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Music Psychology: Why Does "Bohemian Rhapsody" Feel so Good?

Griffith University via FutureLearn


Toe-tapping and hair-raising: discover the power of music

Some songs make us laugh and some songs make us cry, but why does music have the ability to affect us emotionally?

On this course, you’ll learn about music psychology and how our emotions work, by analysing Queen’s famous song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

You’ll find out how the mind interprets patterns in music and generates an emotional response as a result.

You’ll explore how music communicates with the brain’s reward centre, and generates a chemical reaction that can provide a feeling of happiness.

Finally, you’ll discover why emotional experiences are influenced by our own expectations.

This course is open to anyone interested in music psychology, but may be of particular interest to songwriters and composers.


  • What happens in the mind when we experience music?
    • Getting started
    • Introduction to the Psychology of Emotions
    • An introduction to the psychology of music
    • Weekly Wrap
  • How do songs trigger our emotions?
    • Psychology of emotion and music combined
    • Explaining musical expectations through funny music?
    • Explaining Bohemian Rhapsody
    • Wrap up for this course

Taught by

Tim Byron


4.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 20 ratings

Start your review of Music Psychology: Why Does "Bohemian Rhapsody" Feel so Good?

  • Pat Bowden completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    A timely course after the recent release of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.

    Lightweight but helps learners analyse music and our responses to it.
  • Profile image for Tyler Snoek
    Tyler Snoek

    Tyler Snoek completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    Fun and insightful course. Turns out there is much more to music and why it resonates with people than I imagined. I highly enjoyed how the instructor spoke about his passion.

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