1 Mar 2018

Eight classical pieces to give you chills

From Upbeat, 12:46 pm on 1 March 2018

New research coming out of Harvard has found if you get goose bumps while listening to music, you just might be rather special.

Matthew Sachs studied people who get chills from music to see how this feeling was triggered. He used brain scans on those who got goose bumps, and also a control group who did not.

Sachs found that those who got goose bumps had different brain structures than those who didn't, including a denser volume of fibres connecting the part of the brain that processes sounds, and the areas that process emotions.

The second movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony was a popular choice for the study participants.

Upbeat listeners shared the music that brings on the chills.

'O Fortuna' by Carl Orff

Pam says: “As a member of the percussion team in Hamilton's community orchestra (the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra) this is without doubt the most exciting piece I've played in.”

Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams

Karina says “Interesting! I get 'the chills' with some music, more so with live music, but also recordings, including the Concert Program! Many pieces… including Vaughan Williams’ 'Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis' & 'Lark Ascending'.”

Choral Symphony (Ode to Joy) by Beethoven

Phyllis says: “There's a certain passage towards the end of Beethoven's Choral Symphony that always gives me goosebumps.”

Alto Rhapsody by Brahms

Brian says: “Then there is tears which I get from hearing Brahms' Alto Rhapsody especially Kathleen Ferrier.”

The Enchanted Lake by Liadov

Peter says: “I first heard it late at night and I was terrified.”

String Quintet in C by Schubert

Barbara says: “I would like to nominate the Schubert String Quintet in C especially the slow moment, and a wonderful moment in Helsinki where a pianist played Finlandia!”

Viola Concerto by Bartók

Richard says: “In the slow movement of Bartok's viola concerto the soloist plays many ascending arpeggios and withholds resolving to the key note, even when the orchestral accompaniment has done so. The result is stretched eyebrows,stretched throat, stiff hands and huge goosebumps until the viola finally sneaks up to consonant. Love to hear it again!”

Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn

John says: “Goosebumps - try this after a cold shower!”