The ephemeral experience of music

How maths helps us understand why music moves people

Music is known to provoke the senses, give pleasure and sometimes move people to tears. Surely this has little to do with mathematical models which are so frequently associated with cold and rational logic. So what can maths tell us about this powerful phenomenon closely connected to the emotions? Can mathematics help us measure what’s sublime or ineffable about a piece of music? Music evokes strong emotions such as frisson (goose bumps), awe and laughter – and has been found to use the same reward pathways as food, drugs and sex to induce pleasure. ….[READ]

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