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Music and Emotions

July 27, 2007

One of the interesting things I’ve noticed recently (although this knowledge has always been there) is how music affects the emotions.  I was listening to All Songs Considered, and was freshly made aware of how moving Gregorian chant is.  It is amazing how great vocal harmonies can move someone to tears.  I was amazed once again of how God has created us enjoy music – something that animals have no understanding of.  We are moved to joy, sorrow, anger, or confusion just by the way a song is constructed.

I believe I have learned something interesting about music lately – there is something ethereal to the human voice, something that cannot be duplicated with an instrument.  I’ve noticed that only voices tend to put a chill down my spine, and only voices tend to move me to tears of beauty.  I’m not sure if this is just how I appreciate music, or if this is a more universal experience, but I know that for me, while instruments are effective, voice is much more effective, especially when arranged in a choral arrangement (although a single, mournful voice can also be chilling if done correctly).  Well composed music, I’ve noticed, can combine the voice and the instrumentals to make a truly awe inspiring performance.

What an amazing God – to create something like music, that moves us on such a deep level.  We are truly and undeservedly blessed.

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