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  • Sam: Hello. This is 6 Minute English,

  • I'm Sam.

  • Neil: And I'm Neil.

  • Sam: Do you like sad music, Neil?

  • Neil: Well, when I was younger and if I had

  • a break-up with a girlfriend I would listen

  • to sad songs, songs which

  • reflected my mood.

  • Sam: And do you still listen

  • to those songs now?

  • Neil: Not so much, but I do still

  • like them.

  • Sam: Well, it seems as if there might be

  • a biological reason why

  • some of us do like sad

  • songs. We'll look at this topic a little more

  • after this week's quiz question, which is

  • about music videos.

  • The music video has been around

  • for a while, but in what year was MTV,

  • the first dedicated music video

  • channel, launched in the US?

  • Was it... A: 1981, B: 1982, or

  • C: 1983?

  • Neil: Well...

  • Sam: What do you think, Neil?

  • Neil: I'm going to guess.

  • Is it the early 1980s?

  • Sam: Well, yes. Care to be more specific?

  • Neil: Well... Well, it was a long time ago

  • - I was just a small boy. I'm going to go

  • for 1982.

  • Sam: OK, I'll have answer later

  • in the programme. But first,

  • more about sad songs. Professor

  • David Huron from Ohio State University

  • has conducted research

  • in this area and he discussed

  • it recently on a BBC World Service

  • radio programme - The Why Factor.

  • He was looking at why some

  • people like sad music and

  • other people really don't like it all,

  • as he says they just can't

  • stand it. He believes it's to do

  • with a hormone. A hormone is

  • a natural chemical in our bodies

  • which can have an effect on various

  • systems and also emotions.

  • Listen out for the name

  • of the hormone he mentions.

  • Professor Huron: One of the things

  • that we were interested in was -

  • what's the difference

  • between people who listen

  • to sad music and who love it,

  • and people who listen to sad

  • music and who just can't stand it.

  • In our research, it started pointing

  • towards a hormone

  • called prolactin. Now, prolactin,

  • as you might have guessed from the

  • name, is associated

  • with 'lactation' from breast-feeding.

  • When people cry, they also

  • release prolactin. And,

  • there are circumstances in which

  • prolactin seems to have

  • this comforting effect.

  • Sam: So which hormone did he mention?

  • Neil: He talked about the hormone

  • called prolactin which he said was

  • connected to lactation.

  • This is the production of milk by

  • mammals to feed their young.

  • Sam: What he noted was this

  • hormone can be released when people

  • cry and in some cases

  • this hormone has a comforting effect.

  • When something is comforting,

  • it makes you feel

  • better, it calms your emotions.

  • Let's listen again.

  • Professor Huron: One of the things

  • that we were interested in was -

  • what's the difference

  • between people who listen

  • to sad music and who love it,

  • and people who listen to sad

  • music and who just can't stand it.

  • In our research, it started pointing

  • towards a hormone

  • called prolactin. Now, prolactin,

  • as you might have guessed from

  • the name, is associated

  • with 'lactation' from breast-feeding.

  • When people cry, they also

  • release prolactin. And,

  • there are circumstances in which

  • prolactin seems to have

  • this comforting effect.

  • Sam: So, what conclusions did he make

  • about this hormone and how

  • it might be working?

  • Professor Huron explains.

  • Professor Huron: So the thought was that,

  • perhaps what's going on

  • is that the people

  • who are enjoying listening to sad music

  • are receiving some sort

  • of excess of prolactin,

  • and people who are listening to sad

  • music and they just find it

  • incredibly sad and unhelpful

  • and they just don't want to listen to it,

  • maybe they're not getting

  • enough prolactin

  • when they listen to the music.

  • Sam: So what is happening?

  • Or as Professor Huron said,

  • what's going on?

  • Neil: Well, it seems quite simple, though

  • I'm sure it's very complicated. People who

  • like sad music are maybe getting

  • too much prolactin or more

  • than is normal - he describes

  • this as an excess of prolactin.

  • And maybe people who don't like

  • sad music aren't getting enough.

  • Sam: So, the idea is that prolactin

  • is a hormone which we find comforting.

  • If our bodies release

  • it when we hear sad music, it gives us a

  • good feeling - but if prolactin

  • isn't released or there isn't

  • enough of it, we just find the sad music

  • sad and it doesn't help to cheer us up.

  • Neil: I guess so, but you know

  • emotions are funny things - it's

  • weird to think that our

  • feelings are caused by different

  • natural chemicals that run around

  • the body.

  • Sam: Absolutely! OK,

  • we're going to take another look at

  • today's vocabulary but first, the answer

  • to this week's quiz.

  • The music video has been around

  • for a while, but in what year

  • was MTV, the first

  • dedicated music video channel, launched

  • in the US? Was it... A: 1981, B: 1982

  • or C: 1983?

  • And Neil, you said...

  • Neil: I said it was definitely the early 80s.

  • Sam: Well, you're not wrong there,

  • but which year exactly?

  • Neil: '82?

  • Sam: Ah well, you'll need to dig out

  • a sad song to make you feel better

  • now because the

  • answer was 1981.

  • Neil: Oh dear, I can feel my

  • prolactin levels dropping already!

  • Sam: I'm sure you can't! But let's move on

  • to vocabulary. If you

  • can't stand something,

  • it means you really don't like it.

  • Neil: A hormone is one of

  • the body's natural chemicals.

  • Sam: And the hormone prolactin

  • is connected with lactation,

  • which is the production of

  • milk by mammals.

  • Neil: Something that is comforting

  • makes you feel better emotionally.

  • Sam: The phrase 'what's going on' has

  • a very similar meaning to

  • 'what's happening'.

  • Neil: And an excess of something is

  • 'too much or a more than normal

  • amount of that thing'.

  • Sam: Well, before you have an excess of

  • our company, we should wrap up.

  • Thanks for listening

  • and we hope you'll join us again soon.

  • As ever, don't forget that you can find

  • more from the BBC Learning English

  • team online, across social media and

  • on our very own app!

  • Bye for now!

  • Neil: Goodbye!

Sam: Hello. This is 6 Minute English,

Subtitles and vocabulary

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A2 US sad music hormone music comforting listen professor

Why do people like sad music? Listen to 6 Minute English

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    philippe yu posted on 2019/11/07
Video vocabulary