Music psychologists are trying to understand the processes that support musical behaviours - including perception, comprehension, memory, attention, emotional effects, and performance.
Music is more mysterious than language because its raison dâ€™ĂŞtre remains unsettled. Music has no obvious utility. Music is also difficult to define. Everyone knows what music is but cannot delimit its boundaries.
Source : Cognition Volume 100, Issue 1, Pages 1-32
Many decades of extensive research has investigated :
A very substantial body of experimental and observational work documents the effects that music has, and the way it's perceived - it's now known that many different brain-areas, working in conjunction (on both brain hemispheres) are involved in the perception of pitch, rhythm, harmony, tone etc. etc. (example ref)
But there is no generally accepted theory that explains why music can instigate the profound psychological effects that it does.
Even the most basic effects, such as the general perception that minor chords tend to sound 'sad' whilst major chords don't, has no explanation.
Further reading (example music journals)
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