Why music?

When you were a teen, you probably had songs that you listened to over and over, laying in your bed or huddled in the corner wearing headphones.  You weren't the only one.  Did you ever wonder why music is so popular with young people? 

Well, what is our music about?  Mostly it isn't about our schoolwork or our jobs, our laughter or our arguments, the safe things that occupy our everyday lives.  It's about more ... I think the right word is "intense" ... feelings.  Love.  Anger.  Ecstacy, delirium.  Scary stuff, it makes you act in ways you normally wouldn't.  I've begun to think that music is our way of getting used to those raw states of mind so we're prepared for them when they happen to us.

Why would we need that?  Here's my guess:  we are, as a culture, notoriously blind to our own emotional and even physical states.  Our minds are swimming with distractions created by consumerism; we're manipulated by advertising and fantasies in our media that are all constructed to maintain this capitalist world.  All that outside influence has a toll:  we may not have the time and the mental clarity to understand our own bodies and feelings - or we may simply give in to the distractions in order to escape from the hard work of figuring it out.  So we're unprepared to deal with lust, territorialism, fear, shame, and all the rest.  Music takes all those raw states and presents them safely, as entertainment.  Repeated exposure makes the messy stuff less frightening when it hapens to us.  
(Want a laugh?  When we have these intense feelings, we think:  I know what that is - and we start communicating in song lyrics.)
Here's a related thought, about adulthood.  I just got over appendicitis, and during the recovery I was repulsed by the idea of having a beer or a glass of wine.  Alcohol is about experiencing a different state of mind.  When I feel sick, I don't want alcohol, because I'm already away from normal - I want to be normal again.  So maybe music functions to familiarize us with the scary aspects of our ordinary state of mind, and alcohol serves to take us away when it gets boring.