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How/why music causes emotion?

by Avichal
Tags: emotion, how or why, music
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fuzzyfelt
#109
Jan18-13, 05:39 PM
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Quote Quote by BenG549 View Post
First of all, very good post! Pretty much covered all the bases. Some of those links are pretty interesting as well.



And there in lies the problem or trying to objectify something inherently subjective. Still, can be fun to try!



That is very interesting, particularly the wiki page "Death of the Author".
Thanks, Ben! It missed some things but I tried to keep it short and continue to enjoy the interesting thoughts in the thread.

I liked the idea you suggested of considering the OP with a view to all sounds.
fuzzyfelt
#110
Jan19-13, 06:31 AM
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I was just double-checking my facts, confirming, for example, diagrams by Roger Penrose were displayed at the RA, and found this with Keatsian sentiments-
http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/ev...he-two-collide
It would be nice to know what was said.
BenG549
#111
Jan19-13, 11:46 AM
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Quote Quote by fuzzyfelt View Post
I was just double-checking my facts, confirming, for example, diagrams by Roger Penrose were displayed at the RA, and found this with Keatsian sentiments-
http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/ev...he-two-collide
It would be nice to know what was said.
"maybe advances in science stem as much from the imagination and creativity as works of art? Could it be that the ‘artistic’ process is more disciplined, and regulated than might seem?"

Yeah this was the point I was trying to make earlier, not sure I totally agree with it but there is at least a good case for it!
zoobyshoe
#112
Jan19-13, 12:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
about the beat notes, I was going to say it's a fast beat note (the more dissonant, usually the faster the beat note) so it's similar to playing faster.
I understood this to be what you meant.
I actually did a project for my cognition and learning class where the goal was to apply Quantitative Phenomenology (word counting and comparing to regular usage) to a project. For my project, I chose the top 10 cited articles of Elsevier's Cognition and did QP on them all.

I won't go into detail about the QP analysis, as all it really did was reconfirm what I'm about to say the top 10 cited articles were about (it's basically a technique to avoid reading all the journals, but the for the sake of judging the effectiveness of QP I read the articles anyway)

Spatial metaphor. First that numbers and time is thought of in terms of space, but then that pitch (higher notes) are also thought of in terms of spatial metaphor. So the term we use ("higher")is fitting. In general, most abstract reasoning is done through spatial metaphor. It makes sense, as the majority of our sensory systems process spatial dynamics through the somatosensory system.

Only one of those articles are still amongst the top 10 cited (it's number one apparently)

1. Time in the mind: Using space to think about time

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/cog...ited-articles/

The one about pitch was:

Spatial representation of pitch height:
the SMARC effect

http://www.mathematicalbrain.com/pdf/2005ERBKBGBB.PDF
All this got my train of thought derailed from music to the spatial metaphor in reasoning. I also googled Quantitative Phenomenology and found that interesting.
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
To finish this thought, I meant to say that this is where most of direct intuitive experience in life is.
I feel very strongly this is true, but it's the first time it's been pointed out to me and I'm ruminating on it, not even sure what questions it raises in my mind.
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
On "a neurological basis" I don't think that's particularly important. Neurons allow us to learn and adapt. It's the environment and setting and memory/history of an organism that tends to weigh significance of similar stimuli.
Yeah, that question wasn't particularly well aimed. I'll try to better target what I meant at some point.
atyy
#113
Jan19-13, 06:51 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I think the assumption is that there's more "natural," unconditioned response than conditioned when we respond to music. Music = salivation caused by meat, not by the bell that rings at the same time. Sudden, loud noises are inherently frightening, for example. It's not something that requires conditioning.
Music involves elements that are generally unchangeable by learning such as pitch (there are studies claiming otherwise, but I don't believe they go beyond textbook effects analogous to octave errors due to timbre). But music also involves learning that has just taken place several seconds or minutes ago, as when one appreciates a new piece of music with a recurring motive. I would argue that learning at all time scales between those two are important in music.
Pythagorean
#114
Jan19-13, 06:54 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I understood this to be what you meant.

All this got my train of thought derailed from music to the spatial metaphor in reasoning. I also googled Quantitative Phenomenology and found that interesting.

I feel very strongly this is true, but it's the first time it's been pointed out to me and I'm ruminating on it, not even sure what questions it raises in my mind.

Yeah, that question wasn't particularly well aimed. I'll try to better target what I meant at some point.
Muscle spindles and vestibular system are two particularly helpful systems in determining the relative positioning of our body in space and our orientation with respect to gravity. Our superior olivary complex helps us make sense of sound location.

What I think is particularly telling is that we use plots to understand unintuitive quantities like charge, mass, electric fields, etc. We just plot them visually, transforming them directly into a spatial coordinate. We don't transform them into a frequency coordinate and listen to them, or a taste/smell coordinate or bumps on a log (unless we're blind, I guess). We transform them to a spatial coordinate for our eyes.
Pythagorean
#115
Jan20-13, 11:23 AM
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On some neurobiology of music.

so neurosynth.org is a meta-analysis app that takes fMRI data from multiple studies and compiles the x,y,z coordinates of the maps for a compound view (a meta-analysis) of brain regions associated with particular terms. Here I've entered "music" and "speech":

http://neurosynth.org/terms/speech
http://neurosynth.org/terms/music

You can see here that the music brain regions are a subset of the speech brain regions.

additionally, we can look at tone and rhythm:

http://neurosynth.org/terms/tone
http://neurosynth.org/terms/rhythm

Tone is not much different than music, but rhythm seems to be a smaller subset of music but contain an additional region at x,y,z = (0,-8,56) (somewhat top center of the brain).

Emotion is fairly distributed:

http://neurosynth.org/terms/emotion

Not surprisingly, the amygdala is heavily involved in emotion (it's thought to be a "significance detector" in that regard) and it has inputs/outputs with sensory systems (such as the audio). The prefrontal cortex is also associated with emotion.

Here you can see more about the inputs/outputs to the amygdala... fairly complicated.

http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/...a_Figure_2.gif

We also can note that the frontal cortex plays a large part in regulation, which indicates a focus/attention aspect, top-down processing meats bottom-up processing. I think the story of expectation is probably has a lot to do with this interplay between frontal cortex and amygdala.

Some music specific disorders (and their associated brain regions) might also give insight into the nature of music in the brain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music-specific_disorders

Unfortunately, music-disorder specific terms do not appear in the neurosynth.org database.
Pythagorean
#116
Jan20-13, 03:16 PM
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Referring to an earlier discussion on major vs. minor scale... here's The Doors "Rider on The Storm" modulated to major (from minor)

http://vimeo.com/24939393
BenG549
#117
Jan20-13, 06:36 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
Referring to an earlier discussion on major vs. minor scale... here's The Doors "Rider on The Storm" modulated to major (from minor)

http://vimeo.com/24939393

Hahaha, that is quality!
Pythagorean
#118
Jan20-13, 07:16 PM
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The following idea begins with Meyer's concept of harmonic tension, that we would want to move (musically) away from such tension, and that in doing so, you must either increase pitch or decrease pitch... and you always get either major or minor depending on which direction you go, given any tension interval.

"“sound symbolism” (or “frequency
code”) of human languages and animal vocalizations:
decreasing vocal pitch is used to indicate strength and
social dominance, whereas increasing pitch signals
defeat, social subordinance and weakness (Bolinger,
1978; Cruttendon, 1981; Juslin & Laukka, 2003; Morton,
1977; Ohala, 1984, 1994). The affect of major or minor
chords is thus inherently positive or negative because
they imply social strength (“happiness”) or weakness
(“sadness”) (see Fig. 5).

http://www.psycho.hes.kyushu-u.ac.jp...ings/O-205.pdf
zoobyshoe
#119
Jan20-13, 08:52 PM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
The following idea begins with Meyer's concept of harmonic tension...
From the paper:
Specifically, tension (ambivalent affect) is caused by the presence of two neighboring intervals of the same magnitude.
What is meant by "neighboring" here?
Pythagorean
#120
Jan20-13, 10:52 PM
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Three notes with equal interval of half steps between them; like A C Eb
BenG549
#121
Jan20-13, 11:15 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
What is meant by "neighboring" here?
Next to...

You have 3 notes played on a keyboard. It doesn't matter the size of the interval between the 1st and 2nd note as long at the interval between the 2nd and 3rd is the same "magnitude".

"decreasing vocal pitch is used to indicate strength and social dominance, whereas increasing pitch signals defeat, social subordinance and weakness. The affect of major or minor chords is thus inherently positive or negative because they imply social strength (“happiness”) or weakness"

This a big logical step in my book.. Deeper voices sound more assertive and dominant than high pitched voices, therefore decreasing the tone of 1 of 3 notes in an augmented chord by 1 semitone (the equivalent of close to 1 or 2 Hz in the lowest octave band) implies happiness... Interesting idea but it sounds pretty unsubstantiated. Also doesn't account for why music in a minor key is often used in an authoritative powerful dominant context.. the Imperial March in starwars being the first example that comes to mind... that music screams power and authority, not subordinance and weakness. Obviously you could argue that the music is meant to invoke the feelings of subordinance and weakness in us, but is the point not that we hear the "minor" sound in other people and it tell us that they are weak... other wise why do we hear music in a major key when we watch superman and hear his "theme"... unless we are supposed to feel more powerful and dominant than superman, are we not supposed to associate power and dominance with superman? I'm not sure the idea makes total sense.

They do accept this to a degree by saying... "It is of course true that all pitch changes in both music and language are highly context-dependent and therefore meanings can be altered by contextual changes"... and then they say... "but it is nonetheless a simple fact of diatonic harmonies that, starting with a minimal configuration of three-tone chords, the smallest (semitone) movement of one tone from a state of harmonic tension will lead to the positive affect of a major chord or to the negative affect of a minor chord, depending solely on the direction of pitch change."

As if that counters the fact that, in music especially, the idea of power or submissiveness is completely contextual... it obviously does not.

"This relates to the cross-cultural tendency to use rising F0 in questions and falling F0 in statements – indications of “informational weakness or strength”."

This is an interesting idea. However no justification for assuming the last part of that statement is given. In the form of a citation, for example. Sounds a lot like conjecture to me.



In general the article is interesting but it either skips over a lot of detail or it is just presumption and postulation.

The idea of things with lower pitch being more "authoritarian" is likely to do with the fact that things that have more authority are a lot bigger and able to produce these low tones we associate this with fear more than anything... how this lowering tone translates to happiness in music is not really explained in the paper.

Also doesn't explain how people would react to a low pitched minor chord (decreasing pitch being 'authority' 'positivity' etc.. minor being 'submissive' 'sad') compared to a high pitched major chord (increasing pitch 'submissive' 'sad' and major being 'authority' 'positivity')... or visa versa... I'm just not totally sure it makes sense, and with no real reference to earlier work regarding the bits that needed justifying I am sceptical.


Also sorry if a lot of that ramble didn't make sense it's 5 oclock in the morning here, just thought I'd throw my thoughts out there before I fell asleep!
Pythagorean
#122
Jan20-13, 11:36 PM
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I'm pretty sure the minor version of the imperial march has lots of accidentals. It can also be written as a major key or as a Phrygian modal... it doesn't have a true key.

This is the beauty of western music and scales built from the circle of fifths. Theyre very versatile.
zoobyshoe
#123
Jan21-13, 12:49 AM
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I don't buy this argument either, for the reason that going from a major to minor chord is simply accomplished by lowering the third a halftone. A lot of music starts out the gate in a minor key and doesn't have to be resolved there from one of those "tension" intervals. Lower music is more masculine than higher in either major or minor keys just because the human voice is divided between the sexes that way.
atyy
#124
Jan21-13, 03:58 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Lower music is more masculine than higher in either major or minor keys just because the human voice is divided between the sexes that way.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMYZBVbifh8 Sorry, couldn't resist just saw the musical!
Pythagorean
#125
Jan21-13, 06:42 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I don't buy this argument either, for the reason that going from a major to minor chord is simply accomplished by lowering the third a halftone. A lot of music starts out the gate in a minor key and doesn't have to be resolved there from one of those "tension" intervals. Lower music is more masculine than higher in either major or minor keys just because the human voice is divided between the sexes that way.
I think the idea is not that you have to wait for tension then resolution to feel something, but that you already have a layout of tension/resolution predictions based on actual social interactions you've already had.

I haven't really decided one way or another on the article, but I thought it was an interesting idea. I can think of contradictions to even their heavily cited statement though: when you say "oohhh kayyy" submissively, you drop in down (not raise) and when a tiger goes from a rumbling to a dominant growl, they rise in tone (not lower).
zoobyshoe
#126
Jan21-13, 12:19 PM
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Quote Quote by atyy View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMYZBVbifh8 Sorry, couldn't resist just saw the musical!
More than one person has noted the intrinsic irony there.

Personally, when I need to get back in touch with my masculine nucleus , I don't 'walk like a man'...I walk hard.



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