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Jovialis
09-01-18, 01:22
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHUnLY1_PvM


In a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHUnLY1_PvM) that went viral last year, a toddler attending his sister’s piano recital is moved to tears when he hears Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Among the thousands of comments people have posted about the video, many are from musicians who marvel at the young boy’s sensitivity to music and speculate on his prospects for a musical career (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/career) (many have even gone so far as to offer to buy him an instrument). Whatever the boy’s poignant reaction to Beethoven’s famously haunting melody may or may not indicate about his musical abilities, a recent study (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01176/full) in Finland suggests that it might reveal a great deal about his personality (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/personality).Researchers at the University Jyväskylä investigated the types of emotions induced in people by listening to unfamiliar sad instrumental music, and sought to determine whether these responses were consistently associated with individual personality variables. One hundred and two participants listened to a piece of instrumental music which had been previously determined to induce sadness in listeners, and with which they were unfamiliar (“Discovery of the Camp” from the Band of Brothers movie soundtrack). The unfamiliarity of the piece, as well as the absence of lyrics, was calculated to minimize any personal associations it might evoke.
Prior to listening to the piece, participants rated their current mood by completing the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). They once again rated their mood after listening to the piece, as well as describing the emotions that they perceived and felt (what the music sounded like to them, and how it made them feel) while the music was playing. Indirect measures, including a pictorial facial expression judgment task, and two psychophysiological indices—heart rate variability and electrodermal activity—complemented the self-reported measures.
Based on the resulting data, the participants’ emotional responses to the music were distinguished in terms of three underlying factors: relaxing sadness, nervous sadness, and moving sadness. Relaxing sadness was characterized by “felt and perceived peacefulness and positive valence.” Nervous sadness involved “felt anxiety, perceived scariness, and negative valence.” The third factor, moving sadness, was the one most closely aligned to the kind of powerful emotional experience that sad music is capable of evoking—the kind of reaction exhibited by the toddler in his first exposure to the “Moonlight Sonata.” When the three factors were examined in terms of self-reported emotion and indirect physiological indices, only moving sadness was characterized by both an intense sympathetic arousal and a positive valence. In other words, moving sadness in response to a piece of sad music is “a complex and intense emotional experience involving both aesthetic, enjoyable emotions (such as liking and being moved) and feelings of sadness.”
Moving sadness became the focal point of the study as the researchers looked for correlations between emotional responses to the music and individual personality variables. Participants were administered a number of instruments designed to measure personality traits (e.g. the Interpersonal Reactivity Index), and the results were compared with the results of the music listening experiment to see if any traits predicted individual emotional responses to the sad music excerpt. While relaxing sadness and nervous sadness were not significantly predicted by any of the individual difference variables, the distinctive combination of sadness and enjoyment characteristic of moving sadness was effectively predicted by trait empathy (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/empathy) and sensitivity to social contagion.
Both empathy and social contagion involve taking on the perspective of other people. The empathy sub-scale most closely associated with moving sadness was fantasy, which suggests that the ability to identify with the perspectives of fictional characters, and to “lose oneself” in their stories, plays a key role in the ability to be deeply moved by sad music, as does sensitivity to social contagion, or the tendency to “catch” the emotions of other people. While it is perhaps not surprising that these two characteristics predict the tendency to be moved by sad music—to experience the emotions implicitly communicated by a “sad” instrumental composition—the fact that such an experience of sadness can be described as enjoyable calls for a bit more of an explanation.
One possible such explanation is offered by the fact that, in addition to being predicted by fantasy, moving sadness was also positively correlated with the empathy sub-scale "empathetic concern.” Contrary to the related empathy sub-scale of “personal distress,” which is “an aversive, self-focused response involving feelings of discomfort and anxiety,” empathetic concern “is associated with other-focused, pro-social behavior.” For “sadness enjoyers,” as the researchers labeled participants who experienced the highest levels of moving sadness, the intense feelings of sadness evoked by the music sample were directed outward rather than inward. As a result, their experience of these feelings was aesthetic, and therefore pleasurable, and not personally distressing and unpleasant.
The results of this study suggest that the way we respond to an unfamiliar piece of sad music can reveal quite a bit about our personalities. If we’re browsing Spotify and happen upon some melancholy composition we’ve never heard before—such as “Discovery of the Camp” from the Band of Brothers soundtrack—and simply don’t “feel” the music, or we do feel it but find the feeling unpleasant, it could mean that empathy is not one of our defining traits. If, however, we hear such a piece and find our lips quivering and our eyes filling with tears, but—like the toddler hearing “Moonlight Sonata” for the first time—remain fixated on the music until the final haunting note, our reaction may indicate our capacity for reaching outside of ourselves and viewing the world from the perspective of other people, both real and fictional. Whichever way we respond to a sad song we’ve never heard before—with stony indifference or with a flood of unexpected tears—it likely says a great deal more about us than whether or not we have an “ear” for music.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/time-travelling-apollo/201801/sad-songs-say-so-muchabout-the-listener


Very interesting, if you are moved by sad music, you're most likely to be very empathetic, and enjoy fantasy novels. Because you are able to identify with the emotions of both fictional-characters and real people.

Angela
09-01-18, 02:28
So we know what music they found sad...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByJzhQ3Ht3c

Some of my "favorite" sad pieces of music:

Albinoni's Adagio interpreted by Hauser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn1gcjuhlhg

Mozart-Lacrimosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-TrAvp_xs

Schubert's Ave Maria: I get teary every single time, and belief has nothing to do with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGr6B6Rp4PU

Un Bel Di Vedremo-Madama Butterfly by Puccini interpreted by Maria Callas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-r2vu4t9-g

davef
09-01-18, 05:04
I never cried when I heard that song for the first time when I was about 7. It did remind me of spooky stuff like ghosts, skeletons, werewolves and haunted mansions.

Angela
09-01-18, 06:01
You can usually tell if a child really "gets" music.

My son adored music from birth, I think. He was a fractious, colicky baby, but certain music used to soothe him, so I played music for him, sang to him, whatever it took. He would try to sing with me, and I would make a big fuss over him. On Christmas, our church choir got pretty ambitious, and on the Christmas before his second birthday we did a pretty good job on the Hallelujah chorus after Mass. At the end of it, in the silence, he started clapping really loudly and yelling out "Bravo"! The whole congregation, including the priest, burst out laughing. :)

And yes, he's my musical one: plays piano, trombone and guitar, and has perfect pitch.

Jovialis
09-01-18, 16:13
You can usually tell if a child really "gets" music.

My son adored music from birth, I think. He was a fractious, colicky baby, but certain music used to soothe him, so I played music for him, sang to him, whatever it took. He would try to sing with me, and I would make a big fuss over him. On Christmas, our church choir got pretty ambitious, and on the Christmas before his second birthday we did a pretty good job on the Hallelujah chorus after Mass. At the end of it, in the silence, he started clapping really loudly and yelling out "Bravo"! The whole congregation, including the priest, burst out laughing. :)

And yes, he's my musical one: plays piano, trombone and guitar, and has perfect pitch.

I myself got more into music when I was around 13 years old; in terms of knowing bands, and groups. But I've always had a liking for good music whenever I did hear it.

I remember that my brother was colicky, but his (fraternal) twin sister was always calm.

Jovialis
09-01-18, 16:28
All of the old Looney Tunes cartoons had classical music sound tracks. I wonder how that affected the generations of children that watched them. I think it was brilliant for the creators to include it as the soundtrack.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5-fP4QpL0A

Angela
09-01-18, 16:33
I myself got more into music when I was around 13 years old; in terms of knowing bands, and groups. But I've always had a liking for good music whenever I did hear it.

I remember that my brother was colicky, but his (fraternal) twin sister was always calm.

My love for music started with my dad. He, and his brothers, were all good singers. My father also loved opera and both played it and sang it. I wasn't colicky, but I had trouble sleeping, so he always sang to me to get me to go to sleep, even when I was a toddler and older. Then, very young, he started me on piano lessons. I learned to play, and I like to sing, usually joining one chorus or other throughout my life, but I'm not a "natural" musician like my son. He actually had trouble developing the discipline to sight read because it was easier for him to just play by ear. He could listen to a very complex piece of piano music and just duplicate it. My brother got more of my father's talent, singing in statewide competitions, but American culture being what it is he didn't want to get professional training.

I couldn't do that if my life depended on it. Some things you just have to be born with. Probably I inherited something from my mother, who unfortunately couldn't sing a note, and it diluted whatever I got from my father. My husband is tone deaf too. He said that in choir they used to put him between two really strong singers to try to keep him on pitch! So, no, not all Italians can sing. :)

Love that video, btw.

Jovialis
09-01-18, 16:48
My love for music started with my dad. He, and his brothers, were all good singers. My father also loved opera and both played it and sang it. I wasn't colicky, but I had trouble sleeping, so he always sang to me to get me to go to sleep, even when I was a toddler and older. Then, very young, he started me on piano lessons. I learned to play, and I like to sing, usually joining one chorus or other throughout my life, but I'm not a "natural" musician like my son. He actually had trouble developing the discipline to sight read because it was easier for him to just play by ear. He could listen to a very complex piece of piano music and just duplicate it. My brother got more of my father's talent, singing in statewide competitions, but American culture being what it is he didn't want to get professional training.

I couldn't do that if my life depended on it. Some things you just have to be born with. Probably I inherited something from my mother, who unfortunately couldn't sing a note, and it diluted whatever I got from my father. My husband is tone deaf too. He said that in choir they used to put him between two really strong singers to try to keep him on pitch! So, no, not all Italians can sing. :)

Love that video, btw.

I remember as children, my mom, or grandmother, or even my great-grandmother used to sing songs in Italian to us to put us to sleep too. It worked well, I remember two songs specifically.

I used to love listening to music, and envision myself as the singer; but I never had the talent for it.

davef
09-01-18, 17:19
I sing like a donkey having a panic attack

Ygorcs
10-01-18, 08:03
So we know what music they found sad...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByJzhQ3Ht3c

Some of my "favorite" sad pieces of music:

Albinoni's Adagio interpreted by Hauser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn1gcjuhlhg

Mozart-Lacrimosa
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-TrAvp_xs

Schubert's Ave Maria: I get teary every single time, and belief has nothing to do with it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGr6B6Rp4PU

Un Bel Di Vedremo-Madama Butterfly by Puccini interpreted by Maria Callas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-r2vu4t9-g

Curiously I find Madama Butterfly's "Un bel dì vedremo" full of hope and expectation, despite a slightly melancholy tone that already heralds the ultimate disappointment of poor Cio-Cio-San and the destruction of all her naive dreams. It sounds to me like the anxious, somewhat insecure affirmation of hope of a girl, not exactly a "sad" music like the Moonlight Sonata or, above all, the Lachrymosa of Mozart's Requiem, possibly the saddest, most hopeless music I've ever heard.