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Magic Choral Trick #177 The Chordasm

I realize that this sounds a little riske – but please hear me out.

I went to a lecture last week given by a friend of mine, pediatric neurologist Dr Wendy Stewart, who had just been to a conference in California on Music and the Brain.

She spoke about many fascinating studies that were discussed – but this one will come as no surprise to Barbershoppers.

There was a great deal of discussion about the ‘frisson’ – or the full body goosebumps that happen as we are affected by some particularly moving, or exceptional aspect of the music we’re listening to.

Here’s the cool thing. Apparently the part of the brain that’s activated during such moments is the same part of the brain that gets activated during sex. So when you are having a physical reaction to a ringing chord, that’s the part of your brain that’s rejoicing.

In Barbershop, we’ve known this for years. In fact, when I started directing my women’s chorus nearly 20 years ago, when someone was reporting having this sort of frisson, they would call it a Chordasm. So glad science is finally catching up.

Thought you’d like to know.

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