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Tugging On Heart Guitar Strings

04/13/05

  03:50:17 am, by Nimble   , 225 words  
Categories: Thoughts, Science

Tugging On Heart Guitar Strings

Was reading through an entry on Tom's blog re: music theory, and was inspired to dredge up one of my own pet hypotheses.

The hypothesis, and I'd be surprised if it hasn't been investigated, is that harmonics in music reflect the more subtle harmonics that reflect emotions in speech.

Since music is considerable less dilute than the sound of a happy or sad pronouncement from a friend, though, music can cause profound emotional effects.

I would submit that it's not that we were "designed" for music, simply that we can produce something in a purer form and produce a more pronounced reaction, somewhat along the lines that sugar or drugs would reflect the good taste of an energy source or natural brain chemistry.

What are the chances that, re-rolling the dice of history, minor chords would sound 'sad' and major chords would sound 'happy'?

It's not just a matter of chords, of course - what manner of emotion do seventh chords produce, for example? There's a matter of basic pitch, tempo and volume as well.

...

Post scriptum... of course, this is the Internet; I'd be remiss if I didn't try and track down whether anyone has actually investigated the topic. Here's a few interesting links...

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