“Emo­tion­ally in­tense mu­sic, whether happy or sad, re­leases dopamine into the plea­sure/re­ward cen­tres of our brain”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

lachry­mose tor­rent that is Some­one Like You.

Fo­cus on how she dips the “you” at the end of the line: “Nev­er­mind, I’ll find some­one like you”. Our brains are wired to ex­pect mu­si­cal con­so­nance so when she dips down for the “you” it pro­vides a dis­so­nance which is enough in it­self to trig­ger an emo­tional re­sponse.

But there’s even more to the song than the art­ful use of ap­pog­giat­uras. Stud­ies done on why cer­tain pas­sages of clas­si­cal mu­sic pro­voke such in­tense feel­ings in lis­ten­ers, wherein heart and pulse rates were mea­sured, show that mov­ing from “soft” to “loud”, the sud­den ap­pear­ance of a new har­mony line and the ex­pan­sion of the fre­quen­cies played within the mu­sic are all vi­tal com­po­nents for in­duc­ing emo­tion. Es­sen­tially, we respond most vis­cer­ally to a song when we are sur­prised by changes in vol­ume, tim­bre and har­mony.


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