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Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

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Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

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Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

Why We Like Falsetto, Why Melodies Matter And Other Musical Wonders

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/402596384/402821016" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Top row: Audience members rate the music during our All Songs Considered listening party. Bottom row, left to right: Susan Rogers, Bob Boilen, Amelia Mason, James Reed, Stephen Thompson. NPR hide caption

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Hear The Songs

Why do we like falsetto so much? Why is melody the single most important part of a song? And why does country music move (or repel) us? These are just a few of the questions that popped up during our All Songs Considered listening party in Boston last week.

All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson were joined by a panel of guests — musicologist and engineer Susan Rogers, Boston Globe music critic James Reed and Amelia Mason, writer for WBUR's The ARTery — to play songs for a live audience and attempt to unspool the myriad ways that music makes us feel. Members of the audience were invited to rate the music on a scale of 1 to 10 with numbered cards. And, invariably, a passionate discussion followed over why the music did or didn't resonate.

We recorded the whole thing so you can experience it for yourself. You can hear the full listening party using the link above, or hear a select snippet — about simple vs. complex music — in last week's Plus One podcast.