Table of Contents

Feelings and emotions

Music can be so powerful. But music's power comes in two different, almost diametrically opposed versions: the power of music itself, and the power of song lyrics.

Pure music. Pure music moves me without words; it makes me feel. I feel the beauty of the melody in my body, no thinking involved. Sergei Rachmaninoff is one of the great masters of melody. Khatia Buniatishvili's passionate style is perfect for his passion.

Other musical elements support and enhance the melody, e.g. harmony, rhythm, dynamics, orchestral color. But without melody these elements are empty; melody is the heart and soul of music. It speaks to my heart and soul. A good melody speaks to me. Not to my mind but my ears, my sensory processing. A good melody is memorable. I recognize it right away. Melody moves me in a deep, wordless, essential way; it speaks directly to wisdom in me. My body is wisdom. My ears and sensory processing are wisdom.

Lyrics. Songs lyrics speak to my brain and manipulate me. Tearjerkers are an example, designed to manipulate my emotions, to jerk the tears out of me. A good lyricist knows how to use the manipulative power of words to trigger specific emotions. In the hands of a real artist a tearjerker can be a real work of art.

Patriotic songs and sports fight songs are another example, designed get people all worked up. But there's nothing real going on. I'm not in a life situation that's making me cry, or get all worked up; it's pure manipulation, words triggering emotions. Lyrics are lies. If I'm lucky, beautiful lies. Janis admitted it was just a phase she went through in high school.

Feelings v. emotions. So pure music moves me within the realm of feelings, lyrics within the realm of emotions; what's the difference? Emotions are mental; feelings aren't.

Obsession. Emotions link to certain triggering thoughts; once I have the triggering thought, I become obsessed, thinking the thought over and over, each time triggering the emotion in a vicious cycle. Emotions are a mild form of mental illness we all suffer from.