Music Emotion and Blending


in Performance

The mysterious idea of music emotion comes up from time to time when musicians and teachers talk about playing music for an audience.

So as I was reading in “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten this topic jarred some memories for me.


In this chapter on emotion, I jotted down some notes about the ideas of blending emotion into your music I like to throw out one for you today.

A Player Feels and a Listener Receives

This is intriguing, when I was learning to express my music during my classical study time we were talked a lot about the feel of the music and interpretation of the melody or artist's intent.

We also talked about the performer's view and experimented with different ways of expressing the written music. However, we never touched much on the listener's view point.

The listener receives the music and has their own reaction to the expressions based on their own experience or mood. So this can set up an interesting exchange between the performer and the listener.

Performer's Music Emotion

Once I've learned a song from the basics of using music theory to analyze and learn the basic song, the next significant step is called polishing. Polishing involves the process of smoothing the flow and expressing the music.

As the performer my heart and emotions have to go into the song be able play it so that others might enjoy it.

You've heard the difference between a song that has been played based on the mechanics of playing and a song that has been given life by the artist.

What you play as a performer and the emotion you put into it does have an impact on the audience. You can affect their mood and reactions. It won't, however, completely match up with your intention.

Listeners Music Emotion

The listener will receive your music and will take the majority of the emotion you put into it, however, their reaction will be based on the experiences they've had and mood they are in at the time.

This is exchange is like any communication. They may flange right up with you and experience your state or they may veer off on a tangent.

Mixed Signals

We've all had that experience when we say and mean one thing, but the communication that was received was interpreted differently. That same thing can happen to your music.

As a performer you'll want to add your emotion and you should work on and experiment with expressing your melody lines or progressions to add that emotion.

Be aware that your listener may or may not get what you're trying to convey. It might be interesting to ask them what they felt when they listen to your music. I might provide some interesting insight to this blending of music emotion.

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