Feelings

Feelings

Do you get a feeling of elation when hearing or playing a good tune? I just discovered The Torn Jacket, and it is everything I love about Irish music. I get similar feeling when playing or hearing good polkas. I can’t describe the feeling exactly, but sometimes it feels very similar to the way I feel about my fiancee.

Do we love the music, have an emotional connection? Or is it just a cool thing to do with friends? Sorry to get so deep; I sometimes wonder if others feel the same way (especially after reading comments here sometimes). We seem to analyze things deeply here, instruments, traditions, etc. Is that stuff as important to people as the love of the music?

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I used to get that feeling, especially with ‘mastering’ a new tune that I really like. I have depression, so feeling elated is pretty elusive at the moment so my playing is rather stagnant lateley. Yes is the general answer though. It can be pure joy and I’m welling up a bit remembering what it’s like..

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Wow! I have to chip in here as both the above apply to me! I too get a feeling if elation from some tunes - listening and playing and also like Aaron especially with polkas! Some of them are so bloody joyfull!
I have felt this with other music too , some jazz for example.

Michelle , I too have depression and for me too the elation goes away. I wish you all the best and can with experience say the elation comes back.

Btw i had wondered sometimes if the elation is normal or is it almost manic…. good to know others feel it too.

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Personally I see making an emotional connection with the music I am attempting to play as being the difference between it being something of worth and a scratched and repeating recording. Music is a language, a means of communication and arguably something innate in the human condition. If the playing of music is to be anything other than an ego driven act of rote learning these depths have to be reached somehow. After all, I will argue, this is exactly what was going on when the piece was originally conceived or composed .

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It’s an emotional connection for me as well.

And re the similarities between love for someone and love for music… It’s like a guess-and-miss game. First you know the rhythm, and guess how the tune would go, then you have the tune learnt, but you never now what twist the performer will do the next moment, etc etc.

That stream of guesses and the everchanging share of hits and misses is what makes it (the listening) interesting. The same applies to the relations.

Uncertainty is like pressure inside a steam boiler, the twisting gauge hand.

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I completely agree as a listener that I feel an emotional "relationship" with trad songs. For me, listening to music, reading and writing are my emotional outlets. College life can sometimes feel very socially isolating, but I know that when friends cancel plans (which happens many more times than I’d like!) then the music is still there at my fingertips.

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Forgot to add, it’s been great to be part of a discussion group of others who like the same type of music I do, and that there are a small handful of people that have put up English and Welsh recordings as well.

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Music and emotion are tightly entwined. An easy example of that is the background music in a movie, which in many cases is there specifically to guide your emotions, whether it be a love scene, or a guy jumping out at you with a knife…

I definitely develop an emotional relationship with tunes, and I use that to drive different ways to play the tune. Sometimes I will be in a somber mood, and I will play a tune with tons of emotion, and sometimes I might play the tune in a happy, bouncy way with lots of lift, which is a completely different kind of emotion.

But there is also elation that comes from things being just right. The tunes being played just the way you like them, or all the players tightly locked into the rhythm (or the "groove"). And I think that releases endorphins, which is really where the elation comes from. And that’s why people will slog through many sessions, just on the outside chance that *tonight* might be one of those nights… "Chasing the Dragon", if you will…

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Not only that ^^

But also: the friendships that have developed because of a chance meeting over some tunes. That runs the gamut—people that I play with every week now, or even that one set with another flute player where everything just clicked. May never see that guy again, but it was grand for a few moments. (kind of a one-night stand with tunes, but hey)

Our brains obviously need this; otherwise why would the rewards be so big?

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"Feelings - nothing more than feelings…" Wait, this thread isn’t a tribute to Morris Albert? No matter - I’m in agreement with everything listed above. I’ve had many emotional relationships with tunes over the years. Some were loving and others were rather tumultuous. And here’s the thing, if you don’t work at those relationship with your tunes, they will leave you! Tunes apparently have feelings too, or so it would seem.

I have an emotional attachment to this music because it makes me feel connected to both my grandmothers who loved it and planted those musical seeds in my head. It is my regret they didn’t live long enough to see that crop come in. I think they’d get such a kick out of seeing me play this music now. But to echo what Reverend said, the biggest sense of elation I get when playing this music are those magical moments when all the musicians are locked in on a set of tunes. That feels amazing.

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In my case I developed a passion for this music late in life. The seeds were planted when my mother gave me my grandfather’s mandolin as a boy. I forgot about it for more than 50 years, and was hit with the compulsion like a bolt of lightning out of the blue. It is almost like the music has completed me as a person. I think there is a genetic predisposition of some sort. Emotional connection? Feelings? Yes!
And I might add that I am grateful for the discussions here which have helped guide me into this extraordinary world.

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Aaron: "Do we love music, have an emotional connection?"
I would go a step further. Talent is not enough. We are either obsessed by music or the novelty will wear off. Half of the people you know who play, will give up. Its an obsession and its a calling. Emotional? Well, there are 12 year olds who can sing convincingly of a passionate love and we know they haven’t got the remotest idea of the meaning.

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Every tune feels like a little world to me. Often after playing a tune I will laugh. I don’t really understand why. I notice that a lot of other people do the same thing.

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I have always found playing music great for coping with stress. I have been under significant stress and worry about a family member for the past 6 months with no relief in sight. Playing music at home, learning a tune, takes my mind totally away from the issue and gives me relief for that period. Playing is both physical and mental and engages many of your senses. To me in times of need it’s the best therapy.

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Feelings?

Sure, isn’t that what it’s really all about; connection and joy?

My passion is playing in sessions. Good tunes are the little bursts of joy we share. ;-)

Musicians depend on each other. And when we play music together we make friends.

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Learning a new tune in our practice sessions and playing it well with others at our Sunday session is always a high for me. I love the way a new tune can become uplifting.

Emotional connections develop over the years. So many tunes I play I bring back memories of the person I learned it from or the session where I first heard it. After playing tunes for 35 years, many of the tunes have deep connections for me now.

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I do some work in contemplative settings such as hospice. Facilitating emotions (mine and others’) is the basis of the session. Music is often the *best* form of communication, catalyst for emotion, evocateur of memory, etc.

Re polka - I have a weekly accordion gig where it never fails that someone wants a polka and/or talks about how dad, or grandmother, or some family member played one.. Yesterday, one fellow in particular sat in front of me with eyes closed and reminisced after asking for polkas. He was obviously greatly affected and expressed his gratitude. Typically, these folks say they don’t get to do this "anymore" as they just don’t hear the accordion played.

It’s something I cherish most about playing music: being able to evoke this in others.

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