General Question

ragingloli's avatar

When you listen to a piece of music, and it evokes certain emotions, is that intrinsic to the music, or is it because you have been conditioned by decades of musical exposure to have that response?

Asked by ragingloli (49145points) August 11th, 2019

For example, something sounding “heroic”, is it because it is actually heroic sounding, or is it because you have been brainwashed by countless similar pieces of music before, to think that this is what heroic must sound like?

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8 Answers

Yellowdog's avatar

I once saw a shirt that read, “Music is what feelings sound like.”

I have to agree.

My dogs even liked being sung to, and listening to calm stuff like most Christmas music, and can be soothed or lulled by music, although some stuff seems to confuse or disturb them even if played at a low volume.

Although music deals with feelings and resonates with our experiences, it is, or can be, our most intricate form of communication. Humans just happen to have very complex thoughts and feelings which even we humans do not fully understand or control.

Its in the music itself, and resonates in our complex brains. We may go back to specific songs because of the strong innate memories, or like a certain type because of how we’ve been conditioned. But music is a tool for unlocking or uncovering what’s within our brains, and the music itself is what does it.

flutherother's avatar

The music I like best and which I don’t tire of isnt imitative and comes with feelings impossible to put into words.

dabbler's avatar

There is also the inherent resonance(s) of the human nervous system.

seawulf575's avatar

I think that music, like many other art forms, impact our individual psyches. They trigger memories or feelings and I don’t believe any real conditioning is required. Smells are sort of the same way.

Yellowdog's avatar

Exactly.@seawulf575 —-—- Smells, like music, not only can make us feel a certain way, but evoke very strong memories—even how we FELT at a certain time,

As @dabbler points out, the human nervous system, even the limbic system, gives response. These emotions and feelings can be well beyond our ability to comprehend or express with thoughts and words.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’ve had to break up multiple ‘mosh piitts,’ because they were hurting People . They are overall, “positive.” But I cannot allow them, in big events. It will lead to more violence.
I used to participate in all of them.

OldManofBerwick's avatar

One would have to have lived for decades for that to even be a choice. Since I have, I can answer. Rhythm comes from the most primitive parts of our brains, so there is a natural receptivity to music, although people vary. If you’ve heard the particular music before you may feel a return of the emotions that you were feeling at the time you first heard it, and it could bring back memories of persons and/or events that coincided with that experience. It’s more intrinsic to the circumstances than it is to the music.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would like to add, thar I think music, is one of the most important things in life. I don’t care much for this world. Without music, I would probably hate it far worse….

Music, is the only free medicine we have.

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