Q: Do people only whistle or sing when they are happy?

A: This is a very interesting question. Music Scholars refer to whistling as ‘momentary musical performing’. Other types of this form includes drumming a beat on the desk, humming while doing housework, and singing in the shower—which was found to have a calming and refreshing effect, soothing the nerves and elevating the spirits. I used to enjoy whistling. Then the dentist talked me into getting my wisdom teeth pulled and the rest of my teeth straightened. Whistling disappeared along with my wisdom teeth. The choice of tune appears to reflect the person’s whistler’s mood, or it is chosen to enhance their mood. Whistling has been found to be something humans tend to do as a way to break up the silence, the humdrum, the normal and boring, or in self-entertainment. Some people whistle while they work. You may remember seeing the 1937 version of the animated Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and its song: whistle while you work. It suggested that whistling provided a pace for cleaning up the place. In the Broadway production of The King and I, many enjoyed “I Whistle a Happy Tune” as an antidote to feeling afraid. In Universal Pictures Les Misérables, the Song of Angry Men was about people who will not be slaves again. Bottom line? People whistle or sing for many different reasons, each likely as unique as each person’s brain.