“In Western society at least, endless reiteration of grief in speech is not generally acceptable. Songs of this kind allow this to happen. There is no embargo on singing or playing them repeatedly. We may also cry when the song is sung; an emotional response is acceptable in response to an obvious, external trigger.”

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“it seems we don’t like our pop music too unpredictable, so part of the reward in the brain comes when the sudden chord change returns to normal.”

“‘Surprise is important because it is a measure of new information – something that the reward centres of the brain recognise as being of value, leading to a positive emotional response.”

“”…high surprises in the harmony of a song, as well as high surprises followed by a lower-surprise section, can both contribute to the enjoyment of an unfamiliar piece of music.”

“An unexpected chord change is thought to trigger a rush of dopamine in the brain similar to that created by food and sex. “

“…high surprises in the harmony of a song, as well as high surprises followed by a lower-surprise section, can both contribute to the enjoyment of an unfamiliar piece of music.”

“…verses, not the choruses or bridges, accounted for much of the difference in harmonic surprise between the most and least popular songs in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.”