The Audio Guru: Why Do We Like Music?

Vinylmnky's latest service to our Tribe is partnering up with Barry Thornton, an Audio guru to answer all of your hardware, vinyl, and audio questions - further enlightening us on how your music listening experience works and can get even better!

Barry Thornton, owner of, is an experienced audiophile who has designed over 70 hi-fi products, taught psycho-acoustics, designed recording studios and performance venues, recorded records, has 30+ patents, has always been in love with vinyl, and always searching for the eargasm - that moment when the music comes alive. Barry has a long list of credits that you can find on his website, but most importantly he has lived and helped define the hi-fi era.

The latest question answered by the Audio Guru is:


Why do we like music?


The question we have before us today is very simple one; Why do we like music? How simple can it get? Well it’s actually got very easy answer. The reason we like music is because of your mother’s heartbeat. When you were inside your mother’s womb, prebirth, you could not hear anything, you could not feel anything, you had no sense of anything.  You were totally cut off from the world. Except for two things. Number one; You could feel your mother’s chemicals. Chemicals in her blood that were shared with you, and number two; You could hear her heartbeat. The rhythm of her heartbeat on a regular basis. That’s the key to where rhythm comes from.  That track of “boom boom, boom boom” is laid in on your neural systems so thoroughly before you were born.  This is the most natural thing that you have going for you. When your mother was excited, her heart beat faster, “ boom boom, boom boom.” Chemicals you shared, chemicals with her then were adrenaline. You felt a rush.

The very first things you ever perceived, started with accelerated life; that she was doing something when her heartbeat went up and that rush that went with it.  When she was calm, quiet, resolved, and everything was very comfortable, her body gave off interferons which gave your brain great pleasure, and that happened with you too.  So the association between steady heartbeat, steady rhythm, and interferons is very well structured one inside your mind.  It was there when you were born. It was the first thing that happened. So that’s why we like music. Everybody likes music because everyone was born of woman. Everyone who came out of a womb, everyone that went through the heart beat. That of course brings up the question that if you had an in vitro clone, would they have natural rhythm? I don’t know the answer to that. I can certainly tell you this, that the rhythm is from the heartbeat and when you add on top of rhythm some garnish, as such as a vocal track, such as a melodic line, such as a chorus line in a relationship or ensemble lines between players; you wind up with what we call music. But, in the basic beginning, it’s all about rhythm.  It’s the rhythm that counts. The rhythm that clicks. The rhythm that does it. So anyways, that why we all like music!

I’m here to answer questions. Stump me with anything you can. Cleary the questions are audio focused.  They can be metaphysical, they can be philosophical, they can be technical.  Im familiar with all sides of it. My passion in life is the love of the sensual event called music listening. The “eargasm.” The explosion that happens in the mind when the illusion gets really right. I want to talk about how we can make the illusion better for you. 

Send me your messages and I will fill in the answers.

Thank you. Bye bye!

Barry is here to help the Tribe bolster their listening experience in small, simple, and fun bites. Go ahead, give him your best.

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