where the writers are
Unexpected Article on What Makes Art Work
Music Notes by Susan Osborne

I’m posting a New York Times article from about three weeks ago because I it’s so non-intuitive and edifying that I keep studying it.  It’s called “To Tug Hearts, Music First Must Tickle the Neurons.”  I enjoy reading that while computers may be able to play a mean game of Jeopardy!  it’ll be a while before they’ll write a decent poem.  Here are a few sentences that’ll give you a feel for the article:

. . . And what really communicates emotion may not be melody or rhythm, but moments when musicians make subtle changes to the those musical patterns. [the article then describes ways the computer tries to re-create this but fails.] 

. . . Dr. Levitin’s results suggest that the more surprising moments in a piece, the more emotion listeners perceive — if those moments seem logical in context.

“It’s deviation from a pattern,” Mr. Ma said. “A surprise is only a surprise when you know it departs from something.”

He cited Schubert’s E-Flat Trio for piano, violin and cello as an example. It goes from a “march theme that’s in minor and it breaks out into major, and it’s one of those goose-bump moments.”  . . .

Here’s the link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html?emc=eta1