Wired, the wonderful US magazine, has a very interesting article on how music tickles the brain, where and how much.
Basically, music triggers dopamine to ciculate in the blood, and that dopamine makes us feel good, or better. What is fascinating is that there's a peak moment which makes dopamine releases bigger seconds before an anticipated passage in the music: our brain likes to play with himself and delivers more dopamine when the brain is being tickled and waiting for a chord, a figure, something that will give our brain "food for thoughts".
It's a primal reflex for sure, but one based on the idea that, when music is being played, dopamine releases can be enhanced in some ways. We're all animal with boots, aren't we ?
So, they come up with an intruiging theory on why Beethoven somehow seems to trigger all the right points in his 5th Symphonia: our brain is teased to be expecting certain chords and changes but don't quite get them and by doing so the intensivity of dopamine is being boosted ! On another level, our brain does take repetition in music with boredom and disinterest and dopamine releases are then smaller: we deeply want to be astounded and...