We all know and loathe the phenomenon: you hear a song, and for the rest of the day you can't stop hearing the same three measures of it over and over in your head. Dartmouth College researchers looked into
a part of this phenomenon, indirectly of course, by examining which brain areas are activated when listening to a song that is interrupted. They found that familiar song triggered more specific activation, and that the effect was much stronger for lyrical music than instrumental. That's what strikes to me: we know that humans are 'programmed' to respond very strongly to language, but how far does that go? What about emotional responses to music? Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" is undoubtedly the most emotionally charged piece of music ever. I can't wait to read the full text article.