Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Twenty years ago, the British psychologist John Sloboda conducted a simple experiment. He asked music lovers to identify passages of songs that reliably set off a physical reaction, such as tears or goose bumps. Participants identified 20 tear-triggering passages, and when Dr. Sloboda analyzed their properties, a trend emerged: 18 contained a musical device called an "appoggiatura."

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. "This generates tension in the listener," said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. "When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good." 
Nope, I'm not going to post a Youtube of Adele, or anyone else for that matter, singing "Rolling in the Deep."  I've already posted her original, a cover by a talented kid, and a parody.  Now, I like Adele, but enough is enough.  Besides, no matter how many Grammys you get, you ain't really made it until Weird Al does you...

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