Using loud music as torture draws on these qualities of music, as well as simple sensory overload. I personally find the assault of loud public music—in stores, restaurants, airports–a minor form of torture. One wants to listen to one’s own music, in one’s own way, not to have it force-fed, especially at great volume.One of the things I found remarkable about Beijing when I visited in 1998 was the ubiquity of public address speakers, which were usually playing some kind of music in the background in between and during public announcements. One had the sense that people there were uncomfortable without these sounds, since one could have observed these speakers installed even in improbable locations. Here's another quote from the interview:
Rhythm, actual or imagined, activates areas of the motor cortex, crucial in synchronizing and energizing movemen... There is a great deal of debate about the relationship between music and language, and speculation about which capacity evolved first. It has often been suggested that music emerged as a by-product of linguistic capacities. But musical rhythm, with its regular pulse, is very unlike the irregular stressed syllables of speech.Musicophilia may be worth a look.