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How Many Emotions Can Music Make You Feel?

Perceptions across cultures

In a study, people from different cultures mostly agreed on general emotional characterizations of musical sounds, such as anger, joy, or annoyance. They agreed that a song is angry but differ on whether the feeling is positive or negative.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How Many Emotions Can Music Make You Feel?

How Many Emotions Can Music Make You Feel?

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_many_emotions_can_music_make_you_feel

greatergood.berkeley.edu

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Key Ideas

Music triggers feelings

The subjective experience of music can be mapped within at least 13 overarching feelings: amusement, joy, eroticism, beauty, relaxation, sadness, dreaminess, triumph, anxiety, scariness, annoyance, defiance, and feeling pumped up.

Research findings on music can have potential applications:

  1. informing psychological and psychiatric therapies to produce certain feelings.
  2. helping music streaming services adjust their algorithms to satisfy their customers' audio needs.

Music is a universal language

Music can evoke many nuanced emotions. We don't always pay enough attention to what music is saying or how it's being understood. For instance:
  • Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” make people feel energized. 
  • The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” pump people up. 
  • Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” evoke sensuality.
  • Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow” elicits joy.
  • Heavy metal is widely viewed as defiant.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Human Emotions

An emotion is an objective state that exhibits itself in many ways like behavior, facial expression, heart rate, blood pressure, and stress-hormone levels. Broadly speaking, we kn...

New Kinds of Emotions

  • Mix N match Emotions: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a newly coined mix of envy, fear, and sadness.
  • Social Emotions: Feelings like guilt, shame and embarrassment are social emotions, and can even be found in dogs.
  • Fear: Emotions like fear and anxiety are hard to pinpoint in the brain's geographical area, due to the presence of multiple fear circuits.

If our emotions are constructed by our minds, it means they can also be de-constructed or even reconstructed.

Labelling Emotions

The brain loves to identify, tag, or label all the feelings and emotions that are being experienced.

New studies show that changing the name of the emotion can change the feeling that is produced by hearing that emotion, and the brain may be able to create or make up emotions that don't have a label yet.

Make room for your emotions
Make room for your emotions

Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, compared emotions to unexpected visitors. 

We're supposed to let them in and not hide from them, suppress them or pretend they do not exist.

Gaining peace of mind

In a society that promotes gratitude and positivity, there is pressure to suppress or conceal negative feelings.

But psychological studies reveal that acceptance of your negative feelings promotes emotional resilience, with fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

The magic of acceptance

Acceptance of negative emotions involves not trying to change how we feel but taking them for what they are.

Acceptance works because it blunts the emotional reactions to stressful events. In time, it can lead to positive psychological health.

one more idea

Music benefits us

One study showed that people with Alzheimer's disease handle their stressful emotions better when they listen to music.

Other studies revealed that certain types of musi...

Music rewards us

In a musical reward experiment, researchers found that music is, in itself, a viable reward to motivate the brain to learn new information.