Music as a tool to access emotion?
Music as a tool to access emotion?
As far as I can deduce, I've been alexithymic from age 5. The one constant in my life has been music. Lots of music. In time I learned that the easiest conduit to my emotions was through music. Does anyone else find this to be true?
Yes! Sometimes i keep "scrolling" through different genres to determine or enhance my current mood. From death metal to new-age
But I guessed pretty much everyone else is doing it. That's what the music is for, right
I had some characteristically weird alexithymic experience with this recently, listening to an opera album.
I found that the music could almost bring tears to my eyes, but I still FELT nothing, emotionally. It was like it was a physical response - cold wind blows, you get goosebumps kind of thing. No emotional cognition required, it's merely a reflex. Clearly, the music was having some effect, but being as I am, of course I had no idea what or why.
I remember through all my musical career music was the one thing that I could feel strong emotions to. There was one thing I remember clearly from my middle school orchestra class my teacher had said "well now I know we played well look at Lorelei she is smiling". I never smiled or showed much emotion back then I still don't but that has always just stuck to me. Music is something that I can just get into it resonates through my body as I play and I just move with each bow movement just feeling like I'm being enveloped into the notes on the page.
Exactly the same as CV and Lorelei. My tear-bursting piece is Siegfried Idyll from Wagner (I dont like anything else from him, but this one is really special). I remember hearing it for the first time was the most emotional even in about 10 past years. But as others are pointing out, I dont get what are my tears for - sadness, hapiness, soulwretchedness? I have no idea. I remember the blindness in music school when my teacher tried to explain the piano pieces of Janacek to me: this one is about unfulfilled love, that one is about death, the other one about being homesick.... I got nothing out of these explanations and just played as I considered it should be. I thought maybe i was too young and unexperienced to understand all these emotions involved. But now, being 34 having seen birth and death and suffering, I dont get any better in specifications of the emotions behind the compositions.
I cannot do it even the other way round - as proved in my lessons of musical composition - when asked to improvise for sadness, hapiness, longing - I am lost.
I too experience this as well, it's like music can express emotions that I cannot communicate verbally. As another poster mentioned I also can range from Death Metal to New Age and I sometimes use music as a tool to fully realise an emotion my mind is confused about.
As a musician myself I too wish to be able to compose music that is able to conjure emotion but I find I have no success, I am now wondering whether this may be down to Alexithymia? I'm a good musician from a technical standpoint, I'm quick to pick up songs and instruments but when trying to compose I often hit a brick wall, I assume it is because I'm trying to create something emotionally charged but I myself am emotionally numb.
Any other posters have their own input on this?
Music is very important and is a powerful means/tool; basically it's also a universal language.
Alexithymia - emotional blindness - is a personal trait which affects roughly 10% of the population.
Alexithymia describes the difficulty of people to perceive and describe emotions of others and themselves. Most persons concerned are not aware about this deficit and usually they are just recognizing it in contact with others, especially close friends, within their family or their partner.
These pages should deliver additional information about Alexithymia and offer information for affected persons, relatives and generally interested people.