We’ve all wondered: Why is Christmas music so nostalgic? The answer lies in the relationship between music and nostalgia. Hearing ’90s pop songs takes us back to elementary school. The same goes for listening to traditional Christmas carols. They make us feel warm and fuzzy inside, and they make us want to act like children again. According to a 1999 study, people’s memories were enhanced when they heard a song clip. The song itself had the same effect, causing people to recall general emotions.
Reason Christmas Music Make
The reason Christmas music makes us feel happy and nostalgic is due to the structures of its tunes. In fact, researchers have found that this is a primary reason why the music is so enchanting. The brain tracks musical melodies in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for memory. The brain is constantly searching for similar melodies and hearing them again is satisfying. Hence, this kind of nostalgia is a major reason why the songs evoke such feelings.
While it’s true that Christmas music is made to make us feel good, it also has another factor contributing to the nostalgia. The tunes in Christmas albums are structured in such a way that they evoke feelings of joy and sadness. For instance, the melody of a particular song gets stored in the prefrontal cortex. The brain is constantly looking for other similar melodies, which is why listening to the same song is so satisfying.
Contains Innately Pleasing Structures
One reason for Christmas music’s nostalgia is that it contains innately pleasing structures. A recent study by neuroscientist Brian Rabinovitz, a professor at William and Mary, found that people’s brains are tuned to certain types of melodies. Because of this, the brain is always trying to find similar ones and is thus rewarded by hearing the melody again. This makes the music so much more appealing.
The melodic structure of Christmas music is one of the most familiar. Popular songs like “Wonderful Christmastime” feature a jingly synthesizer. The song’s rhythms are predictable, which is why it creates strong expectations and anticipation. A song’s melody is also a powerful trigger for memories of good times. This triggers a feeling of happiness and sadness in people.
The aural structures of Christmas songs make them a good choice for anyone looking for a holiday soundtrack. The melodic structure of pop songs is predictable and recognizable, which is another reason they’re so recognizable. This is one of the best reasons to listen to Christmas music: It’s nostalgic for the same reasons as the lyrics of a love song. It also makes us feel happy and sad, as well.