Everything in moderation, including syncopation and harmony

This new research looks at the emotive factors in music and uses an idea called the “inverted U”. This is the idea that we like and enjoy just the right amount of musical elements to get us to the top of the inverted U (the peak of enjoyment) and to keep us there. This research found that a moderate level of syncopation and harmony did just that.

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“Harmony is a really emotive factor in music,” says Matthews. “It can really make you feel things. So, if we combine medium syncopation rhythms, which are considered the grooviest, with medium harmonies, maybe that will push the peak of the inverted U curve higher. If we find a sweet spot for rhythm and harmony combined, that will interact and boost this effect even higher than with just rhythm alone.”

Here is our question, how does the level and length of a person’s musical training change, widen or interrupt the Inverted U of musical enjoyment?

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