Why Do People Hum?

Why do people hum? If you’re like a lot of people, you also like to hum. Perhaps you hum while you do chores or while getting dressed. Instead of singing, some people hum in the shower. And what is more sentimental than a mother humming her baby to sleep? Humming is something that is natural to musically inclined people. Musicians or singers or even ordinary people who love music or like listening to it have a penchant for humming.

They’ve got a tune in their head and humming is their way of keeping the music with them. For some musicians, humming keeps them on track with a musical peace they are developing or practicing. Dancers hum when they practice without accompaniment. Choir singers hum the pitch so that they can get their parts right. A person who came from a concert hums to relive his enjoyment of what he has just watched.

Humming is a simple activity, and best of all it’s free. You just need your breath and your nose. You cannot hum comfortably if you’ve got a cold because the air needs to be exhaled through the nose to be technically considered humming. People hum when they cannot sing because they cannot carry a tune. Humming gives people pleasure and it is relaxing as well. But, if you hum in a public place, the people around you might not find it pleasing. In fact, it can be downright annoying for them. Why do people hum when they are not happy? People not only hum when they are happy but also when they feel uncomfortable or nervous. There are people who hum when they pass through a crowd of strangers. They suppose that this makes them look nonchalant or cool. Humming relieves the stress they feel and because they can’t do anything else, it’s their only recourse if they cannot chew gum or smoke to relieve their anxiety.

Have you ever watched a program where one of the actors asked a question and the other actors in the scene either hummed or whistled and avoided the eye of the asker? Humming is also used to evade direct questions. It can mean the hummer knows the answer but is not at liberty to tell. Humming villains feel cocky. Humming heroes know they are going to win. Humming Lotharios feel confident about a conquest. Humming waiters or maitre d’s probably got a good tip. A young man who hums may have gotten a good score in a game or got to date the girl he’s been after. The child who just watched a scary movie hums to give himself courage to walk through a dark alley. There are so many reasons why people hum.

Posted at January 27th, 2012.

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