Rock is dead. Or is it? It turns out, the distorted sounds of guitar and jarring chords and screeching solos can get us pumped up. The research reveals that it's not something we've learned to love but the sounds of rock and roll echo the raw, visceral warning sounds of humans and animals from prehistoric times.
Published in Biology Letters, the research investigates the effects of dissonant music on our mood and emotions, and researchers found that sudden, jarring changes in pitch affect humans the same way it does to animals.
Animals expel a larger than usual quantities of air when they cry out in distress, and the result is a discordant sound, that has the same effects heard in rock music and on soundtracks of dramatic films. Our reactions to rock music are the same when hearing animals crying out in distress, while they feel excited but charged with negative emotion. According to Greg Bryant:
"Composers have intuitive knowledge of what sounds scary without knowing why. What they usually don't realize is that they're exploiting our evolved predispositions to get excited and have negative emotions when hearing certain sounds."