The Laughing Baby

By Caspar Addyman

The extraordinary science behind what makes babies happy and why

Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Sound of Happy

Chapter 13 is all about the magic of music. Ask any professional musician the secret of good music and they will tell you that above all else music is about communicating emotion. This seems to be no less true for babies. Music is a wonderful way to soothe a baby but happy songs and nursery rhymes provide some of the most reliable laugh & smiles. 

This chapter examines some of the science behind why music has such universal appeal. The latest research suggests that Mozart won't make your baby more intelligent. But good music has just the right combination of repetition and surprise to trigger the brain’s reward circuits into releasing dopanime. What do babies consider to be ‘good music’. We recently had opportunity to find out when we were asked to use science to help Grammy winner Imogen Heap create a happy song for babies. 

Here's how we did it:

And here's the final song

Does it make your baby happy? How about you? It certainly makes me smile and I've heard it over 200 times by now. 

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