When Music Gives You "The Tingles"

Do you know that moment when a piece of music or one perfect note or chord sends shivers down your spine? You might say it gives you the tingles.

What causes a physical reaction for you may not do the same for someone else. You might be bewitched over a moment in a Beethoven symphony, while your neighbor might practically levitate at a favorite point in a Pink Floyd song. It could happen. Well, scientists have explored this visceral reaction to music, one that is unique to each individual.

Here's what physiologists have discovered about "the tingles" we feel when listening to music—our heart rate increases, our body temperature decreases and our hair stands on end. And it all happens because music that reaches us so personally affects our brain's reward center.

Oddly enough, sad music is more likely to cause this effect than happy music, but our brain reacts with a sense of pleasure regardless.

And something even more interesting is a point made by one BBC article on the subject. Even though this reaction we have to music is distinctly personal and unique, it's also collective.

This physical response is tied in to the development of language in humans, and social interactions going back to primitive cultures: and so, even the apparently personal, private experience of listening to music, still connects us socially to the musicians and other listeners.

What music gives you the tingles? Leave a comment below to share your personal (or collective) experience.

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