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Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker/Why does Adele's 'Someone Like You' make everyone cry?
WSJ ^ | Feb. 11, 2012.

Posted on 02/13/2012 10:11:22 AM PST by nuconvert

Why does Adele's 'Someone Like You' make everyone cry? Science has found the formula.

-Excerpt-

Twenty years ago, the British psychologist John Sloboda conducted a simple experiment. He asked music lovers to identify passages of songs that reliably set off a physical reaction, such as tears or goose bumps. Participants identified 20 tear-triggering passages, and when Dr. Sloboda analyzed their properties, a trend emerged: 18 contained a musical device called an "appoggiatura."

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. "This generates tension in the listener," said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. "When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good."

Chills often descend on listeners at these moments of resolution. When several appoggiaturas occur next to each other in a melody, it generates a cycle of tension and release. This provokes an even stronger reaction, and that is when the tears start to flow.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; Science; Society
KEYWORDS: adele; music; science; tearjerker
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1 posted on 02/13/2012 10:11:26 AM PST by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert
Since it seems I like in a closet I don't who she is and don't think I've ever heard the song.

When the Grammies were on I walked through as some black chick was shackled to a big wheel chanting weird stuff.

Asked my daughter what in the heck was that. Got the “Oh, Daddy” with the big eye roll.

2 posted on 02/13/2012 10:16:42 AM PST by PeteB570 ( Islam is the sea in which the Terrorist Shark swims. The deeper the sea the larger the shark.)
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To: nuconvert

in the words of Mr. Spock...”fascinating”.


3 posted on 02/13/2012 10:18:00 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November from my HOUSE!!!!!!!! 11.06.2012, the Tower of Sauron falls,)
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To: nuconvert

I think she’s that chubby girl who won all the Grammys last night. Can’t say I’ve ever heard the song, and I doubt it would make me cry - only two songs have done that to me over my 50+ years.


4 posted on 02/13/2012 10:20:12 AM PST by mkleesma (`Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.')
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To: PeteB570
Then you're missing out, in a sense. She's a "plus size" working class English girl, who doesn't dress sleazy, and just gets up there and sings. Extremely well. The song caught, I think because the theme was a true story for her having a broken heart because she was ditched by the guy she loved. No obscenity, no sexual references, nothing. Just a not very attractive girl singing like she meant it.

I'm pretty much an Allman Brothers/Pink Floyd kind of guy, but that woman can sing.

5 posted on 02/13/2012 10:20:40 AM PST by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: PeteB570
Then you're missing out, in a sense. She's a "plus size" working class English girl, who doesn't dress sleazy, and just gets up there and sings. Extremely well. The song caught, I think, because the theme was a true story for her having a broken heart because she was ditched by the guy she loved. No obscenity, no sexual references, nothing. Just a not very attractive girl singing like she meant it.

I'm pretty much an Allman Brothers/Pink Floyd kind of guy, but that woman can sing.

6 posted on 02/13/2012 10:21:10 AM PST by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: PeteB570

here ya go...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TysCyqI4kY


7 posted on 02/13/2012 10:21:51 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: PeteB570

Me too. Before last night I’d never heard of her. She seems like a pretty decent lady. I was pretty amused that Gaga was so ignored.


8 posted on 02/13/2012 10:22:27 AM PST by bkepley
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin

Also, she just had to have an operation on her vocal chords and last night was her first performance.

Not a fan and I don’t even watch the Grammys...but she can sing.


9 posted on 02/13/2012 10:23:42 AM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: mkleesma
only two songs have done that to me over my 50+ years.

A good rendition of America the Beautiful can get me misty.

10 posted on 02/13/2012 10:27:05 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: nuconvert

It’s a good song but cry? Come on.


11 posted on 02/13/2012 10:28:17 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: nuconvert

The one that always gets me has a similar intro: it is the scene in Les Miserables where Fantine welcomes Jean Valjean to come with her to heaven. My eyes well up, my face heats up, and I sob as imperceptibly as possible, but I can never seem to stop my shoulders from shaking involuntarily. From the “Epilogue” scene of Les Miz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oh8HnwVZQM&feature=related


12 posted on 02/13/2012 10:29:46 AM PST by Migraine (Diversity is great; until it happens to YOU.)
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To: nuconvert
The song's heavy rotation on 'hit' radio makes it more depressing than likeable.
13 posted on 02/13/2012 10:31:25 AM PST by newzjunkey (Romney vs. Santorum? The establishment wins.)
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To: nuconvert

Doesn’t make me cry - low class fat girl who looks like a 19th century streetwalker, singing corny lyrics, nothing melody. Makes me wonder about life on this planet.


14 posted on 02/13/2012 10:32:06 AM PST by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: nuconvert

interesting


15 posted on 02/13/2012 10:34:15 AM PST by ElayneJ
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To: nuconvert

Is this the, “we could have had it all” song?

I like it. It did jump out from the radio, when I first heard it. The thing I noticed about the song is that that line is the only significant melody. The rest of the song is a off-kilter rhythm, carried along only by her voice. So when the melody appears, it stands out. Maybe this is what the author is getting at.

The other important part of that line is that everyone who has endured a breakup can relate to it.


16 posted on 02/13/2012 10:36:38 AM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: central_va

Yeah, never made me cry. But this one gets to me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVbkz_3lO3c


17 posted on 02/13/2012 10:37:05 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: Migraine

I have the DVD. So many great songs.


18 posted on 02/13/2012 10:40:20 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: kabumpo
That low class fat girl has an arm load of grammys for songs she wrote and performed. You on the other hand are a very classy untalented, nodoubt skinny, no talent goober. Im bettin'.
19 posted on 02/13/2012 10:41:56 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: nuconvert; PeteB570

Much better version here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ


20 posted on 02/13/2012 10:42:05 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Bruce Campbells Chin

Not to mention that she credited Sarah Palin for her career boost on Saturday Night Live. I heard she said that in an interview, not at last night’s Grammy’s.


21 posted on 02/13/2012 10:42:09 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November from my HOUSE!!!!!!!! 11.06.2012, the Tower of Sauron falls,)
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To: central_va

Mike & The Mechanics, “The Living Years”. Everytime.


22 posted on 02/13/2012 10:42:24 AM PST by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The acronym explains the science.)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

“Is this the, “we could have had it all” song?”

No, that’s “Rolling in the Deep”. I prefer that to ‘Someone Like You’


23 posted on 02/13/2012 10:42:32 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: nuconvert

Rap music makes me cry. It also makes me reload.


24 posted on 02/13/2012 10:43:11 AM PST by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: MeganC

lol


25 posted on 02/13/2012 10:44:26 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: central_va

Ray Charles’ version of america the Beautiful is the best!! The most reverent tune I may have ever heard. It makes me wish for his version to be our National Anthem.


26 posted on 02/13/2012 10:44:29 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November from my HOUSE!!!!!!!! 11.06.2012, the Tower of Sauron falls,)
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To: nuconvert

Can’t imagine this ssong making me cry but boy oh boy can this lady SING! What a voice...and no sleaze, blasphemy or cursing!


27 posted on 02/13/2012 10:44:55 AM PST by pgkdan (Rick Santorum 2012. Conservative's last, best chance!)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Ha - ya got me


28 posted on 02/13/2012 10:44:55 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: nuconvert

If you have kids, “She’s Leaving Home” by The Beatles always chokes me up.


29 posted on 02/13/2012 10:45:26 AM PST by 1raider1
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To: nuconvert
Try almost anything the Catus Cutties Perform. Certain things just get to me. I keep wondering why they destroy the Star Spangled Banner at events when they have many singers of that caliber. I just enjoy young people with a sense of patriotism and faith instead of say,........Madonna.
30 posted on 02/13/2012 10:45:49 AM PST by chuckles
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To: pgkdan

“Set Fire to the Rain” is a much better song, IMHO.


31 posted on 02/13/2012 10:46:22 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel

“Mike & The Mechanics, “The Living Years”. Everytime.”

I hated my father but that song makes me cry, too. It’s a lament for lost opportunities and it’s also a classical requiem in many ways.


32 posted on 02/13/2012 10:47:06 AM PST by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: kabumpo

” low class fat girl who looks like a 19th century streetwalker,”

Actually, I think she looks a lot like Margaret Thatcher


33 posted on 02/13/2012 10:47:25 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: MeganC

Laughed out loud with that one.

The video of that guy shooting his daughter’s laptop, coupled with my hatred of rap “crap’ makes me want to do the same. Same with ringtones. I already told my daughter that cell phones aren’t bulletproof, either.


34 posted on 02/13/2012 10:47:49 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November from my HOUSE!!!!!!!! 11.06.2012, the Tower of Sauron falls,)
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To: nuconvert

John Michael Montgomery’s “The Little Girl” always chokes me up near the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvLyJs2FHh0


35 posted on 02/13/2012 10:50:15 AM PST by RingerSIX (My wife and I took an AIDS vaccine that they offer down at our Church.)
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To: nuconvert

I refuse to watch that video right now because I have to get work done. But yes, every single time.


36 posted on 02/13/2012 10:51:52 AM PST by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: nuconvert
1960's tear jerker.....
Ballad of the Green Beret 

by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler and 
Robin Moore, copyright 1966  

Fighting soldiers from the sky 
Fearless men who jump and die 
Men who mean just what they say 
The brave men of the Green Beret 

Silver wings upon their chest 
These are men, America's best 
One hundred men will test today 
But only three win the Green Beret 

Trained to live off nature's land 
Trained in combat, hand-to-hand 
Men who fight by night and day 
Courage peak from the Green Berets 

Silver wings upon their chest 
These are men, America's best 
One hundred men will test today 
But only three win the Green Beret 

Back at home a young wife waits 
Her Green Beret has met his fate 
He has died for those oppressed 
Leaving her his last request 

Put silver wings on my son's chest 
Make him one of America's best 
He'll be a man they'll test one day 
Have him win the Green Beret. 


37 posted on 02/13/2012 10:55:05 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SueRae
Yeah, Ray Charles' America the Beautiful is phenomenal.

I'm not a Whitney Houston fan, but her rendition of the National Anthem at the Super Bowl was incredible as well, probably in large part because it happened during the Gulf War. I was in a combat unit, so we didn't see or hear it or the game, but we did hear about it. And when we finally boarded the planes to come home after the War, that's the first thing they popped up on the scream -- her singing the National Anthem.

Yesh, I cried.

38 posted on 02/13/2012 10:55:56 AM PST by Bruce Campbells Chin
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To: central_va

Yes, I’m old enough to remember that playing on the transistor radio.


39 posted on 02/13/2012 10:57:12 AM PST by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: nuconvert

Speaking of Sarah McLachlan, I can’t watch “Toy Story 2” without choking up when Sarah sings “When She Loved Me”.


40 posted on 02/13/2012 11:00:34 AM PST by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: nuconvert

If the Ballad of the Green Baret doesn’t give you a ‘spec in your eye’ then nothing will.


41 posted on 02/13/2012 11:04:05 AM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: nuconvert

Thanks, but now that I’ve heard it I’d say it’s more of a “channel-changer” than a tear-jerker for me...


42 posted on 02/13/2012 11:09:34 AM PST by bigbob
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To: central_va

Ragged Old Flag, by Johnny Cash

I like Adele, but I’m not crying :)


43 posted on 02/13/2012 11:10:22 AM PST by mikedfox
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To: nuconvert

Ennio Morricone? ONE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HEnIt1SMyo&feature=related TWO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj5Xczethmw THREE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyYc0gINbU&feature=fvst


44 posted on 02/13/2012 11:12:46 AM PST by anglian
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To: PeteB570
Mrs Wbill and I surfed into the Grammys while the Beach Boys were on.

They still hit the harmonies well.

Rest of it? I dunno. I know so little about pop music anymore that I can't comment. Most all it all either 1) sounds the same to me or 2) was stuff that I already heard 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

I'm sure that my dad would say the same thing to me. Pop culture never changes, it just recycles itself. Rarely is there any real innovation.

45 posted on 02/13/2012 11:14:16 AM PST by wbill
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To: nuconvert

Some of folk/pop singer Victoria Williams’ songs can bring tears to my eyes.


46 posted on 02/13/2012 11:16:39 AM PST by GSWarrior (I don't like half the folks I love.)
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To: SueRae
Ray Charles’ version of america the Beautiful is the best!!

Yeah, I miss him every 4th of July when I watch the specials on TV.

He wasn't just singing the song. He meant every word of what he sang.

47 posted on 02/13/2012 11:16:51 AM PST by wbill
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To: nuconvert

I always like to keep up with newly minted music (not dance, sampling mixing or unintelligible lyrics, or spoken lyrics (hip-hop) or profanity).

Adele is the best that has come along of her genre, since Jewel in the 1990s. Some of Gaga’s stuff is OK sans dancing. There’s a 2007 song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s that evokes Simon and Garfunkle. So there’s some good new stuff; you just have to weed out so much crap.


48 posted on 02/13/2012 11:17:31 AM PST by cicero2k
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To: nuconvert

Adele’s “Chasing Pavement” is her best song. The vidio is sombering, 2 lovers die in a car crash and come back together


49 posted on 02/13/2012 11:19:01 AM PST by trailhkr1
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To: nuconvert

I am 60 and addicted to “Someone Like You”. Love it.


50 posted on 02/13/2012 11:21:28 AM PST by I_be_tc
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