Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth, breast-feeding, sexual activity, empathy, trust and relationship building. Oxytocin levels are known to increase during hugging, kissing, and orgasmic experiences. It is not only the Bonding hormone between mother and child, but it binds musicians and audiences as well. Research shows that just listening to music gives an Oxytocin boost.
There is a strong rationale for the role of music in the formation of social bonds, both in intimate interactions between people and in group musical activities such as concerts, or perhaps just jamming with the band. In a study with humans, singing for 30 minutes was shown to significantly raise Oxytocin levels in both amateur and professional singers, regardless of how happy or unhappy the experience made them. Perhaps Oxytocin explains why new mothers sing lullabies to their newborn babies, why musicians bond with each other, why groupies stalk them, why fans become fanatics, and why couples fall in love at concerts.
If songwriters and musicians could “can” Oxytocin, or emit it over the airways, they would be guaranteed number one hits, as well as a social network full of fans. Maybe Led Zeppelin knew it all along… File under: Whole Lotta Love!