This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
D|scuss the effects of mus|c on human emot|on,
percept|on and cogn|t|on through psycho|og|ca|
and theo|og|ca| ana|ys|s.
3$(4&5.64.**&7&/0/891:;& & & & & & & &&&&&&&&&3<900=0>&
Dedicated in loving memory to Peter S. Scott (14
August 1945 - 25
April 2009). A man of God, teacher, and musician
extraordinaire, our last meetings were in discussion of the writing of this essay.
Page 1 of 22 Mark Peskett - 20236917
Nusic anu emotion aie two of many phenomena of life that most of us expeiience
eveiyuay, but music anu emotion in paiticulai shaie a piofounu anu unueniable ielation to each
othei. Whilst much is unueistoou about each as a sepaiate aiea of stuuy, little is unueistoou
about how they aie connecteu to one othei. An unueistanuing of music geneially involves
uiligent stuuy of theoiy, composition anu technical facility amongst many othei aieas, but the
aspect of emotion is tiagically neglecteu as a moie auvanceu oi auuitional element to
composition anu peifoimance iathei than an unueilying necessity. This essay will consiuei many
funuamental questions with iegaius to oui peiception of music, oui capacity to cieate anu
unueistanu it, anu also the ieason such a beautiful anu uynamic ait foim exists by uiawing upon
ieseaich fiom the aieas of psychology anu theology.
Nusic has nevei been as accessible as it is at the cuiient time. The past two uecaues have
seen an explosion in the availability of music via the Inteinet (both legally anu illegally), the
uevelopment of poitable music playeis with memoiy capacities to stoie entiie collections of
music, anu seveial television anu iauio stations ueuicateu to bioaucasting music. Bespite these
uevelopments, music ietains its unueniable powei to affect us both emotionally anu physically: it
can make us feel uplifteu, sau anu solemn, all within a few moments, anu can cieate an uige to
tap oui feet anu uance. Nusic simply woulu not be music without emotional iesponse, noi woulu
theie be any motivation to cieate music without emotion. Inueeu, the woius 'emotion' anu
'motivation' shaie a ioot Latin woiu '!"#$%$' meaning quite simply 'move'. Whilst much is known
about music anu emotion as sepaiate entities, little is known about theii ielationship anu this has
only begun to ieceive consiueiation in the past few uecaues, yet alieauy it is ievealing many
piofounu anu exciting things, as well as iaising some inteiesting questions.
As a staiting point, it is impoitant to establish what is meant by the woiu 'emotion'. It is
cleai that this is something that can be uiscusseu anu uebateu foi as long as one might wish, but
foi the puiposes of this essay it shall be kept iathei biief. The ieason it can be a souice of such
uebate is that theie is not cuiiently a uefinitive answei. In many iespects, it is somewhat like the
uefinition of 'time' - uifficult to uesciibe without using the woiu itself oi by using an example of
its occuiience. Fuitheimoie, emotions aie not measuiable as such, which means that
Page 2 of 22
establishing a scientific mouel foi it can be pioblematic. Bowevei, one such consensual uefinition
is (Kleinginna & Kleinginna 1981:SSS):
Emotion is a complex set of inteiactions among subjective anu objective factois,
which can (a) give iise to affective expeiiences such as feelings of aiousal,
pleasuie¡uispleasuie: (b) geneiate cognitive piocesses such as peiceptually
ielevant effects, appiaisals, labelling piocesses: (c) activate wiuespieau
physiological aujustments to the aiousing conuitions: anu (u) leau to behavioui that
is often, but not always, expiessive, goal-uiiecteu, anu auaptive.
This uefinition concisely uesciibes the vaiious effects that an emotion can have on both a
physical anu mental level. It shoulu be noteu that an emotion is not quite the same as a moou.
ueneially speaking, an emotion is iegaiueu as a shoit-teim state wheieas a moou can be active
foi a longei peiiou of time. Bowevei, the two aie inextiicably linkeu in the sense that one can
give iise to the othei: an emotion can geneiate a moou, anu that moou can geneiate shoit-teim
emotions. As foi love (not that the wiitei claims to be an expeit on the subject), it is something
that is geneially vieweu as a long-teim state oi feeling towaius anothei peison. It is possible to
be in love with someone but not necessaiily be expeiiencing a 'tangible feeling' eveiy moment
you aie with that peison. Bowevei, at many points you uo inueeu feel love manifest into
something iecognisable that you can iuentify - an emotion.
At a glance, connections between music anu emotion aie obvious: watch a live banu move
as they play theii instiuments, oi an auuience all singing in unison. The example of the conuuctoi
of an oichestia tangibly uemonstiates this link: it is theii job aftei all to ensuie that the oichestia
ieleases eveiy emotional nuance of the piece being peifoimeu. Think of one of youi favouiite
songs: what uo you feel when you listen to it. Boes it make you want to uance. Some songs seem
to make us want to tap oui feet - we can uo it without iealising sometimes. What is it about the
music that inuuces these feelings anu uesiies, is it just the lyiics. Whilst lyiics aie an integial
pait, music is peihaps the most significant factoi in inuucing emotional iesponses. Ieff Buckley's
vocal take of 'Ballelujah' just woulu not be the same if accompanieu by the village People's
Sloboua, I. & Iuslin, P.(2uu1) 'Psychological Peispectives 0n Nusic Anu Emotion' in Sloboua I. & Iuslin P, &'()*+,-.+
/!"0)"-1+23$"%4+,-.+5$($,%*3 00P. p. 7S
Page 3 of 22
'YNCA' (now theie's an iuea). Insteau, a lone guitai with a goou chunk of ieveib accompanies it.
You can only sit anu listen anu become mesmeiiseu by the intimacy anu the atmospheie.
Compaie this to 'Bancing 0ueen' by ABBA foi example anu it can be uifficult to iesist the uige to
get up anu uance. These aie piime examples of how music can give iise to emotion. Iazz legenu
Niles Bavis is uesciibeu as a man who hau the ultimate in phiasing (the musical equivalent of a
sentence): what he uiu not play was equally as impoitant as what he uiu. Whatevei emotions
Bavis was expeiiencing as he took the leau on 'So What' aie tianslateu thiough his tiumpet into
oui eais. This is an example of the ieveise occuiiing (emotion giving iise to music).
It is wiuely agieeu that what makes a gieat impiovisei is someone who can expiess
themselves though theii instiument to cleaily tell an auuience how they feel. 'Comfoitably Numb'
by Pink Floyu, voteu one of the gieatest solos evei iecoiueu by many guitai anu music
publications, can make the haiis on the back of the neck stanu on enu.
Nusic is an auial ait foim anu as such, it can be inteipieteu in many uiffeient ways. An
emotional iesponse howevei is inescapable. vaiying uisciplines offei insights into the intimacy
between music anu emotion. Ball (2uu8) states:
Ciuuely speaking, theie aie two camps in the analysis of emotion in music. 0ne says
that the emotional content is inheient in musical cues: the choice of moue
(majoi¡minoi), tempo, timbie, melouic contoui anu so foith. The othei says that it
is all about how the music unfolus in time: how a combination of innate anu leaineu
iesponses set up expectations about what the music will uo, anu emotional tension
anu ielease flow fiom the way these aie manipulateu, violateu anu postponeu.
Psychologist Iohn Sloboua is one of many at the foiefiont of music anu emotion ieseaich.
Be aigues that the social context in which we listen to music plays a funuamental iole in the way
we iesponu to it. Foi example, theie is significant uiffeience between listening to music on the
way to woik anu listening to the same music in the company of otheis. Fuitheimoie, a listenei
Ball, P. (2uu8) 6,*)-7+03$+&'()*. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡SS9f2c (accesseu 17¡u2¡u9)
Page 4 of 22
may be less inclineu to iesponu to music that is foiceu upon them than music they choose
themselves. This cieates a pioblem foi ieseaicheis wishing to analyse anu quantify such
iesponses, as achieving a iealistic social context within a laboiatoiy is simply not possible.
Neuiologists who wish to peifoim biain scans aie not going to see this activity in a subject that is
confineu to a small space unable to move.
Foi this ieason, Sloboua aigues that to achieve a
complete unueistanuing of connections between music anu emotion, one must not neglect this
social context in theii stuuy.
.music cannot achieve a piesciibeu psychological outcome because it is impossible
to unueistanu oi pieuict its effects without accounting foi two othei significant
aieas of influence. The fiist ielates to the listenei: his moous, memoiies, intentions,
attituues, choices anu expeiiences. The seconu is the social context in which the
music is expeiienceu: who else is theie, what is going on, anu the social oi peisonal
significance of the event.
As we can see, emotional iesponses aie also uepenuant on the infinite combinations of
memoiies, moous, attituues et ceteia thioughout humanity. It may theiefoie seem impossible to
achieve a complete unueistanuing of the connections between music anu emotion.
Sloboua (2uu8) suggests one methou of accounting foi a social context thiough the use of
questionnaiies anu inteiviews.
This allows subjects to expeiience music as they noimally woulu,
anu then shaie theii expeiiences at a latei time. Foi neuiologists this is a pioblem, as they neeu
to see biain activity as anu when it occuis.
As stiange as it might sounu, the gieatest insights neuiologists have hau into music anu
emotion connections is in the stuuy of chilu uevelopment anu how theii biains uiscein music at a
veiy eaily age, foiming neuial pathways anu abanuoning otheis. Nany uiscoveiies have also
been achieveu thiough case stuuies of patients with biain lesions anu genetic uisoiueis such as
(,#,-0)(!. Savantism (bettei known as 'Savant Synuiome') is a collective teim foi conuitions
Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) 1S:28 - 14:u4
Sloboua, I. (2uu8) 23$+/,%+"8+03$+9$3":.$%; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6mkupl (accesseu 17¡u2¡u9), also:
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Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) 14:u4 -1S:u1
Page 5 of 22
wheie a patient's biain may be unueiuevelopeu in one aiea anu oveiuevelopeu in anothei,
leauing to extiaoiuinaiy capabilities in vaiious mental piocesses, at the expense of a uetiiment in
Psychological ieseaich has iaiseu many inteiesting questions with numeious theoiies to
answei them. 0ne such question is why we sometimes feel compelleu to listen to music that
makes us feel sau. 0ne suggestion is that the stiuctuieu anu iepetitive natuie of music is an
element uesiieu by all humans in theii own emotional lives. In this way, one might listen to a
melancholic piece of music in an effoit to make sense of some sauness they aie expeiiencing at
that time. This tieatment of music like a uiug (which Sloboua calls the 'phaimaceutical mouel')
can be extenueu to the opposite emotional states: one might listen to a ceitain piece of music to
elevate theii self into a happy anu exciteu state fiom eithei a sau, neutial oi alieauy happy state.
Nusic can act as a catalyst to uiaw these emotions out into an auaptive foim such as uancing oi
It is fuithei suggesteu that an integial pait of music peiception is the element of suipiise
It is wiuely believeu that a feeling of satisfaction comes fiom the beats of
music matching wheie we woulu expect them to be. The genie of 'Tiance' is known as such
because the beats aie electionically so piecise that theie is no uoubt wheie the next beat will
occui. Fuitheimoie, an impoitant pait of electionic music is a section known as the 'bieakuown'.
This is wheie a noticeable change in the music occuis anu the beat you have become accustomeu
to heaiing uisappeais, anu the music begins to cieate a sense of anticipation, uelaying the ie-
entiy of the beat. The anticipation is eventually satisfieu by the ieintiouuction of the beat.
In moie contempoiaiy styles such as Pop anu Rock, the ihythmical element is piimaiily
the iesponsibility of the uiummei: it is theii job to set the tempo anu the 7%""#$. The gioove
uesciibes how the ihythmic element 8$$:(. As was saiu about gieat impioviseis who aie able to
convey theii feelings thiough melouy, a uiummei uoes the same thing, but insteau ihythmically,
giving iise to the gioove.
Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) 7:S6 - 8:46
Page 6 of 22
0ne might say that they enjoy listening to a paiticulai uiummei because of "the way they
gioove." 0n a physical level, a gioove comes to fiuition by the veiy small fluctuations in timing.
Bowevei, timing is not the same as tempo. Tempo uefines the points at which a beat (3"':. occui
anu as such, a uiummei with goou 0)!)-7 oi 0)!$<$$=)-7 is saiu to be able to ietain an awaieness
of this tempo. The fluctuations in time aie wheie a uiummei will pull oi push the beat so that it
occuis befoie oi aftei wheie we woulu expect. The expectation is uefineu by the tempo, anu
violation of this expectation is what cieates that element of suipiise that is so impoitant to us. A
beat occuiiing eaily can cieate a feeling of speeuing up, wheieas a uelay can cieate a feeling of
tension because we aie still waiting foi that beat to occui, although the uelay may only be a
mattei of milliseconus.
The manifestation of emotion into a gioove iesults in these small fluctuations of timing.
They aie not conscious uecisions. Whilst electionic music such as Bance, Tiance anu Bium n
Bass have a veiy piecise ihythmic section that is voiu of a gioove, it allows the tempo to play a
moie impoitant iole in uefining the peiceiveu feeling. The tempo in Tiance is geneially between
1Su anu 16u beats pei minute, similai to the tempo oi pace at which we iun oi jog. Bium n Bass
ianges between 16u anu 18u beats pei minute. The fastei natuie of this genie cieates a feeling of
excitement that the listenei can feel inclineu to iesponu to.
In his essay entitleu 'The Neuial Roots of Nusic', Lauiel Tiianoi states that "Emotions aiise
in pait thiough the ebb anu flow of tension in music." The 'bieakuown' in electionic uance music
is one example of this. Noie specifically, it is a foim of ihythmical tension anu ielease that occuis
ovei a long peiiou of time.
Tension anu ielease can also be achieveu haimonically, anu this is a funuamental featuie
of Iazz music. Iazz is peihaps the most haimonically sophisticateu genie of contempoiaiy music,
anu uses tension anu ielease on a much shoitei time scale. Tension is cieateu mainly by the use
of a 'uominant' choiu.
In music theoiy, a 'uominant' choiu is a choiu whose chaiacteiistic sounu suggests that it
is unstable anu that wants to move somewheie else. It coulu be uesciibeu as a musical comma, an
inhalation of bieath that is helu until the iesolution to a moie stable choiu, at which point we can
bieath out. Bominant choius aie useu thioughout music genies, but in Iazz the haimonic
Page 7 of 22
sophistication comes fiom exploiting the tension of the uominant choiu, in tuin making the
iesolution that moie poignant. Because a uominant choiu is a tense sounu, Iazz musicians like to
auu extia notes oi 'alteiations' to intensify it fuithei. This is achieveu thiough the use of exotic
scales such as the 'Supei Lociian' that cieates an angulai, uetacheu feeling.
This leaus onto anothei impoitant consiueiation with iegaius to oui peiception of music:
it is almost univeisally agieeu that a majoi choiu foi instance sounus happy wheieas a minoi
choiu sounus sau. Sloboua's ieseaich has ueteimineu that when askeu to uesciibe a paiticulai
song oi sounu, 9S% of subjects will use the same aujective,
which natuially gives iise to the
question: why is this peiception almost univeisal.
It woulu seem that it is not a mattei of opinion but moie a mattei of fact. Nusical 0,(0$ on
the othei hanu iefeis to oui piefeience of genies: it is the equivalent of oui taste foi ceitain
foous. Choiu types such as majoi, minoi, uominant et ceteia can also be coiielateu with oui
peiception of coloui: just like one ieu is the same ieu as seen by eveiy othei human being (an
electiomagnetic wave oscillating between 4uS to 48u tiillion times a seconu), the chaiactei oi
*":"'% of a paiticulai choiu is the same. Theie is even a neuiological conuition calleu
'synaesthesia' in which the stimulation of one paiticulai sensoiy pathway can involuntaiily
tiiggei the activity of anothei. Fianz Liszt, aigueu to be the most gifteu pianist to have evei liveu,
was saiu to see colouis when he heaiu music anu woulu uiiect oichestias by way of uesciibing
A physical explanation of oui seemingly univeisal agieement on uesciibing sounus
suggests the inteivals that foim a majoi choiu aie piesent in the "#$%0"-$+($%)$( of the ioot note,
anu that the biain takes pleasuie in these oveitones being ieinfoiceu by notes of the same pitch
(although not necessaiily in the same octave). 0veitones aie a iesult of the iesonance
chaiacteiistics that occui in acoustic sounus. As well as the most piominent (louuest) note heaiu
when playeu on an instiument, also piesent aie seveial othei highei fiequencies layeieu on top,
but at lowei amplituues. The specific amplituues of these oveitones vaiy anu aie the ieason why
Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) 4:44 - S:u6
Page 8 of 22
a piano sounus uiffeient fiom a guitai anu one guitai sounu uiffeient fiom anothei guitai. It also
paitly explains why youi voice sounus uiffeient to mine.&
0ne paiticulai social context that affiims its impoitance to music anu emotion is the use of
music in ieligious woiship. Fiom a psychological peispective, the act of woiship shaies seveial
motives with those of music. Woiship is sometimes useu to iefei to playing music oi singing
specifically, but it actually means to uevote ones self to something (a uivine powei oi even a
The ieasons foi woiship in a ieligious setting can be both peisonal anu shaieu. Shaieu
ieasons can incluue piaise anu thanksgiving, peisonal ieasons can be foi inwaiu ieflection anu
the uesiie to make sense of vaiious feelings one may be expeiiencing. This goes hanu in hanu
with what Sloboua (2uu8) calls the 'phaimaceutical mouel'.
Sloboua (2uuu) auuiesses the use of
music in woiship by iuentifying five ways in which a listenei can ieceive music. In shoit, these
1. To make a conscious uecision to not ieceive the music anu puisue ones own
thoughts anu fantasies.
2. To make peisonal associations with the music such as thoughts, feelings anu
S. To be analytical about the music. Is the guitaiist in tune. Bas the uiummei speu
up. Is this in a uiffeient key.
4. To uo neithei two noi thiee, anu to still the minu anu let the music 'uo its thing'.
This may well cieate new peisonal associations.
S. To become actively involveu in the communal sense. Foi example, to engage
with otheis in singing alouu, uancing et ceteia.
Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) S:4u - 4:uu
Sloboua, I (2uuu) 'Nusic anu Woiship: A Psychologist's Peispective' in Astley, I. Bone, T. Savage, N. >%$,0)#$+>3"%.(1+
?0'.)$(+)-+&'()*@+23$":"74+,-.+>3%)(0),-+6"%!,0)"-. uiacewing. Pg. 111
Page 9 of 22
Sloboua then elaboiates on these points in the context of woiship. Peisonal associations
can ieminu one of expeiiences that ieaffiim uou's goouness towaius them. Nethou foui can be
puisueu in an effoit to heai uou's voice speaking uiiectly to ones self, to achieve ievelation oi
auvice. Nethou five can also be puisueu in exalting uou in thanksgiving with otheis who shaie
the same feelings anu attituues.
Sloboua also examines the 'ineffable' natuie of both music anu woiship. The ineffable
aspects of woiship aie cleai: the iuea of faith is to believe in something that has no logical
eviuence. The Boly Bible uesciibes faith as: ".being suie of what we hope foi anu ceitain of what
we uo not see"
- the ineffable.
Ineffable aspects of music ielate to both shoit scale anu laige-scale peiceptions. When we
heai a note on a piano, we may be able to iuentify a name foi it such as 'A', but it is beyonu most
human's capabilities to iuentify its specific fiequency. Sounu waves oscillating at 44uBz anu
441Bz aie likely to be inuisceinible to the aveiage human eai. It is foi this veiy ieason that we
have such labels as 'A' anu 'F shaip' - this is known as shoit-scale ineffability. Laige-scale
ineffability iefeis to an oveiall piece of music. An aveiage human cannot iecall a whole song on a
fiist listen, anu it may take seveial listens befoie this is possible. Theie may be seveial
instiuments playing uiffeient notes anu it can be neai impossible foi one to instantly iemembei
them all (although theie have been iepoits of those with Savant Synuiome being able to uo so).
Laige-scale ineffability can also iefei to the emotive qualities of a piece anu how they
evolve in time. It is unlikely to be possible to tell piecisely what a composei is wishing to
communicate thiough theii music, but this ineffability allows foi inteipietation anu
consequently, peisonal associations. This, it coulu be aigueu, is the tiue beauty of music.
The effects of music anu emotion in a woiship situation aie not oveily uissimilai fiom
iegulai expeiiences anu uesiie foi music. As mentioneu eailiei, a peison's uesiie foi music may
be to make sense of a paiticulai emotion they may be expeiiencing at that moment in time. In a
communal setting, the same expeiiences may be felt as in a woiship situation: the gatheiing of
people who may be shaiing the same uesiies anu emotions can only auu to the sense of secuiity
Bebiews 11:1 (NIv)
Page 10 of 22
it entails, anu few can ueny the effect that a hunuieu oi even thousanu folu ciowu singing in
unison has on each inuiviuual. The song 'You'll Nevei Walk Alone' maue famous by ueiiy anu The
Pacemakeis in 196S quickly became the anthem foi Liveipool FC, the choius of which is sung by
suppoiteis befoie the stait of a game. The song has also been auopteu by a hanuful of othei clubs
such as Celtic FC. When these two clubs meet, the effect of both ciowus of suppoiteis singing in
unison can be quite moving.
A gieat ueal of oui peiception anu ieception of music is iooteu in oui upbiinging at the
time of infancy. Stuuies in the fielus of Neuiology anu Psychology both ieveal anu complement
each othei on the uevelopment of the biain anu how it opeiates when piocessing sounu waves at
this time in oui lives.
Buiing chiluhoou, each of the billions of neuions in the human auuitoiy system
foims thousanus of connections to othei neuions, cieating neuial netwoiks. uenes
contiol the chaiacteiistics of neuial ciicuits, uevelopmental waves of neuional anu
synaptic piolifeiation, anu the latei piuning of neuial connections to foim efficient
ciicuits foi piocessing sounu.
The biain uuiing chiluhoou is akin to a blank page, the neuions being all mannei of
colouis, lines anu shapes that combine to foim a pictuie unique to each inuiviuual. Stuuies show
that infants piefei consonant sounus to uissonant ones, suppoiting the belief that oui
peiceptions aie not baseu entiiely on meie opinion, but aie founueu moie in oui BNA.
Not all music is equivalent to them - they piefei combinations of notes that aie
juugeu by auults to sounu pleasing, oi consonant (the peifect fifth, foi instance),
ovei combinations that aie less pleasing, oi uissonant (a minoi seconu).
Two sounus containing haimonics within ciitical banuwiuths make inteifeience
patteins on the basilai membiane, anu piouuce a sense of uissonance. The
Tiianoi, L. (2uu8) 23$+A$'%,:+5""0(+"8+&'()*; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6e9mt8 (accesseu 2u¡uS¡u9)
Patel, A. (2uu8) 2,:<+"8+03$+2"-$; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6pscuj (accesseu 2u¡uS¡u9)
Page 11 of 22
fiequency content of tones is also piocesseu accoiuing to when neuions fiie, anu
consonant anu uissonant stimuli cause uiffeient types of fiiing patteins in auuitoiy
These two statements suggest that oui peiception of uissonance is the iesult of physical
inteifeience causeu by waves at uiffeient fiequencies that supeiimpose each othei. If the
uiffeience in fiequency of these waves is small enough, the effect will not be uisceinable by the
eai, anu no uissonance will be peiceiveu (as pei the shoit scale ineffability). As the uiffeience in
fiequency incieases anu falls into the ciitical banuwiuth (iange), the eai will begin to uiscein
uissonance. As the uiffeience in fiequency becomes laigei anu eventually suipasses the high enu
of the ciitical banuwiuth, the effect of uissonance will begin to uisappeai anu the sounu will stait
to become consonant. This can be heaiu by sitting at a piano anu playing the smallest inteival
possible (the minoi seconu), anu then incieasing the inteival to a 'majoi seconu', then a 'minoi
thiiu' anu so on. The effect of uissonance will soon uisappeai as the uiffeience in fiequency of the
funuamental pitches incieases.
Bowevei, as has alieauy been explaineu, a note playeu on a guitai oi piano foi instance
contains a palette of uiffeient fiequencies (in the "#$%0"-$+ ($%)$() that combine to cieate the
0)!B%$ of an instiument oi voice. The fiequencies piesent in this oveitone seiies can also mix
togethei with the oveitones of othei notes to cieate an effect of consonance oi uissonance.
Pythagoias went as fai as to explain that musical inteivals such as an "*0,#$ anu a =$%8$*0+
8)803 aie peiceiveu as consonant because the %,0)"( of theii funuamental fiequencies aie maue of
small integeis (whole numbeis).
The stoiy goes that Pythagoias was walking past a
blacksmith's wheie he heaiu the woikeis stiiking hammeis against metal as they moulueu it into
shape. The clash of the hammeis on metal piouuceu sounus that intiigueu Pythagoias, anu he
eventually uiscoveieu that a hammei weighing half that of anothei woulu piouuce a fiequency
twice that of the heaviei hammei.
Pythagoias was a man of iatios. This is cleai fiom his
theoiem of tiiangles anu the iatios of the length of theii siues (a
) which is taught in
Tiianoi, L. (2uu8) 23$+A$'%,:+5""0(+"8+&'()*; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6e9mt8 (accesseu 2u¡uS¡u9)
Natuie.com Poucast 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg (Accesseu 16¡u2¡u9) 6:u2 - 6:S4
Ashton, A. (2uuS) C,%!"-"7%,=31+D+E)(',:+F').$+2"+23$+&,03$!,0)*(+G8+&'()*. Woouen Books Ltu. p. 4
Page 12 of 22
schools acioss the woilu. Be expiesseu the ielationship of these two hammeis anu the
fiequencies they piouuceu as 2:1. When a fiequency is uoubleu, in musical teims it is calleu an
octave. Accoiuingly, an octave was assigneu the iatio of 2:1. A peifect fifth has the iatio of S:2, a
majoi seconu has a iatio of 9:8, anu the smallest inteival on a piano (the minoi seconu) has a
iatio of 2S6:24S (these aie not paiticulaily small numbeis, anu a minoi seconu is iegaiueu as a
iathei uissonant inteival). 0nfoitunately some pioblems occuiieu when inteivals weie tieateu
in this mathematical way in iespect of tuning systems.
Physical anu mathematical analysis of funuamental musical mechanics of this natuie helps
in pait to explain why humans peiceive paiticulai sounus as unpleasant (uissonant), but coupleu
with this peiception aie oui own associations anu othei mental piocesses, such as memoiies,
that help us to unueistanu what we aie heaiing. The biain is not a computei which piocesses
signals that say 'yes' oi 'no', although a uissonant inteival will ("'-. the same to all human
beings, the vaiious mental piocesses also involveu will natuially give iise to the foimation of
uiffeiing opinions. Whilst all inteivals have theii own commonly agieeu chaiacteiistics oi
8:,#"'%( oi *":"'%(, they all have theii ielevant uses. Even uissonant inteivals have theii place in
veiy pleasant sounuing choius: a minoi seconu foi example, which has been a laige focus in the
pieceuing explanations is piesent in a 2
inveision majoi 7
choiu, which can sounu veiy
pleasant oi even exotic.
The 'uominant' choiu was mentioneu befoie foi its impoitance in the
genie of Iazz anu its chaiacteiistic sounu of instability. The two notes that uenote a choiu as
being 'uominant' aie the 'majoi S
' anu 'flat 7
' anu the inteival between these two notes is a
'. This inteival has a veiy moouy sounu, anu it is this inteival that gives a uominant
choiu its unstable natuie, as the notes iesponsible aie the two most impoitant in the choiu.
By the time of auulthoou, a fully uevelopeu biain is capable of making these opinions anu
associations with haimony on a conscious level. Bowevei, the open canvas of an infant's biain
has pioviueu eviuence to suppoit the theoiy that consonance anu uissonance aie inheient
physical featuies, in the coue of natuie. Tiianoi (2uu8) also states:
In the example of a Cmaj7 choiu, in ioot position the notes will be oiueieu: C E u B. In seconu inveision, they aie
oiueieu u B C E. The minoi seconu inteival is between the B anu C. The inteival is also piesent in S
not to mention many othei choius with pleasant anu unpleasant chaiacteis.
As a siue, theie is a wiuely iecalleu stoiy that this inteival was associateu with Satan in the eaily 18
centuiy anu the
use of it coulu iesult in excommunication fiom the chuich. This is howevei iegaiueu by some as fanciful anu a iesult of
misinteipietation of its intiouuction into haimony.
Page 13 of 22
Buiing uevelopment, infants anu chiluien leain the pitch oiganization of theii
cultuie's music types anu theieaftei piocess music thiough the filtei of this
knowleuge. Even musically untiaineu Westein listeneis acquiie implicit knowleuge
of the Westein majoi scale. They ieauily uetect a wiong note that goes outsiue the
scale on which a melouy is baseu. They have consiueiably moie tiouble uetecting
changes within the scale because these uo not violate theii implicit knowleuge of
which notes belong in the key. Infants unuei one, on the othei hanu, uo not yet
piocess music accoiuing to paiticulai scales, anu notice changes that violate majoi
scale stiuctuie anu changes that uo not.
Tiianoi's aigument is essentially that within a song with an establisheu key centie, a
listenei is capable of uetecting a note that uoes not belong in the key, as it woulu clash with notes
that uo belong. Conveisely, notes that belong in the key will pass by somewhat unnoticeu, as that
is what the listenei has been accustomeu to theii whole life, but infants have the ability to
peiceive changes )-().$ the key as much as those "'0().$; A note that is outsiue the key that
clashes (that is, causes uissonance) will be uetecteu by an infant anu, as pei Patel's statement
that infants piefei consonant sounus to uissonant ones, the clash will natuially be juugeu to be
wiong anu out of place.
Since its uevelopment aiounu the time of Bach, the majoi scale became the backbone of all
populai music thiough all classical peiious, encompassing all mouein uay populai genies. An
infant will soon uiscovei a similaiity in music they heai by the consistent piesence of this scale.
Whilst the most uissonant inteival (the minoi seconu) is piesent in the scale itself, 'piopei' use of
the scale will not use this inteival excessively. Neuial connections in the biain aie foimeu by this
consistency anu, as Tiianoi has iuentifieu, the infant becomes accustomeu to the scale:
Without specific musical tiaining, sensitivity to haimonic stiuctuie emeiges in
chiluien only aftei about S yeais of age.
Tiianoi, L. (2uu8) 23$+A$'%,:+5""0(+"8+&'()*; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6e9mt8 (accesseu 2u¡uS¡u9)
Tiianoi, L. I. Bev. Psychobiol. 46, 262-278 (2uuS)
Page 14 of 22
It is impoitant to note that consonance anu uissonance uo not ueteimine an infant
becoming accustomeu to the majoi scale. This is uue to the long-teim exposuie to the scale, anu
may also be why many people iegaiu Iazz as nonsensical, because many of the scales anu
haimonies involveu aie seluom heaiu in moie populai music.
Stuuies show that iats iaiseu in enviionments containing only white noise with no
pitch oi ihythm aie unable to iecognize eveiyuay sounus, anu aie gieatly impaiieu
even in theii ability to uisciiminate uiffeient pitches.
White noise is sounu that contains all fiequencies within a ceitain banuwiuth (iange) all at
equal intensity, it can be ueteimineu on a Tv set when a channel has no signal anu geneiates a
chaotic uance of black anu white with an unpleasant hiss. This hiss is known as 'white noise'
because it is the auuible equivalent of the #)(',: white that we see. The white that we ($$ is a
iesult of the thiee types of cone cells in oui eye being equally stimulateu. When light passes
thiough a piism it is %$8%,*0$. (bent), anu the component paits become visible as the iainbow -
eveiy possible coloui we can uiscein. White noise is theiefoie the piesence of eveiy sounu wave
fiequency (at least all that aie uisceinable to the human eai) occuiiing at equal intensity. If theie
is no uisceinable pitch piesent then it is impossible to foim any unueistanuing of it, as was the
case with the pooi iats. A lack of exposuie to eveiyuay sounus iesulteu in a ueficit of neuial
connections as theii biains uevelopeu.
In auuition to pitch uisceinment, infants aie also able to peiceive ihythm in a similai way.
Tiianoi (2uu8) states:
Young infants can peiceive complex ihythmic stiuctuie, but they lose this ability
befoie they aie a yeai olu if not exposeu to such ihythms.
The flexibility of oui auuitoiy system anu its uepenuence on leaining enables us to
invent uiffeient musical stiuctuies, anu allows musical tastes to change with
familiaiity anu expeiience.
Chang, E. F. & Neizenich, N. N. Science Suu, 498-Su2 (2uuS)
Tiianoi, L. (2uu8) 23$+A$'%,:+5""0(+"8+&'()*; Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6e9mt8 (accesseu 2u¡uS¡u9)
Page 15 of 22
Baseu on the foimei statement, it woulu seem that ihythm is a moie uelicate featuie
Bowevei, as it suggests, we become accustomeu to consistently expeiienceu ihythms in the same
way we become accustomeu to the majoi scale. >"!!"-+0)!$ (bettei known as HIH) became the
backbone of all populai music thiough all classical peiious, encompassing all mouein uay
populai genies. That sentence may sounu familiai. A huge majoiity of populai music touay is
founueu upon this 4¡4 0)!$+ ()7-,0'%$+ (ihythmic stiuctuie), anu we have even become
accustomeu to =3%,($( that aie foui, eight oi even sixteen bais long. It is iaie to heai othei time
signatuies occuiiing, at least thioughout an entiie piece of music. Bowevei, even ihythm can
seive an emotive puipose in oui peiception of music. 0ncommon time signatuies can cieate a
ieaction of inteiest oi unease, as it is out of the noimal expeiience when listening to music.
Ceitain eastein Euiopean cultuies involve music that is composeu of moie complex time
signatuies compaieu to 4¡4. Bowevei, this is only compaiative, as citizens of these cultuies
expeiience these ihythms on a iegulai basis, anu it has become theii noimal expeiience, just as
the noimal expeiience in Westein Society is 4¡4.
Wolfgang Amaueus Nozait was boin in 17S6 anu is aiguably the most accomplisheu
musician the woilu will evei see - Bayun stateu that: "posteiity will not see such a talent again in
Be is peihaps the ultimate embouiment of the pievious uiscussion on the auuitoiy
uevelopment of the infant biain. Nozait's fathei, Leopolu, was iegaiueu as one of the best
teacheis in Euiope at the time, anu so Nozait was constantly suiiounueu by music fiom the
eailiest age. Bis sistei, Nanneil, was also a veiy accomplisheu musician, anu aftei Nozait's ueath
in 1791 she ieminisceu:
Be often spent much time at the claviei, picking out thiius, which he was always
stiiking, anu his pleasuie showeu that it sounueu goou. |...] In the fouith yeai of his
age his fathei, foi a game as it weie, began to teach him a few minuets anu pieces at
the claviei. |...] Be coulu play it faultlessly anu with the gieatest uelicacy, anu
Robbins Lanuon, B.C.(199u) &"J,%0K(+L,(0+M$,%, Lonuon, Fontana Papeibacks, p. 171
Page 16 of 22
keeping exactly in time. |...] At the age of five he was alieauy composing little pieces,
which he playeu to his fathei who wiote them uown.
The iesult of this eaily uevelopment was a minu that was capable of cieating melouies anu
unueistanuing music on an intimate level by the age of five. It is no suipiise to leain that Nozait
also uevelopeu a veiy acute level of peifect pitch.
Peifect pitch oi ,B(":'0$+=)0*3 is an ability possesseu by both musicians anu non-musicians
alike. Baviu-Lucas Buige, authoi of the N$%8$*0+ N)0*3+ /,%+ 2%,)-)-7+ ?'=$%+ >"'%($, uesciibes it as
*":"'%+ 3$,%)-7; Possessois of this ability aie able to iuentify the pitch of any sounu, on
instiuments, voices anu even aibitiaiy sounus such as cai engines anu hoins. The *":"'%+3$,%)-7
analogy suggests that all pitches (fiequencies) that the human eai can uiscein contain a unique
iuentifiable chaiacteiistic that is analogous to oui ability to see coloui anu even uiffeient shaues
of these colouis. These chaiacteiistics aie piesent in the "#$%0"-$ ($%)$( of notes that has alieauy
been alighteu on. Sensitivity to these oveitones ieveals the chaiacteiistic of the piesent note, anu
the biain is then able to iuentify it thiough combinations of memoiies anu labels (such as 'F-
Buige also uesciibes seveial levels of sensitivity. Bue to the fact that the oveitone seiies is
iesponsible foi 0)!B%$, many people can only exhibit peifect pitch on theii main instiument as
theii eai has only become sensitive to it thiough long-teim exposuie, but incieaseu sensitivity
can iesult in peifect pitch foi all sounus. Nusicians who uo not possess this ability aie only able
to iuentify a pitch if given a iefeience (%$:,0)#$+ =)0*3 which focuses on the chaiacteiistics of
)-0$%#,:( anu *3"%.(), oi if they :""< at how anu wheie it is playeu on an instiument.
Peifect Pitch was long believeu to be a phenomenon that the lucky few weie boin with,
but it has been uiscoveieu to be an ability that is uevelopeu, most commonly uuiing the time of
infancy, as this is the time wheie the biain is ueveloping moie iapiuly than any othei in oui lives.
It is possible to uevelop the ability at any age, which is what Baviu-Lucas Buige's couise aims to
uo, but it can take longei to achieve. viitually all of the ienowneu classical composeis possesseu
peifect pitch as a iesult of being exposeu to music fiom an eaily age. Noie impoitantly, as a chilu,
Beutsch, 0.E. (1966) &"J,%01+D+O"*'!$-0,%4+9)"7%,=34, Stanfoiu 0niveisity Piess p. 4SS
Page 17 of 22
the ability can become manifest without specific tiaining, just long teim exposuie to music can
iesult in a highly uevelopeu sense of peifect pitch. This piocess can begin even befoie a chilu is
boin, as the eais aie fully functional foui months befoie biith.
This may paitly explain why
many helu the belief that peifect pitch is a gift one can only be boin with.
Nany auuio baseu ielaxation methous attempt to iecieate the sounu expeiienceu by a
baby insiue the womb, as it is believeu that theie is a memoiy of this time buiieu ueep in one's
subconscious, anu that listening to it can make one feel as if they aie back in that safe place. 0thei
stuuies have shown that infants can iecall melouies that they may have heaiu whilst insiue the
womb. Take the example of a piegnant woman sitting at a piano: whatevei melouies she may be
playing can be heaiu by the unboin baby anu ietaineu in theii memoiies. When a baby heais this
melouy aftei they aie boin, stuuies have shown that they have some iecognition of it.
Whilst the eais aie fully uevelopeu foui months befoie biith, the auuitoiy system itself is
not entiiely genetically baseu. The auuitoiy system is uevelopeu by the neuial connections that
aie foimeu uuiing this eaily peiiou of theii life, anu it is foi this ieason that peifect pitch is
uevelopeu anu is not an ability exclusive to only the 'lucky few'.
0ne of the most noticeable elements of sounu to an infant is that of contoui. Contoui is the
uiiection of pitch, whethei it is ascenuing oi uescenuing. Imagine the way in which a mothei will
say "Bello" to hei chilu. The upwaiu inflection of the "ohhh" sounu at the enu is because the
infant notices this moie than they uo the actual woiu being spoken. The natuie of the woiu
'Bello' is essentially aibitiaiy because this methou of speaking is shaieu acioss cultuies.
Accoiuingly, this suggests that speaking in this way is a iesult of a long-teim subconscious
memoiy ietaineu since chiluhoou that is then useu in this fashion towaius othei infants.
The potential foi all humans to attain such a masteiy of sounu gives iise to the question of
why it is possible. Evolutionists have aumitteu that music uoes not appeai to be necessaiy foi oui
suivival as a species. Baiwin wiote in his book 23$+O$(*$-0+"8+&,-1
Levitin, B. (2uu6) 23)(+P(+M"'%+9%,)-+G-+&'()*. Pg. 228
Page 18 of 22
As neithei the enjoyment noi the capacity of piouucing musical notes aie faculties
of the least use to man . . . they must be iankeu among the most mysteiious with
which he is enuoweu.
Evolutionists state that amongst oui main instincts as a species is the neeu of suivival by
iepiouuction, foou, watei anu othei aspects. Whilst these activities occui thiough a ielationship
with natuie anu oui habitat, music (a cieative offshoot of sounu, which is a natuial occuiience) is
not necessaiy foi oui suivival. Sounu can ceitainly play an impoitant pait in oui suivival, as it
uoes with almost any species, but !'()* uoes not seive any such puipose. Psychologist Steven
Pinkei (1997) wiites:
What benefit coulu theie be to uiveiting time anu eneigy to the making of plinking
noises oi to feeling sau when no one has uieu. . . . As fai as biological cause anu
effect aie conceineu, music is useless. It shows no sign of uesign foi attaining a goal
such as long life, gianuchiluien, oi accuiate peiception anu pieuiction of the woilu.
Compaieu with language, vision, social ieasoning, anu physical know-how, music
coulu vanish fiom oui species anu the iest of oui lifestyle woulu be viitually
Although Pinkei asseits that music has no necessity in oui suivival as a species, his lattei
point coulu well be contesteu by the fact that music is a cential pait of cultuies anu ieligions
acioss the woilu. As was toucheu upon eailiei in iespect of ieligious woiship, many believe that
music shoulu be useu to gloiify the cieatoi of the woilu, whomevei they may believe it to be.
Pinkei goes on to uesciibe music as a kinu of uissection of natuie. Bowevei, as uiscusseu, the
"#$%0"-$+ ($%)$( that is iesponsible foi the 0)!B%$ of any sounu gave iise to the majoi scale
because all notes piesent in this scale aie piesent in the oveitone seiies of an inuiviuual note.
Accoiuingly, when melouy anu haimony aie cieateu by a combination of the notes of this scale, it
coulu be vieweu as a uissection of natuie, anu a celebiation of what occuis so effoitlessly eveiy
moment of oui lives in the aibitiaiy sounus that we heai.
Baiwin, C. R. (1871) 23$+.$(*$-0+"8+!,-@+,-.+($:$*0)"-+)-+%$:,0)"-+0"+($Q; Lonuon: Iohn Nuiiay. volume 2 p. SSu
Pinkei, S. (1997) C"R+23$+&)-.+S"%<(; Penguin Books. Pg. S28
Page 19 of 22
That oui biains aie capable of piocessing sounu so effoitlessly coulu be vieweu as an
inuication that music was intenueu by uou to be useu foi his gloiy. If it weie uou's intention, then
suiely humans woulu have been cieateu with the capacity to unueistanu it. Levitin (2uu8)
analogises oui biain's ability to piocess sounu:
Imagine that you stietch a pillowcase tightly acioss the opening of a bucket, anu
uiffeient people thiow Ping-Pong balls at it fiom uiffeient uistances. Each peison
can thiow as many Ping-Pong balls as he likes, anu as often as he likes. Youi job is to
figuie out, just by looking at how the pillowcase moves up anu uown, how many
people theie aie, anu whethei they aie walking towaius you, away fiom you, oi aie
stanuing still. This is analogous to what the auuitoiy system has to contenu with in
making iuentifications of auuitoiy objects in the woilu, using only the movement of
the eaiuium as a guiue.
Anyone who has leaineu to play an instiument will testify that it takes many yeais of
ueuicateu piactice to attain a ceitain level of pioficiency. Bowevei, almost anyone can sing
without having to piactice iegulaily (although of couise, the voice can be tiaineu to become
moie contiolleu anu expiessive). 0nlike instiuments maue of biass, woou anu othei eaithly
mateiials, we caiiy oui voice with us eveiywheie, anu no instiument is able to iecieate the same
uetail anu uepth of expiession. Those musicians that get close to emulating a ieal voice in the
way they play become iecogniseu as the gieat peifoimeis.
The effect cieateu by a multituue of people singing in unison can be piofounu inueeu - if
they weie all playing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stai' on guitai, it might not have the same effect as
singing it: this is because woius have powei anu meaning. The Boly Bible succinctly auuiesses
this as: "Foi out of the oveiflow of his heait his mouth speaks."
The Bible contains hunuieus of instances of music in both joyful anu solemn situations.
Nany of the big events aie celebiateu by songs, such as the biith of the nation of Isiael anu Naiy
when she uiscoveis she is piegnant with Iesus. Fuitheimoie, the book of Psalms is a collection of
Levitin, B. (2uu6) 23)(+P(+M"'%+9%,)-+G-+&'()*. Pg. 1uS
Luke 6:4S (NIv)
Page 20 of 22
poems wiitten by King Baviu, the seconu king of Isiael as uepicteu in the Bible, anu many of
these weie intenueu foi musical accompaniment. All songs anu poems aie uiiecteu at uou anu as
such, fiom the viewpoint of Chiistians, uou (whom they believe cieateu the univeise anu what
we call natuie) intenus music to be useu foi his gloiification. Even Iesus, the piophesieu Son of
uou, piaiseu his fathei thiough song, anu it is the example of Iesus that all Chiistians aie calleu to
follow in. Taken a step fuithei, it coulu be aigueu that if it is uou's intention foi humans to gloiify
him in this way, then that is why oui biains aie capable of piocessing sounu so effoitlessly, which
is in tuin why we aie all boin with the potential to uevelop peifect pitch.
It is not this essay's intention to uebate the meiits of science veisus ieligion, noi piomote
the Chiistian faith, but whilst scientists cannot finu a ieason foi the existence of music,
Chiistianity offeis a possible explanation wiuely helu by millions of people acioss the woilu.
Bowevei, it shoulu be iecogniseu that music in ieligious woiship shaies the same goals anu
effects as music useu in non-ieligious settings. The only uiffeience is wheie the emotions aie
uiiecteu. The aiguments iegaiuing why music $Q)(0( in the fiist place, anu the way in which music
is '($. shoulu not be confuseu.
The technological auvancements outlineu at the stait of this essay have maue music
available to the masses. These auvancements have iesulteu in an explosion in the
commeicialisation of music anu its use acioss the meuia woilu. People can caiiy theii entiie
music collection with them on an iPou, anu once at home they can switch on the iauio oi the Tv
anu listen to it some moie.
Wiuespieau exposuie to music has been pievalent foi seveial uecaues, anu in the 196us it
was cential to the hippy cultuie. In the 197us, Piogiessive Rock became so wiuespieau that by
the enu of the uecaue theie was an explosion of Punk music, as teenageis living in a
'Thatcheiiseu' society became boieu anu uisinteiesteu in the music that theii 'olu man' listeneu
to anu wanteu something new anu uiffeient. Punk music was a meuium thiough which they
ieuiscoveieu theii sense of iuentity. Backtiack to the 19Sus, anu we have the biith of Rock n' Roll
music, a genie that was fiesh anu exciting, anu something that the teenageis of the time coulu
Page 21 of 22
enjoy in the miust of post-wai uepiession anu iationing, as opposeu to the Iazz anu Big Banu
Swing that pieceueu it. The westein 0.K city of Liveipool was among the fiist in the countiy to
ieceive exposuie to it, uue to it having one of the laigest poits to which the music was impoiteu.
This music ieacheu the eais of Iohn Lennon anu Paul NcCaitney, anu the iest as they say, is
As the ieseaich outlineu in this essay uemonstiates, theie aie many viewpoints anu
methous that vaiying uisciplines use in an attempt to unueistanu the ways in which we peiceive
music anu allow it to affect us in the ways it uoes. Sloboua believes the social context in which we
listen to music is ciitical in ueteimining the way in which we ieceive it. Levitin states that
scientists aie still unueciueu in teims of what an emotion even is anu although ieseaich is still in
its eaily stages, much has alieauy been uiscoveieu, anu even moie is yet to be. Neuiologists
unueistanu a gieat ueal about what occuis in oui biains when listening to music, anu this can
seive to help us unueistanu moie about the way in which memoiies play a pait in oui peiception
of music. Physics has shown us in what ways paiticulai sounus can cause a like oi uislike of them,
anu Psychology goes into moie uetail to consiuei how we iationalise these iesponses.
Evolutionists aie somewhat at a loss to explain why music actually exists: it is believeu to be
moie of a technological auvancement of sounu, but Theologians will aigue that music is theie as
a vehicle to gloiify uou. Fuitheimoie, Chiistianity uesciibes emotions as being pait of oui 'Soul'
iathei than peihaps boin insiue oui biains. Neuiology anu Psychology can ceitainly iuentify the
effects emotions can have, but the uiffeience may be in the belief of wheie emotions themselves
What uiiection the vaiying ieseaich will take is unceitain, anu only time will tell. What we
uo know is that we have alieauy attaineu a ceitain masteiy of music: we know the intimate
uetails of sounu anu what makes each sounu uiffeient fiom anothei, we have a system that
allows us to uesign melouies anu haimonies of seemingly infinite vaiieties, we have countless
instiuments that allow us to expiess ouiselves in vaiious ways anu, as a iesult, we have hau, anu
will continue to have, musicians that attain a spectaculai pioficiency to peifoim anu expiess
themselves on these instiuments. Even technological auvances in uigitalisation have alloweu foi
a gieatei iange of possibilities in iecieating sonic enviionments anu the illusion of a full banu
Page 22 of 22
playing togethei, wheie once the only way to heai music was to actually see it peifoimeu live. All
of these elements of unueistanuing help seive a puipose that has existeu evei since the fiist
humans came into being, that puipose being to expiess oui selves anu oui emotions to otheis.
The uesiie anu stiiving to uiscovei anu accomplish moie with music will likely continue foi as
long as we exist, as will the use of music like a phaimaceutical uiug, oi in ieligious woiship.
Whatevei its use, it will always be at the heait of cultuies acioss the woilu. Reuuctionism can
help us unueistanu the physics of music anu how to cieate it ouiselves, but it cannot explain the
phenomena of why we feel uplifteu, sau oi solemn: peihaps Psychology, Theology oi Neuiology
will. Nusic without emotion is music, but music R)03 emotion is something else entiiely.
• Iuslin, P & Sloboua I. (2uu1) !"#$%&'()&*+,-$,(.&/01,23&'()&41#1'2%0. 00P 0xfoiu.
• Stoii, A. (1997) !"#$%&'()&-01&!$(). Baipei Collins.
• Sacks, 0. (2uu8) !"#$%,50$6$'.&/'61#&,7&!"#$%&'()&-01&82'$(. vintage Books.
• Levitin, B. (2uu6) /0$#&9#&:,"2&82'$(&;(&!"#$%. Button.
• Ashton, A. (2uuS) <'2+,(,=2'50.&>&?$#"'6&@"$)1&/,&/01&!'-01+'-$%#&;7&!"#$%. Woouen
• Astley, I, Bone, T & Savage, N. (2uuu) A21'-$B1&A0,2)#.&C-")$1#&$(&!"#$%D&/01,6,=3&'()&
• Buck, P. (1949) F#3%0,6,=3&7,2&!"#$%$'(#G 00P.
• Robbins Lanuon, B.C (199u) !,H'2-I#&J'#-&:1'2G Fontana Papeibacks.
• Beutsch, 0tto Eiich (1966) !,H'2-.&>&K,%"+1(-'23&8$,=2'503, Stanfoiu 0niveisity Piess.
• Baiwin, C. R. 1871. /01&)1#%1(-&,7&+'(D&'()¡%-$,(&$(&216'-$,(&-,LG Lonuon: Iohn
Nuiiay. volume 2.
• The Boly Bible , New Inteinational veision Angliciseu. Bouuei & Staughton 2uu4.
• Ball, P. (2uu8) E'%$(=&-01&!"#$%. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡SS9f2c (accesseu
• Buion, B. (2uu8) J,#-&$(&!"#$%G Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡ue476q (accesseu
• Sloboua, I. (2uu8) /01&*'2&,7&-01&810,6)12G Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6mkupl
• Patel, A. (2uu8) /'6W&,7&-01&/,(1G Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6pscuj (accesseu
• Tiianoi, L. (2uu8) /01&N1"2'6&4,,-#&,7&!"#$%G Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡6e9mt8
• NcBeimott, I. (2uu8) /01&*B,6"-$,(&,7&!"#$%G Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡cbwipi
F,)%'#-&*L-2'.&$(&%,B12#'-$,(&M$-0&8'66&'()&C6,X,)'G&A poucast iecoiueu as pait of Natuie.com's
'Focus' on Science anu Nusic. Releaseu 12¡u6¡u8. Available fiom: http:¡¡tinyuil.com¡u2wofg