Have you always wanted to write a pop music classic? Good news! Prof. Dr. Stefan Kölsch and PhD student Vincent Ka Ming Cheung from the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig have decoded part of successful music’s DNA. Songs like James Taylor’s Country Road, UB40’s Red, Red Wine or The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da are irresistible thanks to their perfect combination of anticipation and surprise. Pleasure in music depends on both past and future expectations.
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