This 715-song playlist is scientifically verified to give you the chills, thanks to “frisson” - Big Think
Listening to some songs can cause a powerful physiological response known as "frisson." What is it, and why does it happen?
- A feeling of "frisson" can be elicited by the music of artists as disparate as Johnny Cash, Metallica, Céline Dion, and Mozart.
- One possible explanation for the phenomenon is that it results from a violation of expectations.
- Regardless of the ultimate cause, music and "frisson" are so powerful because they remind us what it is like to be alive.
As a freshman in high school, I know nothing of the song’s mature themes of aging and death. But about halfway through the song, something happens. The guitar and piano increase in volume, and Cash’s voice starts to crescendo. I feel the hairs stand on the back of my neck. A warm shiver runs up my spine, and goosebumps appear on my arms. It feels like something important is happening. I don’t know what exactly. But something is coming.
And the moment I expect the song will decrescendo, as it had in the previous chorus… It doesn’t. Cash’s voice wails over a pounding piano and guitar that threatens to blow out my headphones.