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Extreme Re-listening can bring comfort.


Illustration of a song on continuous replay.

Illustration of a song on continuous replay.

Listening to music has profound impact on us, it can makes us happy, thoughtful, encourage, sad, and a lot of other emotions, this can lead to extreme re-listening. The availability of digital music through streaming services and YouTube makes it easier than ever for people to listen to virtually any song anytime.Then there is extreme re-listening, a situation where you listen to your favorite song over and over. Scientist have been researching the effect of listening to a particular movie over and over.

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Research  Report

Research on extreme relistening of music found interesting things.

In a new study at the University of Michigan, researchers have find that people  really enjoy replaying  their favorite song hundreds of times even after the novelty and surprise are gone. These songs may lack the element of surprise that comes with a new song. I think the finding of this study is very interesting. Take a look at the study abstract:

“Despite the lack of surprise each time they listen to their favorite song, people re-listen to these songs many times. We explored “extreme re-listening” by conducting a survey about the song to which participants were “listening most often these days.” We questioned participants about their listening experience, e.g., the deepness of their connection to the song, which aspects of the song draw them back, how much of the song they were able to hear in their heads, and how (in their own words) the song made them feel, which we classified as “happy,” “calm,” and “bittersweet.” More participants whose favorite song made them feel happy reported being drawn back because of its beat/rhythm. Participants whose favorite song made them feel bittersweet reported having a deeper connection to the song than those whose favorite song evoked other feelings. These patterns held irrespective of musical training. Finally, we found that the more times they listened to their favorite song, the more of the song listeners could hear internally. People’s affection for songs to which they voluntarily listen at high rates appears not to wane as it does for songs to which their exposure is ambient as is the case with the hit parade.”

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The mean among the sample was over three hundred times and this number was even huge for listeners who had a profound love and connection to the song, one thing that was exceptionally likely if they had different sentiments, such as “bittersweet,” while listening.

Frederick Conrad, professor of psychology and the study’s lead author said, “Niche listening might enable listeners to develop the type of personally meaningful relationships with specific songs that permits their affection for those songs to persist across very large amounts of exposure.”

During the study 204 participants gone through an online questionnaire in fall 2013 regarding their experience listening to their favorite song, together with how it made them feel and also the frequency with that they compete the song.

Although people’s favorites songs fell into 10 genre categories, they were mainly pop/rock songs.

About 86 % of the participants reported paying attention to their favorite song daily or a few times weekly. 43 % of these who listened to daily replayed the song at least three times every day. Sixty % listened to the song multiple times consecutively and about 6 % indicated they urgently wanted to hear the song before they played it.

Conrad, who directs the Michigan Program in Survey Methodology at the Institute for Social research, said, “Clearly, these listeners were very engaged with these songs.”

Jason Corey, associate professor of music and a co-author of the study, said certain features of the song were significantly important reasons why respondents listened again and again. the foremost important features were the song’s “melody,” “beat/rhythm” and “lyrics.” For songs that made listeners happy, beat/rhythm was particularly vital for re-listening.

The researchers added, finally, the more times folks listened to their favorite song, the a lot of the listeners might hear it internally.

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Conrad declared, “Listeners…should be able to ‘hear’ massive amounts of the song in their heads, potentially together with all the instrumental and vocal sounds.”

In fact, the more times they listened to the song, the more of it they may hear in their heads.





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