"Feeling" music

Interesting study here:

Why does something as abstract as music provoke such a consistent response? In a new study, a team of USC researchers, with the help of artificial intelligence, investigated how music affects listeners’ brains, bodies and emotions.

We talk a lot about our subjective experience of hearing, but what we’re listening to has a lot to say about that.

Here’s the abstract:

Music has a powerful influence on human experience. In this paper, we investigate how music affects brain activity, physiological response, and human-reported behavior. Using auditory features related to dynamics, timbre, harmony, rhythm, and register, we predicted brain activity in the form of phase synchronizations in bilateral Heschl’s gyri and superior temporal gyri; physiological response in the form of galvanic skin response and heart activity; and emotional experience in the form of continuous, subjective descriptions reported by music listeners. We found that using multivariate time series models with attention mechanisms are effective in predicting emotional ratings, while vector-autoregressive models are effective in predicting involuntary human responses. Musical features related to dynamics, register, rhythm, and harmony were found to be particularly helpful in predicting these human reactions. This work adds to our understanding of how music affects multimodal human experience and has applications in affective computing, music emotion recognition, neuroscience, and music information retrieval.

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I wonder if it would be possible to compute affective tags for tracks, perhaps with a package like madmom.

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I can’t recall where atm, but I once read music described as “long distance grooming” for humans.

Maybe, but if Van Morrison has been pulling nits from my hair for years, I suspect John Lydon of putting a few back.