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Songs That Give You the Chills

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A good number of scholarly studies have examined the enigmatic ability of music to sometimes induce ‘The Chills’ in humans. See, for example : ‘Musical Piloerection’ (by Björn Vickhoff, PhD, Rickard Åström, MFA, Töres Theorell, MD, PhD, Bo von Schéele, PhD, and Michael Nilsson, MD, PhD) in Music and Medicine, April 2012 vol. 4 no. 2 82-89.

For those who wish to experiment (possibly even self-experiment) with such things, another group of researchers, from the Centre of Interdisciplinary Research on Music Media and Technology (CIRMMT) of McGill University, US (Valorie N. Salimpoor, Mitchel Benovoy, Gregory Longo, Jeremy R. Cooperstock, and Robert J. Zatorre) have compiled a list of musical excerpts which they found can sometimes induce The Chills (listed here in ascending order of chilliness):

• Holst, First Suite in E Flat, Classical, score 9:07
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11 – Mov. 4,Classical, score 10:00
• Phish, You Enjoy Mylsef, Jazz Fusion, score 10:50
• Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Static, Post-Rock, score 11:20
• Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 12:32
• Mahler, Symphony No. 2 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 13:00
• Shostakovich, 11th Symphony – Mov. 2, Classical, score 13:45
• Mahler, Symphony No. 1 – Mov. 1, Classical, score 14:00
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 11 – Mov. 2, Classical, score 14:00
• Copland, Appalachian Spring Suite, Classical, score 20:00
… and, at number 1, chillwise,
• Shostakovich, Symphony No. 4 – Mov. 3, Classical, score 20:30

See: ‘The Rewarding Aspects of Music Listening Are Related to Degree of Emotional Arousal’, PLOS | ONE, October 16, 2009.

Note: The list included Liszt, whose ‘Danse Macabre’ (a.k.a. Totentanz), scored a relatively low 0.27

Also see (and hear): Kiss On My List’ (which may or may not induce The Chills)

This article originally appeared on Improbable Research.


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