Medical Mysteries of MusicPoll

Weekly survey: Does music give you chills? (And be honest.)

Last week, there was a story out of USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute on how music gives some people–repeat, some people–chills.

People who get musical shivers apparently have more fibers connecting the auditory cortex–the place in the brain that processes sound–to those parts of the brain that deal with processing emotions. More fibers equals better communication. And better communication allows music and emotions to mingle more freely.

But not everyone is wired this way. This isn’t a defect or shortcoming; it’s just how some brains work.

So here’s the question: Do you get the chills from music?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly survey: Does music give you chills? (And be honest.)

  • I totally do. Since high school, I’ve had this reaction to some songs (may it be due to a lyric, a guitar solo, or the way something was sang), and there are too many to mention. “Let It Be” from The Beatles has many sections that bring me the chills,and so does Blur’s “This is a Low” from Parklife.

  • Music has given me chills as long as I can remember. In fact this visceral reaction may very well be one of the main reasons why i have had a lifelong love affair with music, and one of the reasons why the thought of a life without music is incredibly depressing.


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