Alzira Salama on how music can trigger emotions and become a truly spiritual experience.
How are we touched by music?
Music is one of the most effective triggers of emotions. Music can instil desire for dancing which is considered a creative expression of one’s feelings. Dancing associate to acoustic sounds can be observed in carnival parties – Brazil is one example. For some observers of social reality ‘dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire’.
In the education field, listening to music can trigger creative processes. This creativity leads to self- actualisation and higher self esteem in learners. Another important benefit of music in education field is the acquiring of confidence. Learning instruments and learning to sing a song can instil participants positive feelings of accomplishment and talent development.
Psychotherapists exploit the power of music in building relationships and in instilling peace when individuals experience stress. It seems that ‘music is good for the soul’. Music, in fact, connects deeply to spirituality and the spirit seems to be the real part of human beings. (Bourke, 2000). We can therefore infer that music’s connection to spirituality and entertainment can trigger positive emotions which powerfully improves individual’s overall health.
In the business world, it is easy to observe how the connections between music and positive feelings and behaviour can be exploited. Used as a marketing strategy , music has been utilised in commercial settings as tool for triggering positive emotions in consumers leading to positivity in buyers’ behaviour.
Music is a mediation between the spiritual and the sensual life ( Ludwig van Beethoven, … ). We can observe that the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard ( ) demonstrated, in an interesting and particular way, the significance of the musical- erotic – in Mozart’s Opera Don Giovanni. For the Danish philosopher the most abstract medium that exists is not sculpture or painting but rather music.
The most abstract of all ideas- human sensuality- can only be best expressed through the most abstract of all mediums- Music Ear Kierkegaard
How music can trigger emotions ?
Can different genres of music trigger different emotions? Are music fans diverse? Researchers identified that fans’ personality traits can be common to both classic and rock music. For example, progressive rock, which includes complex song structures, instrumental solo in many cases keyboards, drummers as main instruments can trigger positive emotions and positive feelings. For some rock fans, the sound of base frequencies is a connection to spirituality. Trying to match music preferences to personality traits, ‘openness experiences’ has been found as a major factor for individuals enjoying progressive rock for example. As Music can be seen as a distraction, the genre is really not relevant. Music can stimulate production of hormones which can alter our moods and in this case into positive feelings and thoughts. If music – rock for example- can bring positive emotions hence the sale of rock music can be seen as hedonic consumption.
Sensitivity is an important factor in the personality of musicians/artists. They create music, expressing both art and spirituality.
When created from the heart, and with truth and pure intentions, music is a spiritual expression of the most universal nature and highest order. Frank Fitzpatrick, song writer and an award winning film maker.
According to Fitzpatrick, music has turned the most mundane and the most challenging moments of different experiences.
To conclude we can affirm that the most true and consistent way to reach our inner voice, lift our spirits and bring ourselves back into balance has been via music. Throughout history and today, music has become universal accepted tool for calming the body and the mind.
Here you can find some work created by the Swedish composer and live performer artist Anders Anderson. Through listening to his music one can project fantasies, revive good experiences and create positive emotions. Enjoy.