Strong Experiences with Music

Strong Experiences with Music

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Nowadays we can be with music whenever and wherever we like. Never before has the scope of what is available been so great and varied. The mass media and the Internet have given us unlimited paths into the world of music.

Just like music is varied and endless, so are our reactions to music. The very same piece of music can generate totally different reactions in different people, and a person can react quite differently to the same piece of music on different occasions. Individual factors - how you are feeling, how accustomed are you to listening to music, what your tastes are in music, what type of personality you are, and lots more besides - can play a major, sometimes completely decisive, role for how the reaction turns out. Similarly, the experience can be affected by the specific situation, for example where and when you hear the music (at home, in your car, at a concert, in the daytime, at night etc.), whether or not the acoustics are good, and if you are on your own or together with others. The experience is thus determined by an interplay of factors in the music, in the individual, and in the situation.

Developments in the brain sciences have been invaluable in helping researchers to understand just how the human brain deals with music. However, there is a major gap between what we can uncover using state of the art technology, and understanding just what music really means to us personally. While measuring brain or heart activity can reveal much about our physiological reactions, there is of course much more to music than this.

Strong Experiences in Music is a groundbreaking new book, developed from a long-running study into the effects of music. It draws on over two decades of research, and almost 1000 participants, who describe, in their own words, their own unique, powerful, and personal experiences of music. The book will be a valuable resource for those in the fields of music psychology, music education, and musicology.

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