Why don't we tire of music?

So, there’s a lot of smart folk’s on this site, and I’ve been wondering why people never grow tired of listening to music. For example, we don’t read the same book over and over, nor do we watch the same TV show or movie over and over.  But, we never get tired of listening to the same music.  Why is this?  What is it in our mentally that allows this to happen?  Just curious...  Thanks!



Some people get tired of listening to the same music. But your question touches on the balance between feeling and thinking. Most other media you mention largely requires more thought, except maybe reruns of sitcoms or comedy movies that people do like to watch over and over.

Music allows you to commit it to memory and just enjoy how you feel because of it. This is precisely why many people call it a drug, because the experience a particular song or composition can deliver can be consistent and emotionally resonating, even euphoric, similar to alcohol or other substances.

One thing I love about music though is that sometimes over time as my listening skillls improve, or my gear improves, I end up hearing the same tracks differently. New details surface, and that excites me. 

we never get tired of listening to the same music.  Why is this?"

Speak for yourself.

There's a lifetime of unheard music in every genre.

It's defining the line of audio as a hobby/audiophoolery and actually enjoying music that gets weird in these forums.

A lot of folks repeatedly return to the same piece of art over the course of their lives.

If I was smart, I’d re-read (or…uh…actually read…🙄) all them books on my shelf.

I re-watched a few different TV series’ over the last year or so.

The entire “Twin Peaks” story was one of those (seasons 1 & 2, then the ‘92 film, then the ‘17 Showtime, “ The Return” season).  It was even more amazing the 2nd time.

I re-watch films regularly, often getting a lot more out of them with repeat viewing (every once in a while maybe getting less 😉)

Music is so much more portable and easily repeatable, I guess. Morning shower, breakfast, commute, work, commute, dinner, evening, etc. You could potentially listen to music all damn day if you wanted.



For me it's the emotional release that a song means to me as well as the fond memories.of the time I first heard it. To this day where ever I am If I hear a song from my past I instantly remember the place and the people and the feelings of that moment.

A book your reading someone elses story with effort through purposeful information and back story imbedded. It consumes greater time and like life has longer periods of less excitement.

Music is easily transformative to sharing that emotion and or tying it to a period or incident relevent to the individuals listening. Simply easier to relate it's emotion consiously and subcounciously as if our own. Like a drug it seems to quickly swing a mood around, your energy and in best case scenarios...embelishes an already natural high...

I find a book is an escape from ourselves where a song is often in the context older songs , like comfort food for the soul. New music before it ages is a necassary drug to keep moving forward ....

Music is instant gratification in short fleeting moments with less of the malaise of life and books have inherently within them.

Its not that surprising. Read a good book about your favorite band ...or...put a soundtrack to it and see them live with a few friends and thousands of strangers..now it's imbedded in you... short in duration so potent with emotion and energy...like many of the best things in life...


As has2be says, yeah it seems most folks regard music as comfort food. Putting it another way, while there are certainly a good deal of adventurous listeners, most listeners aren't. And yeah, that's perfectly OK. I gotta say, though, that I do get my share of cheap chuckles out of posters whose tastes don't seem to stretch much further than Led Zeppelin.

As others have mentioned its the emotional connection, but I can also get into technical aspects, performance of players as well as audio system.


And I do get tired of hearing same music, my music preferences have evolved to stream of consciousness listening sessions that stretch through nearly every genre conceived by humans.

Good question.


I remember reading that James Joyce once sought acknowledgent amongst close friends that his famous novel Ulysses was as good as a work of music.

He didn't get it.


What about that Nietzsche quote?

"Without music, life would be a mistake."


It would seem as if there is something almost supernatural about the power of music and it's ability to influence the human mind.


Perhaps it's better if we never find out just what it is?

@quincy , it is instinctive. We are programmed to listen to music for a number of reasons. We do get tired of the same music over and over again. Stimulus variation applies.

I think that it's because every piece that we love gives us a different mental pleasure response, almost like drugs, and therefore, we (like addicts) never get tired of those feelings.

This would be a good threat for the 'Music' topic, as it's got nothing to do with 'analog' per se, and you're liable to get a good many responses there. 

larsman.  Wasn't really sure where to post this question.  My logic told me that analog would work because we are analog beings.  We don't hear music, or anything else for that matter in digital, we hear in analog, actual sound waves.  Hence the post in the analog section.  


 I agree with you. Whether or not we are discussing the technical or emotional aspects of music, it is after all this, music.

  It is a really good question that is well worth the discussion. 

 The one problem that I have with most music is when it gets 'stuck' in my head and won't go away. It is no longer enjoyable after hours of this, but rather a weed. The best that I can do about it is try and change the song to something else to replace it in the loop. Of course, now it won't go away.

Ah, that is called an 'ear worm'.  As far as I can tell everyone suffers from the phenomenon.  For me recently, 'Fly Robin Fly'.  A old disco dance song!

                                 Think about it!

     Aren't we all the happiest, when we're doing things that have no purpose, but to make us happy?

     This treatise* (at about 00:08:30), speaks of music's purposelessness, but few will grasp that, without listening to what precedes.

      Please, keep in mind: Watts died in 1973, SO: though some of what he says is still apropos to what's currently going down; this is in no way an attempt to politicize this thread.


       ps: I wouldn't base any of my doctrine, on what's proffered toward the end, either.

                                            Happy listening!


People tire eventually if too much of most anything.   Perhaps not money.  



  Good point. I suffer from some form of greed myself. It is the buying reflex to having something that I don't really need. The internet promotes this by some exponential factor. Used to be that you might actually have to walk to the store and then decide if what oyu couldn't live without could be carried back home. It was that pause of reality or beginning of it that changed your mind after. Maybe there is a bargain in the next isle.

I have old favorites, and I also like to explore newer recordings.

What I have stopped doing is acquiring multiple versions of a classic recording.  No more lp-CD-enhanced CD-SACD-Blu Ray-deluxe lp of the same record.  

My best friend’s wife watched "Karate Kid" dozens of times over the course of her life.  "Sound of Music", too. My wife is stuck on "Avatar", both versions. Which is to say I don’t buy your basic premise. Movies, static art forms of all kinds, and books can be as much of a repetitive obsession as music.

Maybe I'm the odd man out, but there are many movies I rewatch regularly: It's A Wonderful Life, Sound of Music, Dr. Strangelove, Bergman/Fellini/Truffaut/Melville/etc. I've also read The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy" multiple times as well as works by John Irving/Kurt Vonnegut/Tom Robbins/etc

I believe the accessibility/time required to listen to a song or album is much shorter and therefore more easily "consumable".

Although there is a bell curve associated with everything in life, I believe most adults don't read the same book or watch the same movie every week, or every month.  Once a year, for sure, especially around the holidays....  


I have records I listen to regularly, on at least a monthly basis over the past 50 years.  Can't say that about favorite movies or books....


Music moves the soul more than other forms of media.  Most likely this is the same scenario for most folks on this site, but not every living person.

Music offers the right combination of providing structure while granting enough freedom to form our own interpretations of meaning. These interpretations resonate at a very base emotional level - something modern society tells us to "keep a lid on", in almost every other context. And our interpretations can change from day-to-day, or over time. That prevents boredom. Good music also hits the right centers of our brain to release dopamine so we feel then need to come back for more.

Watching a movies, you’re too passive of an observer. Once you reach the end, 99% of movies lose all rewatch value. Once I know what happened, I don’t need to watch it again. I can count on my hands (out of thousands) the shows / movies that have any rewatch value, and even then the rewatches have to be spaced out (at least a year).

Most movies I only watch once. I watched Brazil twice. I watched A Clockwork Orange 3 or 4 times.

I do get tired of the same music.  There are bands that I won't even play anymore and even change the radio station when anything from them comes on.  There are also songs that I won't listen to for years at a time and then suddenly get a craving for to relieve some old memory.  In my experience, the longer it takes me to like a song the longer it takes me to get tired of it. This goes for all genres.

“Brazil” Great movie! Thanks for mentioning it. I need to watch it again. Over thanksgiving we were in Michigan. My brother in law has a decent home theater, and we watched “Young Frankenstein “. Still funny after all these years.

There are many books I've read multiple times and movies and TV series I've seen multiple times, and they're new experiences every time. Music is more abstract, so it can lend itself to more repetitions, perhaps? 

Here’s what Google Gemini has to say about it, some things I think most would intuit:

There are several reasons why humans find music so captivating and why we enjoy listening to the same songs repeatedly:

Emotional Connection: Music has a powerful ability to evoke emotions. The combination of melody, rhythm, harmony, and lyrics can trigger a wide range of feelings, from joy and excitement to sadness and nostalgia. When we listen to a song that resonates with our current emotional state, it can be incredibly comforting and validating.

Reward System Activation: Listening to music activates the brain's reward system, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and well-being. This creates a positive association with the music, making us want to hear it again to experience those same rewarding feelings.

Familiarity and Comfort: Repeatedly listening to a song creates a sense of familiarity and comfort. The brain enjoys predictable patterns, and the repetition of the same musical elements can be soothing and calming. This is especially true for songs associated with positive memories or experiences.

Nostalgia and Identity: Music can be a powerful trigger for memories. Hearing a song from our childhood, a past relationship, or a specific event can transport us back in time and evoke vivid memories and emotions. This nostalgic connection can be deeply meaningful and contribute to our sense of identity.

Musical Learning and Appreciation: Repeated listening can also enhance our appreciation for music. As we listen to a song multiple times, we can pick up on new details, appreciate the intricacies of the composition, and develop a deeper understanding of the music. This process of learning and discovery can contribute to a richer musical experience.

It's important to note that not everyone enjoys listening to the same songs repeatedly. Some individuals have a strong preference for novelty and may constantly seek out new music to explore. Ultimately, our individual preferences for music are influenced by a complex interplay of factors, including our personality, cultural background, and life experiences.

Good post.  Bliss's 2nd paragraph hits home with me.

Music allows you to commit it to memory and just enjoy how you feel because of it. This is precisely why many people call it a drug, because the experience a particular song or composition can deliver can be consistent and emotionally resonating, even euphoric, similar to alcohol or other substances.

Music takes me to a place I can't otherwise visit.  

I played in an orchestra for a number of years before, in and after college. What finally stopped me was Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which took a few times of reiterating the same spot in the score until the violins got it right. Something snapped. I can no longer listen to anything Gershwin. It made me quit the orchestra because we had Gershwin on the program in the past and there was no way I could be assured that such would not happen again.

The ability to entertain, bring back memories, modify or improve our mood. Not much different than a good drink...

I do know some in the music industry that want nothing to do with music on their free time though.


The more something captures your interest the more time you want to spend with it. It can happen with any form of art, but music is a form that offers many details and always something new or different to soak in with each listen.  

TV shows and books depend on stimulating us through both logical and emotional pathways. Once we know how a book or show ends, and why, the logical pathway is "satisfied" and cannot be stimulated again in the same way.

Music hits us very hard on primarily emotional pathways. It also leaves the "imagery" component totally up to us for interpretation and re-imagination later on. Over time, our re-interpretations will play off memories made when first hearing an album. Much like a good drug (but without the downsides), this yields incredible playback value! Of course, there are limits :) I think I got 99.9% of all the Led Zeppelin I ever wanted to hear between ages 14 and 15. Thank god because I wouldn't want to have lost my virginity to that shit 😂

@mulveling There's a plausible reason to suggest that most of the regulars on sites like this have never had to worry about losing their virginity....

Our body metabolism and soul are rythms...

We cannot be tired of rythms change because it is life itself...

Even creative thinking is more rythms changes in perception and imagination than mere discursive logic...

Music is akin to poetry and geometry the best way to encode and program rythms if we except the body gestures primal codes...

I am never tired by Bach and Scriabin but for sure i appreciate them more if i change my perspective with jazz or Indian or Persian complete different rythms..

Memory is rythm... Imagination is rythm changing...Perception is a balance between these two...

What is not rythm ? Even colors are an ocean with waves... Numbers are rythms we can feel and rythms we can only imagine in the infinite...

God or the source is a manifested rythm coming from an unmanifested one ... Love is rythm...

I dont know what has no relation to rythm...

The stability and unmoving aspect of this world is the illusion...

Deep sleep is not perceived conscious rythm but it is a rythm anyway...

The battle between light and darkness and their wedding is also rythms...

Rythm is frequency with and in and from a dancing body ...


«Shiva or Vénus, nevermind who, she dance»-- Anonymus dance master



As an aside note, even silence is rythmed and itself rythm our brain...



Rhythm of Silence



«Speech is a complex sound sequence containing statistical regularities on multiple timescales. New research manipulates long-timescale statistical regularities of speech by jittering the duration of silence periods. It provides evidence that low-frequency neural activity (<4 Hz) is tuned to the statistical regularities of natural speech.»




To conclude with Charles Sanders Peirce , we can say that meaning itself is rythm and begin with the number three... Any sign is also a rythm, the potential presence of other signs...

This is why we cannot be tired of anything perceived  as meaningful...

But if we recognize any objects  from a labelling habit, all rythm are lost, and boredom is born .  Children dont put labels on the world, they play with the rythms...

Scientist observing nature go beyond  consensual accepted labels...


‘For me, music begins where words end’. - Jean Sibelius

Pretty much explains it for me, too.

I dont want to contradict the great Sibelius...

But music begun when the body gesture called speech begun.

Speech is a rythmic social coordination and timing of attention through body gestures , it is music...Speech and music are born together like siamese twins. They were chirurgically separated by evolutive history but they always remember  themselves and wish one another as one anew...

And my favorite music is acapela chorus....😁

Once this is said, Sibelius meant that music is beyond prosaic description as Poetry is beyond prosaic meanings ...


‘For me, music begins where words end’. - Jean Sibelius

I think you are splitting hairs @mahgister 😎 I don’t really think you are contradicting Sibelius’ succinct statement at all. 

If you read my post i precidely say that i do not contradict Sibelius for sure...

I only want to add more to the great man saying about music transcendence over prosaic speech... My post is not then "splitting hairs" ...

Poetry is like music , impossible to understand with  prosaic mind...

I think you are splitting hairs @mahgister 😎 I don’t really think you are contradicting Sibelius’ succinct statement at all.