Study on Musical Frisson


(Andrew Cox) #1

Interesting study on the neurological mechanism of musical frisson (chills up the back of the neck to you and I).

What music last gave you a frisson ? Are there any works that do it every time ? Is the quality of reproduction a factor ?

I used to get it almost invariably from three songs when I was a teenager. These days I can listen to them without frisson, but they still occasionally cause it if they are played loudly with excellent fidelity:

Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
Golden Years - David Bowie
No Quarter - Led Zeppelin

The last time I had a frisson was on Monday when I was listening to Chris Wilson following his untimely death. This track:


(Chris ) #2

I often get it a live gigs, I’m two or three feet away (sometimes closer if they play to the camera) from an incredible artist, filming the show and wondering how I ever got here but not wanting to change it for anything in the world.
A great song with a powerful lyric will also do it at home.