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Thread: The Psychology of Music

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Default The Psychology of Music

    Has anyone got any interesting facts about the reasons behind our appreciation of music?

    Taking things from a biological approach, we enjoy the rhythm of music as we can relate it subconciously to the beating of our hearts. However this does not account for our love of melody and is a very simple explanation - I want to learn more!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member 4/4player's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Yes, there are many aspects to why people have such a fine attraction to classical music.

    In my opinion, I believe that imagination plays a vital role in music. Imagination is one of the greatest tools to use on an audience. When the notes are being played, they're "painting" a picture in our minds as we listen to that. Hence, the more vivid the picture or feelings a piece creates in the listener minds, the more the listener will be "involved" in that piece. I was reading a book named, "Conducing with feeling" written by Frederick Harris, JR. It contains a brief chapter on developing music feeling. Whenever I study or interpret a music score, I tend to develop a feeling of it, while personalizing it. As Mr. Larry Rachleff puts it: "I like to write down in the score descriptive words to characterize what's going on, to determine what kind of high points there are in a piece, to ask myself 'why' a lot. Why does it start like this? Why this note? Why this gesture? And at the same time, to try to see how my feelings can come across as honestly and as sincerely as possible. It's a constant searching, re-evaluation, re-searching, and re-looking at it all." Now this may seem it only applies to conductors, but it could be applied to the listener as well. Again, We come across a piece and ask ourselves, WHY? What picture is the piece forming in our minds when we listen? Is it compared to what the composer originally wanted? As you can see, thats a tough job as a conductor who will interpret the piece based on his knowledge and experience in music. So, Imagination is important when you come to terms of one of the possible reasons people listen to classical music.
    I must say, this is a very interesting thread discussing a whole different aspect in classical music, aside from the musical part, but from a psychology point of view. Thank you very much for starting it!
    NOTE: This is one of the reasons why I think that classical music is so attractive to people for many years/ generation. You might not agree with it, I'm fine with that. But please don't hurt me...Im only a young 15 year old teenager!
    Musically,
    4/4player
    " 'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Yes!'
    'Nooooooooooo!' [Dragged down into Hell]
    - Act two: Finale of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

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    Senior Member zlya's Avatar
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    http://www.musicpsychology.net

    Also, I recommend Music and Emotion by Leonard Meyer. It's a bit old, but still considered the seminal work on why we feel music the way we do.

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4/4player View Post
    As Mr. Larry Rachleff puts it: "I like to write down in the score descriptive words to characterize what's going on, to determine what kind of high points there are in a piece, to ask myself 'why' a lot. Why does it start like this? Why this note? Why this gesture? And at the same time, to try to see how my feelings can come across as honestly and as sincerely as possible. It's a constant searching, re-evaluation, re-searching, and re-looking at it all."
    Does anyone else here know Larry Rachlef? I know him personally, many years ago I attended two masterclasses where he was an instructor. I therefore find it interesting that he of all people would say this.

    He's a "really nice guy", in the American sense of this phrase, and a good musician. But in terms of feelings... the wide consensus on his conducting is that he is an actor first and foremost. A successful one, but not necessarily a sincere one.

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    Senior Member 4/4player's Avatar
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    Wow....Kurki...do you mind telling me what other music "Celebrities" you have met during your great music career?=D
    Musically,
    4/4player
    " 'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Penitence!'
    'No!'
    'Yes!'
    'Nooooooooooo!' [Dragged down into Hell]
    - Act two: Finale of Mozart's "Don Giovanni"

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    Senior Member Kurkikohtaus's Avatar
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    Taking nothing away from Larry Rachleff, he's not exactly a "celebrity".

    He is a professor of conducting at a US university and is the music director of two 2nd-tier orchestras. Again, nothing wrong with that, his career is much better than mine so far, but there are literally dozens of conductors like that in the United States.

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