The lights are down, the candles lit. All you need is the perfect song to really get things going…
“Let’s get it on….”
The immortal refrain from the classic Motown single by Marvin Gaye, released in 1973, is the first song most people think of when they want to get into mood, according to a recent survey of MSU students.
“There’s not just one genre or one song [that’s romantic],” said Stollack, “There’s the whole package – something that appeals to all of one’s senses.”
[candles] It is clear, according to the results of the survey, MSU that what is romantic to a 21-year-old Caucasian heterosexual male, won’t be same for a 21-year-old African-American heterosexual female.
Other songs students say they play when making love or setting the mood come from all genres of music, from country’s Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s “Let’s Make Love,” to R&B’s Usher’s “Confessions,” to hard rock’s Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer.”
Although the sentiment may sound good, there is no scientific proof that music has an effect on people’s romantic moods.
“There have been hundreds of studies done on how music effects people in the business world,” psychology professor Gary Stollack said. “But, there have been no studies done on how music affects a person’s romantic mood.”
There are, however, physical consequences to listening to a song, according to ethnomusicologist Elizabeth Miles from Richmond.com. “The first place music hits after coming through your ears is the hypothalamus, home of basic drives from hunger to lust,” Miles said. “Then the electrical impulses of music move through the entire nervous system, either speeding up or slowing down its function.”
[pillows] Miles suggests choosing something loud and upbeat as a “musical Viagra,” increasing circulation and breathing rate. “However, if you’re going to go slower, it should be like drinking a glass of wine: smooth, slow and sensuous,” Miles said.
Stollack said there is more to music than just the melody or harmony. Rather, it’s the rhythm that makes a person feel good. “Music is tied to heartbeats, from the jazz or classical ballads that are 60 beats per second and used to put people in a good mood, to the more upbeat hip-hop and dance songs that are 80 to 120 beats per second, and used to energize people.” Stollack said. “The beats remind us of the heartbeats of our mothers from when we were infants and she would breastfeed us, where we never had it so good!”
Music and love have been linked to each other since the beginning of human civilizations, according to Robin Frederick, a songwriter, producer, and recording artist for Virgin Records. The very first love song on record comes from an area in Egypt called Sumeria is about 4,000 years old.
Stollack estimated love songs make up 99% of all music today. “Whether it’s about your truck or your partner, it’s all about love.”

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