Music is an intoxicating cultural force that has the power to excite emotions and inspire ideals alike. Additionally, music has long been used as a medium through which to bridge differences among races and cultures and support humanity’s collective striving towards an environment of peace.

Montagu opines that the emotional connection to music explains why its existence persists even as humans developed language. He points out how mothers humming to comfort their infant is one such primitive form of music.


Human voice is a remarkable instrument capable of conveying an array of feelings. Paired with body percussion, vocal sounds can serve as social communication or forms of ritual and initiation within groups.

From its early records in archaeology, music has played a pivotal role in human society. From religious ceremonies and oral storytelling sessions to being an essential element in every culture worldwide.

Musical performances have long accompanied daily activities like weaving, wool-working, cooking and baking as well as daily tasks and chores such as spinning. Musical performances also help facilitate daily life activities like weaving, wool-working, cooking baking spinning kneading pounding grinding fighting and warring. Confucius believed that understanding music meant understanding life itself and ruling wisely; music being an expression of character and therefore an invaluable way of shaping society for the better.


Philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists and musicologists have all speculated on the functions of music. Some have taken an axiomatic approach while others have engaged in empirical investigations of its functions.

Recent research on meditation tends to focus on four dimensions: social functions (such as self-reflection and emotional expression), arousal-related functions ( such as euphoria), and cognitive functions ( such as memory prompting).

One intriguing idea is that music served prehistoric functions that may reappear today, though testing this hypothesis will be difficult due to little physical evidence from its history. One approach might be using Experience Sampling Method experiments; participants could be asked to imagine themselves in various scenarios and identify which functions music should fulfill in these conditions.


While musical behavior seems highly adaptive, its evolutionary history remains obscure. Bone flutes date back at least 36,000 years while vocal music dates much further back. Musical behaviors’ universality across societies, early ontogenetic emergence, similarities with auditory rhythms and entrained movement, ritualism or social engagements suggest it could have evolved as an adaptation to confer survival benefits.

Human auditory system timing capabilities that facilitate beat-based musical entrainment are likely adaptations for auditory scene analysis (ASA). Furthermore, properties like spectral sound processing that influence emotion as well as neural pathways connecting ASA to motor beat-based timing circuits may also have been highly adaptive adaptations within our brains and thus could have driven music’s creation rather than its inherent nature being responsible. Therefore it seems more likely that music began as cultural creation with preexisting features of auditory processing shaping its design than vice versa.


Music can be an effective medium of expression for communicating ideas and thoughts in many different forms, including entertainment, education and informing; creating a sense of place and community; as well as offering religious or ritual significance.

Music has always been an endeavor marked by cooperation among its practitioners; musicians frequently form alliances with other creative artists and performers as they produce art together. Furthermore, its medium lends itself well to cross-pollination between writing, film, theatre and dance forms.

AI can play an essential role in the music industry, from automating processes to improving search efficiency. For example, LANDR uses artificial intelligence to enable users to master their recordings using output filters tailored specifically to album grade music production aspects. Furthermore, Discover Weekly on Spotify utilizes AI-powered playlists like this as well.


Music has had a profound effect on society and culture throughout history. From unifying individuals across cultural divides to sparking conversation and mobilizing social change efforts, its power lies within unquestionable. From empowerment anthems to protest songs, the impact of music on human rights and social change cannot be overstated.

At the same time, music can also be an influential force for encouraging violent or illegal behaviors and attitudes, so it is vital to remain aware of what type of music we expose our children to.

Some academic analysts have criticized Spotify’s reliance on mood and activity-based playlists for contributing to an environment of “neo-Muzak”. But those making such arguments must avoid simplistically pitting music’s embedded meaning against its functional uses in everyday life, suggesting they were always at odds.