Have you ever noticed that some music has a strong visceral appeal, or it's very energizing, or it just get's your body moving? Have you ever wondered why?
The other day I was listening to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" on the radio and I realized why it felt so appealing and why I couldn't keep my body from moving to it in spite of it being what I would call, well, not "bad", but certainly not that great. I knew that the "not great" judgement was based more on cultural programming and personal experience, and that they were determining its value on the relative merits of its musical quality. In other words, that's what my "mind" was telling me about the music, but my body was telling me something completely different. My body was rockin' and jiving to the beat, and that's when it hit me, it was the beat that made it so appealing. And then I started to figure out why.
It all came down to the beat, the percussion.
What is the first percussion beat a human hears? The heartbeat of its mother. Then comes its own heartbeat. These sounds, these percussive beats felt by the body, are so engrained down to the cellular level in us that it is literally the beat of life. As long as we feel it we know that we are alive. And when we feel it from the outside we feel even more alive, a part of a larger beat, a life that is larger that we are. A life that has given life to us. And still does.
It is this driving rhythm that makes these songs so appealing. They remind us that we are alive, and give us energy and enthusiasm in being alive.
As it turned out Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" was a perfect song to bring out this awareness because its base beat clearly mimics a heart beat. Check it out for yourself.