Why live music makes us more emotional than recorded songs?

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Web Desk
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Uptown Funk is the most streamed track of the year.—Reuters
Uptown Funk is the most streamed track of the year.—Reuters

A recent research led by Sascha Frühholz at the University of Zurich has unveiled the secret behind live music's emotional impacts on humans more than recorded music.

According to the News Scientist, the study involved composing 12 pieces, half designed to convey negative emotions and half for positive ones.

Non-musically trained participants listened to live performances and recordings of these pieces while undergoing MRI scans to monitor brain activity.

Live performances consistently triggered heightened activity in the left amygdala, a brain region strongly linked to processing emotions.

In contrast, recorded tunes generated less and inconsistent amygdala activity, aligning with participants' emotive ratings.

Frühholz explains that live music's adaptability, with performers adjusting based on audience response, likely intensifies emotional reactions compared to rigid recorded versions.

The study suggests that the dynamic, free-flowing nature of live music contributes to its ability to amplify emotional responses. 

Frühholz and the team aim to replicate the experiment in a concert setting with a larger audience, emphasising the social aspect of live music experiences.

The research provides insights into the neurological basis of our profound emotional connection to live music, hinting at its potential societal implications.