In the News (from The Telegraph): “Sudden, jarring changes in pitch and frequency play on the same emotional mechanisms as the signals which animals use to alert one another of danger, a study found.
“When animals cry out in distress they force a large amount of air through their voice box very quickly, producing a discordant effect designed to grab the attention and provoke an emotional response in other animals.
“Hearing similar sound patterns, like Hendrix’s distorted version of Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969, sends a shiver down our spine because we are programmed to react strongly to the harsh noise, researchers said.
“The same goes for discordant music associated with horror films – such as the screeching soundtrack to the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho – but not for generic ‘elevator music’ which lacks jolting changes in sound or volume.
“Researchers also found that while dissonant music stirs up strong emotions, these are usually linked to negative feelings like fear or sadness rather than happy ones.
“Greg Bryant, assistant professor of communication studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and one of the study authors, said: ‘This study helps explain why the distortion of rock-and-roll gets people excited: It brings out the animal in us.
“’Composers have intuitive knowledge of what sounds scary without knowing why. What they usually don’t realise is that they’re exploiting our evolved predispositions to get excited and have negative emotions when hearing certain sounds.’”
My Comment: In the process of integral education, we have to use the appropriate musical influence as the background for conversations and during the workshops. We need to encourage and increase listening to songs with “integral” content.