Science: Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ Is the World’s Most Uplifting Song
Thanks to the Bohemian Rhapsody film, Queen are once again the biggest band in the world. Before the smash hit, however, a scientific study on the uplifting effects of music named Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” as the world’s most effective song to make you feel good.
How does science measure the “feel-good” levels of a song? Here’s the formula:
Rating = 60 + (0.00165 * BPM – 120)^2 + (4.376 * Major) + 0.78 * nChords – (Major * nChords)
Essentially, the formula measures beats per minute, the scale in which the song was written and how many different chords are used. These three factors, according to Dr. Jacob Jolij, are the key components to feel-good songs. Lyrical themes were also taken into consideration for this study.
“A feel good song is very personal. Music is intimately linked with memory and emotion, and these associations strongly determine whether a song will put you in a good mood or not,” says Dr. Jolij.
“However, there are some key criteria for composers to consider when creating feel good songs - namely lyrical theme, musical key and tempo. Holiday-themed lyrics naturally remind us of happy times, while a major third musical key sounds happy to our ears and something we associate with confidence. A high tempo of 150 beats per minute also subconsciously triggers a sense of energy. Combine these three ingredients together and you have the formula for the perfect ‘feel-good’ song.” [via Telegraph]
While ranking popular music from the last 50 years, “Don’t Stop Me Now” hit the No. 1 spot, while ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” claimed No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” takes the No. 5 spot, while Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” was placed at No. 7. Check out the full Top 10 below.
10. Katrina & the Waves, "Walking on Sunshine"
9. Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive"
8. Bon Jovi, "Livin' on a Prayer"
7. Cyndi Lauper, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
6. The Monkees, "I'm a Believer"
5. Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger"
4. Billy Joel, "Uptown Girl"
3. Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations"
2. ABBA, "Dancing Queen"
1. Queen, "Don't Stop Me Now"
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