Here’s something really nice: an impromptu choir formed to join David Byrne in singing a David Bowie song. These are the kinds of communal heroes we should encourage.
What happens when one sings together with a lot of other people?
A couple of things I immediately noticed. There is a transcendent feeling in being subsumed and surrendering to a group. This applies to sports, military drills, dancing… and group singing. One becomes a part of something larger than oneself, and something in our makeup rewards us when that happens. We cling to our individuality, but we experience true ecstasy when we give it up.
The second thing that happens involves the physical act of singing. I suspect the regulated breathing involved in singing, the act of producing sound and opening one’s mouth wide calls many many neural areas into play. The physical act, I suspect, releases endorphins as well. In singing, we get rewarded by both mind and body.
No one has to think about any of the above-we “know” these things instinctively. Anyone who has attended a gospel church service, for example, does not need to be told what this feels like.
So, the reward experience is part of the show.