Why everyone likes music

Music is perhaps the pastime that needs the least attention and effort from us. Look at the most common ways in which we listen to music:

  1. While reading a book
  2. While surfing the net
  3. On TV
  4. In a movie
  5. In theater or a show with music
  6. In a party or celebration
  7. In a restaurant, pub, bar
  8. While praying
  9. While exercising
  10. While commuting or traveling
  11. While working
  12. In a concert
  13. Listening to music and doing nothing else

Except #13, none of these ways of listening to music needs our full attention. #12 and #13 are the only cases where music is the primary focus. In every other case, music is either enhancing another experience or helping us go through an experience we do not enjoy.

Who wouldn’t like something that is so pleasurable and unobtrusive? However, what makes music popular also poses a challenge. How does music really engage its listeners when they are distracted most of the times it is being played?