Why does music give us chills? You asked Google – here’s the answer David Shariatmadari

David Shariatmadri writes: I was going to start this article with Verdi. Until a week or so ago, my most recent experience of music-induced shivers down my spine, goosebumps, feelings of exhilaration – we’ll call them “the chills” – came during a performance of the Italian composer’s Requiem. It was the Dies Irae, one of the most intense and terrifying pieces of music in the classical canon (and fair enough, it’s meant to represent the Day of Judgment). The crashing of the timpani, the wailing of the choir. This I thought, would be a fitting introduction for an essay on a most mysterious musical phenomenon.


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