Incidentally, if you haven't been digesting these radio shows yet, well you should be (the latest one being, "Rich Man, Poor Man").
(The forthcoming album, it seems, will provide a bit of balance to the older stuff. Update: leaked samples here. For a good bootleg summer concert, meanwhile, this decade (his best yet, as far as I'm concerned), you might see here.
In other tangentially related news, Thom Yorke is apparently going solo. Not sure I feel much of anything about that one, to be honest. But, you know.)
Why do We Like Music?:
...Most of the "uses" of music mentioned in this article–learning about time, fitting things together, getting along with others, and suppressing one's troubles–are very "functional, but overlook much larger scales of "use." Curtis Roads remarked that, "Every world above bare survival is self constructed; whole cultures are built around common things people come to appreciate." These appreciations, represented by aesthetic agents, play roles in more and more of our decisions: what we think is beautiful gets linked to what we think is important. Perhaps, Roads suggests, when groups of mind-agents cannot agree, they tend to cede decisions to those others more concerned with what, for better or for worse, we call aesthetic form and fitness. By having small effects at many little points, those cumulative preferences for taste and form can shape a world.
That is another reason why we say we like the music we like. Liking is the way certain mind-parts make the others learn the things they need to understand that music. Hence liking—and its relatives—lies at the very heart of understanding what we hear. 'Affect' and 'aesthetic' do not lie in other academic worlds that music theories safely can ignore. Those other worlds are academic self-deceptions that we use to make each theorist's problem seem like someone else's.