By: Noreen Kassem - Article from:

Let's start by understanding the what happens when we listen to music.  All those feelings you have when you hear that epic chorus and the way it uplifts you, well there is a reason for that.

Music activates several centers in the brain.  Mapping the mental activity of the brain shows that music stimulates parts of this organ just as food, drugs and sex do, reveals a report in the "Canadian Geographic" magazine. It is apparent that music can affect emotions and mood in the vast majority of individuals. Several areas of the brain are activated when listening to music, and even more areas are stimulated and participate in playing music.

Auditory Cortex

The auditory cortex is mainly part of the temporal lobe at each side of the brain, slightly above the ears. The brain cells in this area are organized by sound frequencies, with some responding to high frequencies and others to low ones. The auditory cortex analyzes the information from the music such as the volume, pitch, speed, melody and rhythm, according to the "Canadian Geographic" magazine and Alzheimer's Disease Research.


The frontal gyrus is located in the cerebrum, which is the largest part of the brain and located at the top and front of the head. The inferior frontal gyrus is associated with recalling memories to remember music lyrics and sounds when they are heard or sung. Another area in the cerebrum called the dorsolateral frontal cortex is stimulated when hearing music to keep the song in working memory and bring up images that are associated with the sounds, and to visualize the music when playing it, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The motor cortex is also an area of the cerebrum. It helps to control body movements such as when playing a musical instrument, by processing visual and sound cues.