More than a feeling

Emotionally evocative, yes, but music goes much deeper

By Susan Gaidos, 10:15 AM July 29, 2010

Anyone who has felt the sting of tears while listening to a bugler play “Taps,” swooned to a love song or cringed with irritation as a neighbor cranked the heavy metal knows that music can exert a powerful emotive effect.

And you don’t need a neuroscientist to tell you that manipulating a melody’s pace, tone and intensity can stir the emotions. Composers of symphonies, pop tunes, movie sound tracks and TV ads all know how to tune an audience’s mood along a dial ranging from sad and glum to...

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