Music can make you cry. It can drive you to peak performance in sport. It calms you down, makes you happy or anxious. There is only one thing that music never does: it never leaves you indifferent.
The connection between music and mood has long been the center of various disciplines. Neuroscientists are interested in what happens in the brain if you listen to music, while psychologists are studying the impacts of certain musical genres on your emotions. Studies have shown that mood regulation is in fact an imperative stimulus for you to listen to music. But it is often chosen that suits the mood.
Other research suggested that certain songs had a positive effect on self-esteem. And further studies have shown that the music of your youth is particularly formative and you remember it particularly well. However, despite these methodologies, it remains vague how the interaction between mind and music exactly works and whether the connections discovered apply globally.
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The emotional side of making music
Anyone who loves to learn a musical instrument has to deal with two things: On the one hand, there is the technical accuracy that is to be striven for in order to make “good” music. But that’s only one side, the formal side. Much more important, because it is more distinctive, is the emotional side of making music. Only those who can combine technical perfection with great feelings will master music-making. Because music is first and foremost a language of feeling. There is no other way to express emotions as clearly as with the delicate bow of the violin or the distorted sound of the electric guitar.
Child prodigies and their musical intelligence
Sometimes very young musicians express feelings with their instrument that they could not possibly have already experienced in this depth. People like to call them child prodigies. Nothing comparable is known from the literature. The British neurologist Oliver Sacks speaks of an isolated musical intelligence in this context. The musical mind of this person is highly developed, but this does not have to be in other areas.