Happy or sad: What type of music do you like? 悲傷還是快樂 —— 你喜歡哪種音樂?

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一項新研究表明,悲傷的音樂現在越來越受人們的歡迎。為什麼人們選擇聽悲傷的音樂?在聽這類音樂時,人們的大腦和身體中在發生著什麼變化?本期 「隨身英語」 圍繞這項研究,淺談為什麼悲傷的音樂能讓我們中的一些人感到快樂。

Vocabulary: emotions 詞彙: 情緒

What would life be like without music? Songs and tunes fill our lives, affecting our emotions, bringing back memories and sometimes making us dance. There is a song for everyone and for every occasion, but it seems that it’s sad music that moves us most.

Sad music certainly does its job in making us depressed, emotional, and causing us to sob – it’s something we might listen to after a break-up, for example. And a recent study has shown why some people are hooked on sad music. Professor David Huron from Ohio State University conducted the research and looked at the difference between people who love to listen to sad music and those who can’t stand it.

He told the BBC radio programme The Why Factor that it comes down to a natural hormone called prolactin. He says: 「as you might have guessed from the name, it’s associated with 『lactation’ from breast-feeding. When people cry, they also release prolactin. And, there are circumstances in which prolactin seems to have this comforting effect.」 It seems that people who like sad music are maybe getting too much prolactin, or more than is normal, and when they hear sad, downbeat music, it gives them a good feeling. But if prolactin isn’t released, or there isn’t enough of it, some people find that sad sounds don’t help to cheer them up.

Previous research by Durham University has also suggested that listening to sad music can trigger pain and sadness; but it can also provide comfort and even enjoyment. A high number of people they surveyed were cheered up by listening to supposedly sad songs. Though the feeling may not be exactly the same as happiness, it may be the ability to cope with the sadness that gives the feeling of comfort.

So, reacting to sad music on the radio may have nothing to do with the melancholic sound of a string quartet or a singer who’s got the blues, but rather a natural chemical reaction taking place in our bodies. Maybe that explanation is music to your ears if you’re wondering why you’ve be listening to Adele on repeat!

詞彙表

emotion 情緒
memory 記憶
move 打動,感動
depressed 消沉的,抑鬱的
sob 抽泣
hooked 入迷的,上癮的
hormone 荷爾蒙
prolactin 催乳素
comforting 令人安慰的
downbeat 低調的,悲觀的
cheer sb. up 使……高興起來,使……振作
trigger 引起,引發(壞事)
comfort 安慰,慰籍
enjoyment 愉悅感
melancholic 憂鬱的
the blues 憂傷,悲哀
music to your ears 好消息

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What’s the name of the natural hormone that determines who does or doesn’t enjoy sad music?

2. How might someone who doesn’t get enough of this natural hormone feel when they listen to sad music?

3. True or false? People who enjoy sad music like the feeling of comfort it creates.

4. According to research by Durham University, why might someone get a feeling of comfort by listening to sad music?

5. Which word in the text means 『deal successfully with a difficult situation’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Seeing the poor conditions of some of the animals in the zoo really ______ to join an animal welfare charity.

moving us                     move us                    moved us                     moved on

2. I find a cup of hot, sweet tea very _______ after a long, cold winter walk.

comforting                    melancholic                music to your ears       depressed

3. News reports suggest it was the rise in temperature that _______ the avalanche.

triggers                         trigger                        triggering                      triggered

4. My friend sounded very _______ on the phone when she told me how her boyfriend had left her.

hooked                         melancholic                sob                              comforting

5. The announcement that we were all getting a pay rise was _______!

music to my ears         ear music to me          music for my ears        music to an ear

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What’s the name of the natural hormone that determines who does or doesn’t enjoy sad music?
The natural hormone is called prolactin.

2. How might someone who doesn’t get enough of this natural hormone feel when they listen to sad music?
If prolactin isn’t released in someone or there isn’t enough of it, they just find that sad sounds don’t help to cheer them up.

3. True or false? People who enjoy sad music like the feeling of comfort it creates.
True. Professor David Huron says when people cry, they also release prolactin. And, there are circumstances in which prolactin seems to have this comforting effect.

4. According to research by Durham University, why might someone get a feeling of comfort by listening to sad music?
It may be the ability to cope with the sadness that gives the feeling of comfort to people who enjoy listening to sad music.

5. Which word in the text means 『deal successfully with a difficult situation’?
Cope. 「Though the feeling may not be exactly the same as happiness, it may be the ability to cope with the sadness that gives the feeling of comfort.」

2.請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Seeing the poor conditions of some of the animals in the zoo really moved us to join an animal welfare charity.

2. I find a cup of hot, sweet tea very comforting after a long, cold winter walk.

3. News reports suggest it was the rise in temperature that triggered the avalanche.

4. My friend sounded very melancholic on the phone when she told me how her boyfriend had left her.

5. The announcement that we were all getting a pay rise was music to my ears!