How can music—essentially just a series of notes—evoke the intense emotions of joy, nostalgia, or sadness? How do certain pieces trigger chills and shivers down our spine even after repeated listens? Why are we sometimes drawn to songs that make us feel sorrow and pain? How is music able to mentally transport us so effortlessly into how we felt in the past? These are just some of the questions scientists have been trying to answer when studying the relationship between music and emotions. At Columbia, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience Matthew Sachs investigates the neural and behavioral mechanisms involved in emotions and feeling in response to naturalistic stimuli, such as music and sounds in film. On November 9, Sachs and a group of experts in music composition (Chanda Dancy), neuroscience (Elvira Brattico), and machine learning (Anna Huang) will convene virtually to discuss How Music Moves Us: Exploring the Connection Between Music and Emotions.
We spoke with Sachs and composer Chanda Dancy about their upcoming event and how they think about the role emotions play in how we listen and respond to music. Read the full article on our website and join us on November 9 at 2:00 PM ET. Free and open to the public; registration required.