Emotional Music

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We know that there’s always that song that makes us smile, take us back to an exact moment, or bring us to tears… Music can have powerful effects on our emotions and with this in mind, we worked alongside Jacob Jolij, Professor in Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, to reveal some of the songs that trigger the clearest emotional responses.

  1. Happiness – Katy Perry, Birthday

Happy songs are up-tempo, have strong rhythm, positive lyrics, and are typically in a major key. The up-tempo rhythm of Katy Perry’s Birthday will encourage active movement and dopamine release, which is good for your mood.

Furthermore some research suggests that the major key unconsciously reminds you of a falling pitch – a feature which in both human and animal vocalisations asserts dominance and confidence.

  1. Sadness – OneRepublic, I Need

Sad songs have the opposing features of happy songs: they are slower and in a minor key – with the lyrics generally more negative.

The minor key present in OneRepublic’s I Need unconsciously reminds the human mind of a rising pitch, which is associated with defeat and uncertainty.

  1. Optimism – American Authors, Best Day of My Life

Optimism is what psychologists call a complex emotion – it is not ‘built in’ our system by nature, but it is an emotion we learn to experience over time.

Optimistic feelings require happiness, so optimistic songs will share many features with happy songs: major key, upbeat. However lyrics – such as those in American Authors’ Best Day of My Life – are more important here as they provide the additional context to build optimism rather than purely improving mood.

  1. Anger – David Guetta, Bad

Anger is a basic emotion. It is negative, and as such associated with songs in a minor key. However, as opposed to sadness, anger is what we call an approach-emotion: it involves movement, a dimension anger shares with happiness.

Combine these two and you’ve got a recipe for songs that may help in channelling our angry feelings: up-tempo songs with a strong rhythm, in a minor key, such as David Guetta’s Bad.

  1. Overcoming fear – Coldplay, Magic

Fear is a negative emotion, characterised by a stress response that prepares you for a ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction.

In the modern age, we often experience the same stress responses in situations where the ‘fight or flight’ response isn’t beneficial – such as an interview or presentation. In order to overcome fear, the very first thing you need to do is to minimise your stress response, followed by managing your internal thoughts. Music that can help you to overcome fear therefore needs to be slow, relaxing, but have major chords to evoke positive feelings, and lyrics that deal with your negative thoughts, such as Coldplay’s Magic.

  1. Excitement – Avicii, Wake Me Up

The hormones present in the body when we are described as being ‘excited’ – such as adrenalin and endorphins – mean that excited people crave music that is positive, usually in a major key, yet more up-tempo and with a stronger beat than your typical ‘happy’ song.

And when you’re dancing with excitement to Avicii’s Wake Me Up, the lyrics in excited songs aren’t as important as they are to other moods such as anger or nostalgia.

  1. Nostalgia – John Legend, All of Me

John Legend’s All of Me is an example of a song destined to be a nostalgic hit.

For many the sentimental lyrics will remind them of somebody special, improving the probability of linking the song to other senses – such as sights or smells – meaning the iconic 2014 hit All of Me is a reliable track to provoke nostalgia in listeners for years to come.

Take a listen to the top seven emotion-inducing tracks here and check out more of our mood-focused playlists by surfing the ‘Genres and Moods’ section in the Browse feature.

 

Artists to Watch

This year has already seen a lot of Spotify’s favorite Artists to Watch enter our charts and make the festival rounds. Here’s a round-up of exclusive, live sets from some of our sure bets — many of whom performed at SXSW for us this year as well as Coachella and Bonnaroo. Check out our Artists to Watch exclusive playlist here!

Scroll down to see exclusive photo sets of our Artists To Watch below.

 

The Music of Cannes Lions

It all starts with a song. Music inspires and ignites creativity in us all.  This year, Spotify will be at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity celebrating the best creative work of the year in advertising.  While we are there, we will be conducting a Social Music Experiment to discover the songs that inspire and connect the world’s greatest storytellers. We will be asking the good people at Cannes one simple question, “what song inspires you?”  And we’ll be sharing the results with the entire community.

Many of Cannes’ highest profile speakers have already shared their most inspiring tracks, which include:

If you are attending Cannes Lions, and want to contribute, visit us on your mobile phone at spotify.com/cannes. After you share the track that inspires you, we’ll also give you a personalized playlist based on your shared track with the help of our good friends at The Echo Nest – and then allow you to find your Cannes’ musical connections.

We’ll also bring your musical connections to life. Each evening at Le Palais, we will be visualizing the “music network of Cannes” in a nightly “digital fireworks” display. If you’re attending, you should stop by as it’ll be quite a show!

If  you are not attending and want to follow the Cannes’ music conversation, check out spotify.com/cannes. You can also follow @Spotifyads on Twitter to stay connected.
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10 miljoner betalande användare

Vi är superglada över att kunna berätta om en alldeles speciell milstolpe i vår historia – vi har nu 10 miljoner betalande användare och mer än 40 miljoner aktiva användare i 56 länder världen över! Wow – vi är otroligt tacksamma för de tusentals artister och miljontals musikfans runtom i världen som har hjälpt oss att nå hit. För att fira har vi satt ihop en tjusig infographic åt er.

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Helt fantastiskt! Tack för att ni skapar, växer och lyssnar med oss.  

The Pixies – like you’ve never seen them before!

During the height of 2013′s blizzard season, the Pixies treated us to a rare, in-studio acoustic performance at Water Music in Hoboken, NJ. Their gig for the night cancelled, they delved into a selection of new tracks and classics. Here’s “Silver Snail,” one of the highlight’s of their just-released new album “Indie Cindy”.

Stream the full album here and Follow the band to be the first to hear their acoustic Spotify Session, coming soon.

Spotify Landmark: Nas’ Illmatic

Spotify Landmark - our series documenting music’s greatest moments in the words of those who made them – is back. This time around, we bring you the ‘aural history’ of Nas’ Illmatic - considered by many to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. On the occasion of the album’s 20th anniversary reissue, Queens, NY native Nas, his producers and his A&R executive recount the making of this timeless gem.

Uncover the story behind this iconic album with Spotify Landmark here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocking 9 to 5

Love to listen to music at work? You’re not alone! Recent research reveals that two in three people (61%) listen to music in the workplace and best yet,  that listening to music at work leads to happier employees and boosts office morale and creativity. 

This month, we partnered with Dr Anneli Haake, an expert on music in the workplace, to conduct research on office listening habits. Here’s some of our fascinating findings:

  • Over a third (36%) of workers find that music helps to get them through the day
  • 20% of workers find that listening to music is a welcome distraction from their “boring” jobs.
  • 16% admitted that they listen to music to drown out colleagues.
  • One in ten (10%) revealed that they have judged a colleague based on their choice of music.

The songs that topped the workplace charts? Our research showed that the most popular genre of music in the workplace is pop/chart music, with over a third (34%) choosing it as their preferred genre, closely followed by rock (29%).

Tell us, what music gets you through the work day? And, if you’re looking for something new, power through your 9 -5 with our ultimate work day playlist.

 

 

Happy International Women’s Day

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day by crowning Bajan beauty Rihanna as the most streamed female artist across the globe for the second year running.

Chart topping hits including Cheers! Drink to That and her 2013 hit Stay ft. Mikky Ekko, have helped superstar Rihanna claim the top spot. ROAR superstar Katy Perry comes in as the second most streamed female globally and Lana Del Rey, whose next release is from the Maleficent movie, a close third.

Let’s hear it for the ladies! Tune in to this special playlist featuring the most streamed females from across the globe!

 

Historic Venue: The Ryman Auditorium

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 4.27.49 PMWith the release of a brand new live album from Band of Horses, we look back at what has made this Nashville venue the hallowed ground it is now considered to be.

The historic Ryman Auditorium, now 124 years old and going strong, is one of the most iconic venues in the world. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, the Ryman was once home to the Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that many credit with bringing Country music to mainstream audiences. The show remained at the Ryman for more than 30 years, cementing it into music history forever; this momentous time at the venue earned it an impressive nickname: the “Mother Church of Country Music.” Since, the venue has undergone some changes, but it remains one of the biggest stops in the bustling Nashville music scene.

Over its storied history, the Ryman has hosted some of the biggest names in Country music. In it’s beginnings though, the Ryman was known for producing amazing speeches and non-musical performances by the likes of Teddy Rooseveldt, William Howard Taft, Charlie Chaplin, and even Helen Keller.  Up until 1943, the venue rarely hosted musical performances, but this changed in a big way with the arrival of the Grand Ole Opry.

In 1943, the Ryman took on the name the Grand Ole Opry House. From then until 1974, artists such as Elvis Presley, Hank WilliamsEarl Scruggs, Johnny Cash (who met his future wife, June Carter, backstage), Louis Armstrong, and Patsy Cline all performed at the historic venue. The Grand Ole Opry then moved to Opryland USA, which marked an end of an era for the Ryman.

After a period of considerably slowed activity, the Ryman was renovated and by 1992 the auditorium came back into public attention when Emmylou Harris recorded her classic album, ‘Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers at the Ryman‘. Since, the Ryman has been very active, hosting musicians like Dolly Parton, Weezer, and many more. A good deal of whom recorded amazing live albums, including Levon Helm, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, Jonny Lang, and, most recently, Band of Horses.

Check out our playlist, Historic Venue: Ryman Auditorium, for some of the biggest music moments in the Ryman’s illustrious saga. Enjoy!

 

‘Add to Spotify’ with SoundHound

Love SoundHound? So do we! Today, there’s even more to love with the launch of a rich ‘Add to Spotify’ integration for iOS enabling users to convert SoundHound music discoveries seamlessly into Spotify playlists. Now you can add newly discovered and previously searched tracks to a playlist within Spotify without ever leaving the SoundHound App! It’s simple to set up – just link your SoundHound and Spotify accounts. Once linked, you can opt to have discovered songs added to your playlist either automatically or manually by tapping the Spotify icon. You can then listen to the full track, add it to other playlists or share directly with friends using your favorite social networks. The SoundHound app is available for free for iOS, AndroidWindows Phone and BlackBerry 10 devices.

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