How does music affect us emotionally?
Why do minor chords so sad? In this episode of The Psych Files I explore ideas from Daniel Leviton‘s fascinating book, This Is Your Brain on Music, especially those ideas concerned with what composers do to draw you into their piece by first conforming to your musical expectations and then carefully confounding them in order to surprise and delight. I talk with guitarist and composer David Temple to get his perspective on this process as well. Along the way you’ll hear excerpts from some fascinating pieces of music and David and I will discuss what makes them so compelling, especially those in the minor key. My piano playing skills are pretty rough but get ready for some fun.
Resources on the Psychology of Music
- You can find Daniel Levitin’s book This Is Your Brain on Music here on Amazon: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
- Thanks so much to guitarist and composer David Temple. The pieces you heard in today’s episode can be purchased from David Temple‘s website. You can email David at davitem AT yahoo DOT com and he will give you more info about how to purchase his CDs.
- Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation (Bradford Books)
- Very interesting book on why and how songs repeat and what effect this has on us: On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind
- The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music – an excellent book, summarized here on the Paintest Blog.