We all know that some songs give us chills when we hear it, or makes us well up with tears. What most of us don’t know is what about that song makes this happen. What is the anatomy of a tear jerker?
In short, a tear jerker contains the following attributes:
- Unexpected change in volume, pitch, rhythm – This heightens our senses.
- Apoggiatura – an unexpected dissonance that then resolves – The resolution brings pleasure.
This is just the Cliff Notes version. More details about the scientific research, and how modern day siren, Adele, has leveraged the formula to a T, are in this article: The Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker.