A 2019 examine of greater than 2,500 folks in China and the U.S. discovered that, throughout cultures, completely different music can evoke completely different feelings: disappointment, anger, nostalgia, pleasure, or worry. And it’s not nearly lyrics. “The present pondering is that the acoustic options of music resemble how we talk emotion with our voice,” says Dacher Keltner, PhD, a professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and one of many examine’s authors. Unhappy songs sound, nicely, unhappy, so that they activate melancholic recollections. “Your mind is saying, ‘That tune is representing disappointment, and I’m feeling it, however I’m feeling it on this aesthetic, musical context.’ This makes it a special form of emotion than your individual precise disappointment,’” Dr. Keltner says. Listening to unhappy music, then, lets us be goal about our personal disappointment. It’s like we’re on the surface of our personal scenario, peeping in via a bay window.
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