Six years ago, Glenn Schellenberg decided to do an experiment.
Schellenberg works at the University of Toronto, where he studies the psychology of music. The idea behind his experiment couldn’t have been more straightforward: He simply wanted to play music for people and get them to rate how happy or sad that music made them feel.
These two emotions — happy and sad — are relatively easy to identify in music, and though there are different ways for music to convey emotion (through lyrics or what kind of instruments are used), Schellenberg says the tempo of a song and whether it’s in a major or minor key often strongly influences which emotion the song conveys.
Read the whole story: NPR