One of music’s energizing effects comes from its ability to engage the body’s sympathetic nervous system. The activation of this system readies the body for action whenever we face a challenge in our environment.
Music is comprised of these and other patterns of sounds that have been shown to affect levels of physical excitability. A simple increase in the pace of the music we listen to, for example, can quicken our pulse and accelerate our breathing. And this can be great for physical exercise or a boring task that might otherwise lull you to sleep.
Music also affects the co-ordination of activity within and across different parts of the brain. Studies examining patterns of electrical activity across the brain suggest that synchronization of brain signals is important for linking perceptual, cognitive and motor processes.
Physical and mental endurance can also be enhanced by music’s capacity to draw our attention away from the negative aspects of a task.
Indeed much of music’s power lies in its ability to elicit emotional reactions and enhance mood.
On a more scientific note, it is known that when auditory/visual parts of our brain receive no signals from their corresponding sensory organs, for example, while drifting towards sleep, they tend to fire sporadically creating beautiful hallucinations. In fact, this is fairly common for old people drifting towards auditory/visual impairment. This condition is known as the Charles Bonnet Syndrome. It is possible that something similar might be going on with us.