20 fascinating facts about music

Music is an integral part of our lives. Yet, despite its importance in our culture and society, most people are unaware of several fascinating facts about music.

So, here are 20 interesting facts about music:

  • 5% of the world population has musical anhedonia: the inability to enjoy music.
  • The average person living in the UK can identify the Spice Girls song “Wannabe” in just 2.29 seconds.
  • At two months old, babies can distinguish between pleasant and unpleasant sounds.
  • Your heart rate adapts to the music you are listening to.
  • Loud music increases your alcohol tolerance. In fact, it can make you drink more alcohol in less time.
  • Listening to music is an activity that uses all parts of the brain.
  • When you can’t stop humming a song for hours or sometimes days, this phenomenon is known as an “earworm”.
  • Listening to certain types of music (especially rock and pop) can increase your endurance during physical exercise by up to 15%.

  • The music you listen to and your memories are stored in different parts of the brain. That’s why people with Alzheimer’s disease can remember songs and melodies from their past.
  • Playing an instrument can improve your oral communication skills. As a result, children who play music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills.
  • Most toilets flush in E flat.
  • Listening to music can be just as beneficial for the cardiovascular system as exercising or taking certain types of medication.
  • When you listen to music, your body releases dopamine, the same hormone released in the brain when you do exciting or pleasurable activities.
  • Flowers and plants grow faster in a musical environment.

  • In 2015, the astronaut Chris Hadfield released the first album featuring songs recorded entirely in space.
  • Leo Fender, the designer of the solid-body electric guitar and bass, never learnt to play either instrument.
  • The most expensive instrument in the world is a Stradivarius violin called Lady Blunt, which was made in 1741 and sold in 2011 for $15.9 million.

  • The oldest musical instruments in the world are flutes that date back some 32,000 years. These instruments made from bird bones have been found in the Isturitz caves in France and the Geissenklösterle caves in Germany.
  • Stradivarius violas are considered some of the finest instruments in the world. Today, only 13 are still in existence.
  • The harmonica is the best-selling instrument of all time.

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