a yes/no response.
The researchers report that “total well-being scores were significantly higher for people who reported that they danced or attended musical events,” compared to people who did not. The people who attended music events also reported higher levels of satisfaction with their standards of living. Similar conclusions were reported for those who danced with other people, scoring significantly higher in overall satisfaction levels than those who did not. Ultimately, people who habitually attend music events and/or dance with other people scored increased levels of well-being and satisfaction in life.
The correlation between live music engagements and dancing is clear; their relationship intrinsically binds together the freedom of art, expression, and self-satisfaction; and thus, increased happiness. Beyond the scientific reasons, that live music universally lowers stress levels, increases social bonds while decreasing levels of pain, and can even physiologically cause people to get “skin-gasms”, live music events naturally bring people together who are happy. This is most likely why the ritualistic practice has lasted so long. Happiness is contagious, and live music events are the center point for all these reasons.