10 May 2003
A trip to Deepest Ephemera, courtesy of Lynn Sislo:
[T]his guy on NPR starts talking about emotional response to music. He goes on and on for over a minute merely re-phrasing the same question over and over again, basically: "Why do we have an emotional response to music?" Okay, I have to hear this one, so when I got home I rushed in and turned on the radio and tuned it to the same station. By that time they had finally gotten through the introduction. They had some guy from Harvard on there talking about music and brain research. They did some kind of experiment using a short piece of music composed just for the purpose, which goes through all 24 keys. They played a little bit of it; it was boring. No emotional response here.
Actually, that bit was designed to elicit a different response altogether: to hook together the following three thoughts:
"They must have gone to a lot of trouble to find this story."
"I must go renew my membership at once."
If it seems that there's a disproportionate number of reports like this during the semiannual fundraisers, well, now you know why.