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