Why do some chords make me cry?

Why do some chords make me cry?

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This is a discussion on Why do some chords make me cry? within the General Psychology forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; I know, the term for it is "semiotic". But I'm looking for a scientific answer that can explain in words ...

  1. #1

    Why do some chords make me cry?

    I know, the term for it is "semiotic". But I'm looking for a scientific answer that can explain in words why music can make you cry.

    And by music, I mean songs without lyrics. Just instruments.

    When I listen to beautiful songs composed by guys like Joe Hisaishi, the string or piano pieces bring tears to my eyes. I can't describe the feeling. I am listening to the player run their bow across their strings/violin, and I imagine myself sitting there, eyes closed, releasing that sweet note from the strings. And then I end up tearing up because of how beautiful it sounded. Not happy or sad. Just beautiful.

    Has anyone else experienced this? If so, can you explain why (in scientific and psychological terminology?)

    I am going to wager a guess that it has to do with the chords and the pitch of the middle tone.



  2. #2

    I would imagine that we attach certain emotions or images to sounds. Like minor=sad major=happy. The right combination of those two things=tears. Since it differs from person to person on how we react to music, it has to be a personal influence.
    Tonimiko thanked this post.

  3. #3

    The lord experiences it when David plays.
    (No, but really, that's beautiful.)
    Tonimiko and FlightsOfFancy thanked this post.

  4. #4

    My expectations upon reading the title:
    Bm7, man. Every time. :')

    Seriously, though. Beautiful chord, that minor7 is.
    Tonimiko and Nastorm thanked this post.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Hellspark View Post
    I would imagine that we attach certain emotions or images to sounds. Like minor=sad major=happy. The right combination of those two things=tears. Since it differs from person to person on how we react to music, it has to be a personal influence.
    But WHY exactly, are minor chords associated with sadness, and major chords happiness?
    A chord is just 3 tones played simultaneously. What's so special and emotional about that?

    Quote Originally Posted by How Do You KNOW View Post
    My expectations upon reading the title:
    Bm7, man. Every time. :')

    Seriously, though. Beautiful chord, that minor7 is.
    I love minor sevenths. Dm7.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimiko View Post
    But WHY exactly, are minor chords associated with sadness, and major chords happiness?
    A chord is just 3 tones played simultaneously. What's so special and emotional about that?


    I would bet that it would be that rascal society again. He does a lot of things that make no sense. And apparently he has a lot of constructs that people adhere to. I hear he makes the rules quite a lot of the time.

    If it isn't society then I have no real idea how a concept such as music would elicit emotions.

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by How Do You KNOW View Post
    My expectations upon reading the title:
    Bm7, man. Every time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimiko View Post
    I love minor sevenths. Dm7.
    Am9 followed by a nice sus4 sequence. Ooourghf..
    Are we done chordsturbating here? :-)
    Tonimiko thanked this post.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimiko View Post
    I know, the term for it is "semiotic". But I'm looking for a scientific answer that can explain in words why music can make you cry.

    And by music, I mean songs without lyrics. Just instruments.

    When I listen to beautiful songs composed by guys like Joe Hisaishi, the string or piano pieces bring tears to my eyes. I can't describe the feeling. I am listening to the player run their bow across their strings/violin, and I imagine myself sitting there, eyes closed, releasing that sweet note from the strings. And then I end up tearing up because of how beautiful it sounded. Not happy or sad. Just beautiful.

    Has anyone else experienced this? If so, can you explain why (in scientific and psychological terminology?)

    I am going to wager a guess that it has to do with the chords and the pitch of the middle tone.
    I don't think I have ever experienced music with tears. But music is very powerful to me. To me, each note is a living thing with a voice of it's own. I don't think I have perfect pitch, but my guitar is never more than a half step off of standard pitch, no matter how long it's been since I have tuned to a tuner. When listening to a symphony, I hear a hundred different voices speaking all at once, and yet at the same time, I hear the harmony of their voices combined. It is so powerful that there is not even a way, during the listening, that I could even try to think of how it is making me feel. Yet it always brings a smile to my face. Since you have asked me, I will surmise that it is very close to being the same experience for both of us, we just react to it differently.
    As for the science of music. I did listen to a "Ted Talks" lecture about music. How after certain notes are played we expect certain notes to follow. And how that expectation leads to surprise when the expectation is not met. You might look at it from an angle such as that.

    Thanx for the question. I love music, and the fact that all the sounds in life, play a constant song in my head, never bores me.
    Lady O.W. Bro and Tonimiko thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by MindSlinger View Post
    I don't think I have ever experienced music with tears. But music is very powerful to me. To me, each note is a living thing with a voice of it's own. I don't think I have perfect pitch, but my guitar is never more than a half step off of standard pitch, no matter how long it's been since I have tuned to a tuner. When listening to a symphony, I hear a hundred different voices speaking all at once, and yet at the same time, I hear the harmony of their voices combined. It is so powerful that there is not even a way, during the listening, that I could even try to think of how it is making me feel. Yet it always brings a smile to my face. Since you have asked me, I will surmise that it is very close to being the same experience for both of us, we just react to it differently.
    As for the science of music. I did listen to a "Ted Talks" lecture about music. How after certain notes are played we expect certain notes to follow. And how that expectation leads to surprise when the expectation is not met. You might look at it from an angle such as that.

    Thanx for the question. I love music, and the fact that all the sounds in life, play a constant song in my head, never bores me.
    I applaud you for being another who appreciates the sounds of life. :)

    As for the unexpected notes and chords...I have definitely noticed that. :) Pleasantly surprising, they are.
    MindSlinger thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonimiko View Post
    I'm looking for a scientific answer that can explain in words why music can make you cry.
    This intrigued me, but as I haven't had much time to think about the it I decided to do some research. I came across this article that I think may hold the answer, although you can never really be sure. Check it out and see what you think :) It made a lot of sense to me, the whole tension and release thing. I'm very drawn to dissonance, especially when I'm the one playing it...

    Here's the link:
    Why Does Some Music Make You Cry? - Jim Daly Christian Blog

    (Also, disregard the last half of the article... I know it's a religious site but I thought it explained the research part in the beginning pretty well)
    Tonimiko thanked this post.


 
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