HomeMusicWhy Do We Hearken to Unhappy Songs?

Why Do We Hearken to Unhappy Songs?


In the second a part of the experiment, involving 450 new topics, the researchers gave every participant 72 descriptions of emotional songs, which expressed emotions together with “contempt,” “narcissism,” “inspiration” and “lustfulness.” For comparability, additionally they gave contributors prompts that described a conversational interplay wherein somebody expressed their emotions. (For instance: “An acquaintance is speaking to you about their week and expresses emotions of wistfulness.”) On the entire, the feelings that topics felt had been deeply rooted to “what music is all about” had been additionally those who made folks really feel extra related to 1 one other in dialog: love, pleasure, loneliness, unhappiness, ecstasy, calmness, sorrow.

Mario Attie-Picker, a thinker at Loyola University Chicago who helped lead the analysis, discovered the outcomes compelling. After contemplating the info, he proposed a comparatively easy thought: Maybe we hearken to music not for an emotional response — many topics reported that unhappy music, albeit inventive, was not significantly pleasing — however for the sense of connection to others. Applied to the paradox of unhappy music: Our love of the music is just not a direct appreciation of unhappiness, it’s an appreciation of connection. Dr. Knobe and Dr. Venkatesan had been shortly on board.

“I’m a believer already,” Dr. Eerola mentioned when he was alerted to the examine. In his personal analysis, he has discovered that significantly empathetic persons are more likely to be moved by unfamiliar unhappy music. “They’re prepared to have interaction in this type of fictional unhappiness that the music is bringing them,” he mentioned. These folks additionally show extra significant hormonal changes in response to unhappy music.

But unhappy music is layered — it’s an onion — and this clarification prompts extra questions. With whom are we connecting? The artist? Our previous selves? An imaginary individual? And how can unhappy music be “all about” something? Doesn’t the facility of artwork derive, partially, from its potential to transcend abstract, to develop expertise?

One by one, the researchers acknowledged the complexity of their topic, and the constraints of present work. And then Dr. Attie-Picker provided a much less philosophical argument for his or her outcomes: “It simply feels proper,” he mentioned.

Audio produced by Adrienne Hurst.

Content Source: www.nytimes.com


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