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听流行音乐为什么让人愉悦?科学家找到原因了 Scientists discover pop music's secrets to making you feel good

中国日报网 2019-11-15 08:56




Photo by Alireza Attari on Unsplash


Have you ever wondered why certain pop songs just make you feel so good?


Researchers studying the question found that the right combination of uncertainty and surprise is what gives listeners the most pleasure.


The study, published in the journal Current Biology, involved an analysis of 80,000 chords in 745 pop songs from the US Billboard "Hot 100" chart between 1958 and 1991.


The researchers -- from institutes in Germany, Norway, Denmark and the UK -- used a machine-learning model to quantify the level of uncertainty and surprise of these chords, and then asked 39 adult volunteers to rate how pleasurable they found each series of chords.


Each song was stripped of its melody and lyrics so that only chord progressions were left and the results couldn't be skewed by other associations to the songs that listeners might have had.


skew[skjuː]: v. 偏离,歪斜;扭转,偏转;歪曲


They found two things: that participants derived greater pleasure when they were relatively certain what would happen next but then were surprised by an unexpected chord progression.


However, the same number of participants found it pleasant when they were uncertain as to what would follow, and then the subsequent chords were more familiar to them.



Photo by Jan Střecha on Unsplash


"It is fascinating that humans can derive pleasure from a piece of music just by how sounds are ordered over time," Vincent Cheung, the lead researcher on the paper from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany, said in a statement.


"Songs that we find pleasant are likely those which strike a good balance between knowing what is going to happen next and surprising us with something we did not expect. Understanding how music activates our pleasure system in the brain could explain why listening to music might help us feel better when we are feeling blue."


Cheung told CNN that pleasure in music is linked to expectancy. Previous studies had looked into the effects of surprise on pleasure, but he and his colleagues' study also focused on the uncertainty of listeners' predictions.


The songs used in the experiments included James Taylor's "Country Roads," UB40's "Red, Red Wine" and The Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."

用于实验的歌曲包括詹姆斯·泰勒的《Country Roads》、UB40乐队的《Red, Red Wine》和甲壳虫乐队的《Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da》。


Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash


The findings may help improve artificial musical algorithms and could help composers write music or predict musical trends.


"The idea is that hopefully as a scientist analyzing these patterns of pleasure in humans, you can somehow work out where music can go next," Peter Harrison, a researcher at Queen Mary University, London, who worked on the project, told CNN.


As part of the same experiment, the researchers also used brain imaging to locate the areas of the brain reflected in musical pleasure.


They found the regions involved were the amygdala, the hippocampus and the auditory cortex, which process emotions, learning and memory, and sound, respectively.


Cheung added that another part of the brain, the nucleus accumbens -- which processes reward expectations -- was perhaps responsible for "directing our attention towards the music so that we will try to find out what will happen next."




点击收听:《7 rings》

《7 rings》是“A妹”爱莉安娜·格兰德演唱的歌曲。该曲于2019年1月18日发行,作为第二单曲收录于爱莉安娜·格兰德第五张录音室专辑《Thank U,Next》。

2019年2月2日,《7 rings》空降美国公告牌单曲榜第一位,最终累计获得了八周冠军。

《7 rings》的灵感源自爱莉安娜·格兰德与闺密的疯狂举动。2018年10月的一天,处于感情低潮的爱莉安娜与闺密们逛街,突发奇想,决定帮身边所有好友买钻戒。于是,她一共买了7个戒指,分别送给了自己和六个闺蜜。爱莉安娜认为这件事既疯狂又有趣。在回去的路上,Njomza Vitia认为应该把这件事写成一首歌曲。于是,爱莉安娜·格兰德在当天下午写下了该曲。爱莉安娜·格兰德通过该曲诉说自己的心情,表示一点也不在意没有男友,因为她仍有爱她的闺密陪在身边,也能凭自己力量得到想要的一切。

该曲前两段主歌基本上完全取自1959年音乐电影《音乐之声》中的歌曲《My Favorite Things》。而第一段歌词也基本上是比照《My Favorite Things》来创作的,只不过相比于原曲中用来体现人物纯真内心的玫瑰上的雨水、猫咪的胡须、洁净的铜壶、温暖的羊毛手套、系着绳子的牛皮纸箱、奶油色的小马等可爱、温馨的事物,《7 rings》则罗列了泰拉·帕克斯的早餐、支票、豪华的钻石、ATM提款机等奢华之物,并且将原曲中的“这些是我最喜欢的事物”改为了“给我自己买所有我最喜欢的事物” 。




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