Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy music, happy faces

The Telegraph reports on a study, published in the journal Neuroscience Letters by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, indicating that exposure to cheerful music prompted listeners to see happiness in the faces of people around them.

"The researchers used 120 different excerpts of instrumental pop, classical and jazz. After each piece was played, the students were asked to rate the mood of the faces in the pictures.

"Results showed that happy music 'significantly enhanced the perceived happiness of a face.' Further studies of the volunteers' brain waves revealed that the effect of the music was almost instantaneous. It took just 50 milliseconds for changes to take place – too fast to be under our conscious control," the newspaper reports:

(via ArtsJournal)

On a conceivably related note, Alex Ross passes on whimsical translations, by MIT linguistics professor (and orchestral violinist) David Pesetsky, of Mahler's score markings:

And a happy fifth anniversary to Ross, patriarch of classical-music bloggers (, from this blog, a mere toddler not quite 2½ years old.