Gabrielsson, Alf: Strong Experiences with Music

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Catalogue No: 9780199695225
Strong Experiences with Music

Status: Usually despatched within 10 - 12 working days

Subtitle: Music is much more than just music

Department: Biographies & Reference Books - Books & Literature (Classical)

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A fascinating and unique volume, presenting personal accounts from hundreds of individuals, describing their personal and powerful experiences of music.

The result of decades of research, resulting in a book that is truly unique and without competition
Broad in scope - to include examples from all genres of music, with description from both young and old, male and female, and from all walks of life.

Nowadays we listen to music whenever and wherever we like. Never before has the scope of what is available been so great and varied. The mass media and 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 completely different reactions in different people, and a person can react quite differently to the same piece of music on different occasions.

Sometimes the reactions become more intense and profound than usual and leave powerful impressions in our memories. In this book several hundred people - women and men, young and old, musicians and non-musicians - talk about such strong experiences with music and what they have come to mean for them. The experiences extend across almost all of the twentieth century and have occurred in highly varying and often unexpected situations. The music absorbs the listeners and shuts out everything else. It evokes strong emotions and a lot of other reactions, from purely physical responses to experiences of existential and spiritual character. Every account is unique, moving, and bears witness to strong commitment.

The experience may lead to the release of pent-up feelings, liberation and inner cleansing, and work as therapy. One can feel confirmed and understood, gain increased self-confidence, and acquire another view of oneself and of life in general. There is also the possibility of a new view of music and what it can mean for well-being, health, and quality of life. There are many similarities with strong experiences in other areas, such as nature, love, religion, literature, art, and dance.

Strong Experiences with Music is a ground-breaking new book. It draws on over two decades of research and accounts from almost 1,000 participants. It addresses itself to all who have an interest in music and what music can mean. It should be possible to read without special previous knowledge, the technical language of music and psychology is kept at a minimum. Experts in the fields of music psychology music education, and musicology may find supplementary information in special analyses and notes to be consulted at will.

Readership: Music psychologists, music educators, musicologists. It will also appeal to all those who have an interest in music and what music can mean.


Contents and Reviews


1: Introduction 2: How the investigation was carried out 3: General points about the accounts 4: Experiences during childhood 5: Experiences during teenage years 6: When music takes over 7: Merging with the music 8: Feeling light, floating, leaving one's body 9: Inner music 10: Inner images 11: Feelings / Emotion 12: Music and existence 13: Music and transcendence 14: Music and religious experiences 15: New insights, new possibilities 16: Confirmation through music 17: Music as therapy 18: When performing music oneself 19: Singing in a choir 20: Music in love - happy and unhappy 21: Music in connection with illness and death 22: Music at funerals 23: Music in Nature 24: Music from and in other cultures 25: Music at concerts: Classical music 26: Music at concerts: Jazz 27: Music at concerts: Pop and rock 28: Metaphors and similes 29: Survey of all reactions 30: Music in SEM 31: What in the music elicited the reactions? 32: Causes, consequences and importance 33: Overview, comparisons, questions, outlooks Postscript to the Swedish edition Appendix A: A descriptive system for Strong Experiences with Music Appendix B: An example of analysis of an account