On Saturday, I attended the concert for Westminster Choir College's Summer Choral Festival. One of the participants was staying with us for a couple of days and I wanted to see what he had been up to. We barely saw him, as he spent long days and nights in rehearsals for Herbert Howells' Requiem and Bach's Magnificat.
I had never heard the Requiem before and was completely blown away. Each movement featured a different soloist or grouping and it was just stunning. My favorite moment was the a capella duet between the soprano and alto heard here:
Can you hear the chant-esque qualities? Ah! Chills.
So, what exactly gives us chillbumps when listening to music? Why do only some people feel them?
"The researchers found that the brains of individuals who occasionally feel a chill while listening to music were wired differently than the control subjects. They had more nerve fibers connecting auditory cortex, the part of the brain that processes sound, to their anterior insular cortex, a region involved in processing feelings. The auditory cortex also had strong links to parts of the brain that may monitor emotions."
Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/researchers-look-what-happens-brain-when-music-causes-chills-180959481/#DEWEjqmJmqh3CLUW.99
"Studies have shown that people who possess this trait have unusually active imaginations, appreciate beauty and nature, seek out new experiences, often reflect deeply on their feelings, and love variety in life. Some aspects of this trait are inherently emotional (loving variety, appreciating beauty), while others are cognitive (imagination, intellectual curiosity)."
Pretty cool, huh?
Have YOU ever experienced this sensation? Comment on this post and share the piece of music.
Maria Palombo is a Voice Instructor and Singer living in Central NJ. She is the founder of Finely Tuned Voice Lessons, a private voice studio in Mercer County, NJ.