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The Music of Power

By on August 17, 2014
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Well, it should come as no surprise to hear that music has the power to invoke specific emotions within us. If music be the food of love, play on. – Duke Orsino, from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare, who knew that music can evoke feelings of love.

But if music can evoke specific states, what states are these? And what type of music is required to evoke these states? The easy answer is that music is art, and art is subjective. But to a scientist, this answer is simply not enough. They want to know precisely what music evokes what states and why.

Fortunately we have researchers such as Dennis Hsu and his colleagues from various Universities including Northwestern and Columbia. They carried out research to determine if music could create a sense of power, and powerful thoughts. They found that indeed it could.

Not only that but they also identified specific songs to induce these feelings including Queen’s We Will Rock You, sung by the incomparable Freddie Mercury here at Wembly Stadium in England

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ljr46m-O90w Queen – We Will Rock You (Live at Wembley Stadium) HD

 

 

 

 

And 2 Unlimited’s Get Ready for This:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvTm_BhZdOE 2 UNLIMITED – GET READY FOR THIS (HD) HQ

In addition to great music, the researchers also found that amplifying the bass increased the feelings of power. Who would have guessed. Here’s the research for those who like science with their rock and roll:

Music has long been suggested to be a way to make people feel powerful. The current research investigated whether music can evoke a sense of power and produce power-related cognition and behavior. I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs, and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music. –George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss See more…

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