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Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

Frisson

few days ago, I read a study that those who encounter frisson—a french term meaning goosebumps or “aesthetic chills”—when they listen to music might be more emotional, have unusually active imaginations, and often seek out new experiences. I guess this is just something I’ve always taken for granted because I thought this was just a normal fact of life and that everyone gets goosebumps when they listen to their favorite songs, but apparently that’s not the case for a third of the population.

I’ve never been able to not immerse myself in the music I’m listening to; just the other day I almost forgot to go to class because I got lost in the music I was listening to. For me, music in itself is an experience. Whether it be live, recorded, or one of the songs I have to listen to a million times to analyze for one of my classes; there’s always something new to be heard within each song if you listen close enough.

Clearly, I’ve invested myself into music. I’m sure it’s a cliché for a music major and the Noise Editor of a newspaper to be spieling about how infatuated with music they are, but there’s something peculiar about the experience of music as a whole. I’ve cried at concerts like I did hearing “Flicker” by Niall Horan at Red Rocks for the first time, and a lot of my memories from my childhood and high school years come from musical experiences. I’ve built my relationship with my mom around music and our joined concert experiences, and those memories in themselves give me chills.

I may or may not agree with every trait defined by getting chills when listening to music—I’m certainly not always the most emotionally revealing person—but I think, whether or not we feel chills when we listen to music or if we relate to those traits or not; music in its entirety is about seeking out new experiences and making memories that define different stages in our lives.

Editor’s Pick: “Flicker” by Niall Horan

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