chapter  25
Musical Chills and Other Delights of Music
ByJerrold Levinson
Pages 17

Though in a number of respects the value of music goes beyond the pleasure it provides when appropriately attended to, the capacity to provide such pleasure, it should be admitted, is a significant part of that value. Some preliminary remarks are in order concerning the sort of attention that should be understood to be involved when speaking of pleasures properly afforded a listener by music. Such attention is close and concerted; it is locally focused, though globally context-sensitive. The chapter examines a recent scientific study of the phenomenon, conducted over a number of years by psychologist Jaak Panksepp, and presented in a 1995 article, 'The Emotional Sources of "Chills" Induced by Music'. The pleasure associated with such 'chills', where there is such, is clearly of a sort we can label physiologically centred. Panksepp's studies targeted a number of different features plausibly thought to bear on the incidence of musical chills.