The connection…?

The connection…?

Have any of you ever felt inexplicably attached to a piece of music? A piece of music that makes you feel all weird and soft on the inside, but you don’t understand why? Some of the music that I’ve heard/been listening to, makes me feel that way. Music that isn’t attached to any special memories. Music that isn’t connected to any thing I’ve ever gone through personally. Music that I have no reason to be so… attached to. Music that is special to me, but has no reason to be special to me. It’s… uncomfortably tangible, if you know what I mean. I don’t understand it. And it makes me all emotional and what not.

Where could this come from? Why would these songs/pieces, of all cultures and generations, make me feel this way? Why do they touch me so deeply if I don’t have a connection that’s on the surface?

I would like to apologize for making so many posts that aren’t centered around session music and tune sharing. The thing is, I value the intelligence that many of you have and I know that you know more than just what is in the dimension of Traditional music. There are many things that I don’t know a lot about and this is actually my most valuable resource in terms of all-around music research. I’ve come to know a lot of you and I can’t get the answers anywhere else that I can get from here. Some of you I wouldn’t consider strangers, and there are some that I would even call my friends. And i’m sure not comfortable posting things like this anywhere else. At least here, I know what to expect. Thanks for your time.

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There are quite a few tunes that do that for me.

Very recently, like yesterday or the day before, there was a funeral for a police woman shot and blown up by a grenade in an attack. I caught a little of it on TV as I heard pipes playing, “Hector the Hero”. That added an emotional twist to the clip that wouldn’t have been there for me otherwise.

The tune, “Charlie MacFarlane’s” does that for me too. A friend of mine plays it for me on her pipes, if she out lives me I want her to play it when they lower me down.

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Fiddlelearner, don’t apologise. Up to now, I’ve found your posts far more interesting than many that appear on this board…
What you describe is something that happens to me all the time, and sometimes with some kinds of music I’d have rejected in other times. Music has a way of triggering things deep inside, of making long lost memories come up. As a music therapist, I’ve seen it do wonderful things with people whose brain was badly maimed… for instance bringing back memories in Alzheimer disease patients. And it’s used a lot here in Switzerland for getting people with brain injuries back to (near) normal… If you’re interested, read Oliver Sacks (“Musicophilia”, or “the man who mistook his wife for a hat”… )
Just let yourself touched by the tunes… and enjoy it as I do ! I think the tunes who move me most are those who reach very deep in the subconscious. Sometimes I think it’s just one or two notes of the tune that evoque something emotional… it can be something so forgotten that you can’t relate to it, but it’s there somewhere in your head, and the music makes you touch a part of it…

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“I think the tunes who move me most are those who reach very deep in the subconscious. Sometimes I think it’s just one or two notes of the tune that evoque something emotional… it can be something so forgotten that you can’t relate to it, but it’s there somewhere in your head, and the music makes you touch a part of it…”

That last bit you said, is what I meant by “uncomfortably tangible”. What concerns me is, a lot of it hurts for me and it touches so deeply, I obsess over it. Here’s one example…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idz0trQkmCI


I think in cases like this, the composer and I relate in a way that heavily influences the music that connects to us. Maybe some kind of life experience that leaked off into our music or something. Does that make sense?

To make it clearer, here’s an example. Say that a composer had a deep and true fear of something. The fear was so intense, that in all of his music there was an element of suspense and tension. Now say that I have a similar fear and can understand the music at a heightened level, but I am unaware of this “relation” to the composer, so I can’t understand why I feel the music at a heightened level. Is our sub-conscious really that sensitive? Is music really that powerful?

(By the way, I lucky am I that a musical therapist is apart of the forum!)

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I think it’s this connection that leads folks to music in the first place. Otherwise why bother?

I’d guess that most of the group here, and most lovers of music in general, know exactly what it is that you’re describing.

For me, there are different emotional connections to different types and styles of music, even within a genre. In Irish, the emotions I feel when I hear an exotic (to me) mixolydian piper tune are different than those emoted from a simple snappy jig.

And some tune are so evocative they about take my breath away. This one isn’t Irish, but I think you get the point. I cannot listen to it without tearing up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=jRyMH_4PO3Y

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Not totally overwhelmed by the Lovers’ Waltz if I’m honest.

Doesn’t that just show how everyone reacts differently?

I always find Michael Turner’s Waltz makes me feel good, even though over played, because it was the first session tune where I saw everyone joining in one at a time creating a swell in the music that day.

Here’s an example which sort of illustrates this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j91p8sGzg6c

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I do tend to think music is that powerful. And it’s still a mystery how it works : we all have a different relationship to sounds and music, starting from the womb (at 5 months of pregnyncy, the foetus can hear, and we know now that at birth, we already do associations between certain sounds/music and certain emotions. I don’t if it’s related to the composere’s fear, in your case… the only thing you can say is that it moves you, up to hurting you. the next question is can you stand it, or do you have to avoid that particular music… actually if you really want to discover these kind of things, you can try a musictherapy… part of the therapy is discovering to what element of the patient’s memories and life the music refers to… but I’d just let myself be moved, and cry if I feel like it, or laugh… it’s the magic of music !

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No. Not inexplicably. I think something has always set up an association, though not necessarily involving strong emotion. This, for me, invokes the English countryside www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFpyuZUSUPI and relaxed attentiveness. But it the link was probably its use in a film score, or one of the ‘interludes’ they used to have on BBC black & white TV before they had full time coverage.

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Nikita, do you have an email? I’d like to talk with you more about this since music therapy has always been a fascination of mine.

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“Inexplicably attached…weird and soft on the inside, but you don’t understand why…”
Absolutely. That’s the whole reason I’ve played almost every day for over fifty years. The few tunes that don’t have an emotional effect on me when I play (or hear) them soon get abandoned, usually because they are gimmicky or show-off tunes, and sometimes because they are just strings of notes. What the music is doing is anybody’s guess, but it’s what’s happening that makes it music, I suppose.
As a footnote, I will say that some attachments are formed owing to the circumstances – for example the simple bugle call The Last Post played at funerals has people crying their eyes out. A soldier friend of mine used to beg me to play Flowers of the Forest because it held memories for him. I just love playing it because it is one of those tunes that goes right inside.
If it’s not having some sort of emotional affect, you’re not playing it, I say.

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Of course we have that feeling of attachment to certain melodies, Jerone, we wouldn’t be musicians if we didn’t.
I think the term that describes that certain something that speaks to us is “je ne sais quoi,” a French term that loosely translates to “I don’t know what.” It is one of those questions that defies answers. Or perhaps one of those answers that defies questions.

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Cheers gam and AlBrown. That’s exactly it!

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gam, Taps hasn’t sounded the same since my grandfather’s funeral. I remember the first time I heard it again. A guy at school was practicing it and I had to ask him to stop cause I couldn’t handle it. Yea, there are some pieces that have a definite connection.

For the most part, I just let the music wash over me. For the most part, I just listen and enjoy the feelings it brings. But those mystery pieces that bring out unfamiliar feelings and emotions, have me curious to what’s going on.

It could be as simple as Nikita described it…

“Sometimes I think it’s just one or two notes of the tune that evoque something emotional… it can be something so forgotten that you can’t relate to it, but it’s there somewhere in your head”

…I’ve heard a lot of music and gone through a lot of things. And a lot of my memories do have pieces of music already attached. So what she said up there is far from impossible. But who knows 🙂 I’m just a curious young man trying to learn the mysteries of music and the mind. A kid you could say, trying to figure out what all of his strange emotions mean.

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By the way Al, LOVE the quote lol. “je ne sais quoi,” But this… “It is one of those questions that defies answers. Or perhaps one of those answers that defies questions.” My brain can’t work out paradoxical statement like that lol.

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The musician is invoking a state of poiesis, not the tune. A tune by itself has no symmetry. The “feeling” exists in duality. Perhaps god plays a super stringed harp.

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Stringed? What school did you went to?

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“poiesis”–there’s a word you don’t hear every day. Sent me right to dictionary.com.

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should be stranged

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Jerone, you can email me anytime… just click on my name on this board…

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I feel the connection pretty often with Irish trad music when the
greats are playing it. There’s an air in Martin Hayes’ last album that
makes the hair on my neck stand up - ‘the windswept hills of Tulla’,
for example. There are lots of other cases.

There are points like that in some of the Mahler symphonies plus
Das Lied von der Erde. When I first heard some of the tracks from
Pearl Jam’s album “Ten” I got a pretty strong reaction. You never
know when it might hit. Even Metallica and Linkun Park…

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“You never know when it might hit.”

Yea, I know what you mean Hup. I think the best example I can think of is when this evidently started happening to me with Ludovico Einaudi’s music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjMKFLVMoeg


It’s from the movie Dr. Zhivago. 2003 version. When I first heard it, it brought me to sobs and tears, though I hadn’t scene the film, or even heard of it when I found this piece. That has never happened to me before. It just brought something out. I came across this piece after discovering several of his other works. After seeing the movie, I got a very clear understanding of what he intended the music to mean.

Then there’s another piece titled “Due Tramonti” which roughly(if not perfectly) translates as “Two Sunsets”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxTyxfgzvWw


I have no idea what “Two Sunsets” means(would any of you happen to know by chance?), but this piece touches me deeply, but again, don’t know why. The feelings are just there.

Some people are afraid to ask such questions. They think that knowing will pull them apart from the magic of the music, but I don’t have that fear. It’s a rush to me to ask such questions. I know that sounds are just vibrations in the air. I know all the notes on my piano. I know that rosin and tiny bristles on bow hairs causes the friction needed to make the strings vibrate. But none of that knowledge can take away the magic of the music.

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No. Still no. I have been thinking back. I think that for me there is *always* some other association or memory. Sure, I may instantly like a tune, or be fascinated by form of music I have not heard before and want to heat more. But “weirdness and softness inside” requires another sensory input or ‘emotional’ association - at the time or from memory.

I don’t think I hear music in isolation from what has gone before.

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… or what is happening at the time.

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“I don’t think I hear music in isolation from what has gone before… …or what is happening at the time.”

Eureka.

It’s a lot easier to tell with lyrical music. Those strange but magical moments when you discover a song about something you’ve gone through, or are going through. So with lyricless music, the element of relation is still there, but in the abstract language of music itself. Yes, that makes a lot sense. So that’s the connection. My analytic way of thinking would never bless me with such a simple answer.

(This is the part where I explain what you just said to me, to myself, outloud)

So instead of having a special attachment to the past, they just simply resonate with what is going on inside of us at the time. Sympathetic vibrations, in sympathy with our emotions. Wow, and now looking at my own compositions. They all come from things I felt and were going through, or had been through. With other composers, the case is the same. So it connects that way. Wow.

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I wonder though. Do different things go on in the heads of people who compose music than in those of people like me who have never felt so inclined and wouldn’t know where to start.

I wasn’t thinking about lyrics. I rarely dwell on them the way I do with a melody and am very happy to listen to songs in languages that I don’t understand. For me its about music, not words.

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“Music that I have no reason to be so… attached to. Music that is special to me, but has no reason to be special to me”. I know what you mean. I heard O’Carolan’s air “Briget Cruise” played on the harp for the first time recently and it had that effect on me. I’ve been learning the fiddle about a year now and so far I’ve just been concentrating on reels, jigs etc. and haven’t really ventured into the realm of airs. Things might be about to change!!

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I think that irish trad is like a drug, I need it.
I must admit that one of the greatest pleasures that I could have is feeling the same as I felt the first time I heard songs like “Mason’s Apron” or “harves’t home”.
Maybe when I heard the songs I did not care for that, but now I realize that that moment changed my life.

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“I wonder though. Do different things go on in the heads of people who compose music than in those of people like me who have never felt so inclined and wouldn’t know where to start.”

I’m not sure, because expressing myself through creation has always been an objective in my music. Maybe we do think about music a little differently.

As for lyrics, i’ve always liked poetry + music because it gives a clear meaning to what the artist intended for the music. It makes it less abstract and more clear and obvious for me.

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i have never ever felt attached to a tune, to me it sounds as if you have some kind of emotional disorder, i would go see your nearest psychologist/counsellor about this before it takes a stranglehold on your musical experiences

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Ha ha! I ♥ I ♥ Dow

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lol very funny Dow 🙂

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He’s not Dow.

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Oohhh… “…this is awkward…” *backs away slowly and closes the door behind me*

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I’ve thought about this too. I’m a day dreamer and like to think I have some connection to random pieces of music from my past lives 🙂

Recently this is the song for me. I would love if some people here would listen to it. It is absolutely astonishing.

http://vimeo.com/4667738

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B.F. Pearce, I may be stirring it by posting something so “Non-Trad” on here but I can’t help thinking that you might like this. http://youtu.be/4axrTFBV3cU

My defence is that Jimmy Page is a hell of a Mando player!! Enjoy, And if you like this, try out the“No Quarter“ album.

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Of course, with the greatest respect to Sandy Denny…

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