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Thanks, Captain Obvious

According to Valorie N. Salimpor, et al., The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal. Here’s the methodology:

Twenty-six participants listened to self-selected intensely pleasurable music and “neutral” music that was individually selected for them based on low pleasure ratings they provided on other participants’ music. The “chills” phenomenon was used to index intensely pleasurable responses to music. During music listening, continuous real-time recordings of subjective pleasure states and simultaneous recordings of sympathetic nervous system activity, an objective measure of emotional arousal, were obtained.

And their conclusion? “[S]trongly felt emotions could be rewarding in themselves in the absence of a physically tangible reward or a specific functional goal.” I mean…duh.

The article includes a downloadable sample of “Chills-Inducing Musical Excerpts,” which is notable for the absence of Arvo Pärt’s Passio Domini nostri Jesu Christi secundum Joannem (specifically at 1:10:16); “Minuet of the Songs of Job and Their Wives,” from Job: A Masque for Dancing by Ralph Vaughan Williams (3:05); and pretty much all of “Kanon Paschy” from Krzysztof Penderecki’s Utrenja.



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