What Musical Emotions Do You Convey


in Performance

Continuing on the theme of musical emotion, I want to further explore the type of emotion conveyed.

Again I'm considering the ideas of Victor Wooten in his book  "The Music Lesson".


Musical Emotion Types

Victor's friend relates to us that there are three types emotion that music will convey. They are a neutral or passive stance, negative energy, or positive energy.

We do have to remember that there are two sides to this equation of musical emotion. The sender and the receiver. And although the sender may be intending one thing the listener may interpret it differently.

On a whole, however, most music will have a fairly obvious impact. Just think about any movie you've watched and the music background can create anticipation, sadness, happiness, shock, or any number of emotional states.

Musical Emotion is a Powerful Force?

In reading the book I was really made more aware by how powerful the musical emotion can be.

The idea presented was that this underlying emotion can control huge crowds. Even thinking about how that music can insight this crowd to action.

There are probably many examples of this, but the everyday things come to mind. What about at a sporting event like football or basketball? Don't you suppose there's a reason they have bands at college football and the big speaker systems at the professional level? 

As musicians in small bands we can have an effect at the bar. Playing the right or wrong song with a bunch of looped folks can have a very big impact on the mood of the crowd.

If you follow any of the crazy political convention in the U.S.A. you can guess they spend a lot of time choosing the music for the speakers in trying to incite excitement in the policy or slogan being promoted.

An Odd Experience with Musical Emotion

Going back to the negative vs. positive energy I've got an interesting experience. If any of you have listened to "Pink Floyd" you notice that may or most of the lyrics can be depressing. The instrumental parts, however, may have a different feeling

I've always enjoyed the instrumental side of songs and often ignore the lyrical parts. For me it was interesting to note that I loved following the lines of the various parts and actually found them to be uplifting.

The individual phrases were interesting, but I just never put the whole word part together to create a depressed state, angry side, or satirical bent.

So as the receiver of this music, I was pulling out the good part that made me feel good. I wonder just what Pink's intention was with the music.

The Key to Music Emotion is Intention

So now we're down to intention. You as the musician will define your intention the listener will take it and interpret it and somewhere in between you will create a bond.

Sometimes it will flange up nicely, other times maybe not so much. I took two thing form this part of the chapter that stood out for me.

The first, when you place with honest intention that will bring the beauty of the music out. The second, when playing from the heart with goodness your intent can have an impact and you should follow it. 

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